What Does Peyton Manning Have to Do With the Phillies?

7 Mar

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that sometimes you have to stick with me a bit to see where I’m going.  Warning to new readers: this is one of those times.

The biggest story in sports today, as it will be for many days to come,  is that after months of speculation, the Indianapolis Colts have decided to part ways with their superstar quarterback Peyton Manning.  The four-time NFL MVP has played his entire 14-year career with the Colts.  He led the team to 11 play-off berths, two conference championships, and one Super Bowl victory.  Peyton was the city’s shining star, the Colts savior, the face of their franchise.  In short, Peyton Manning was the Indianapolis Colts.  In fact, he was so much the key to their success that without him last year (he was recovering from a serious neck injury) the team, his team, went 2-14.

OK, so what does this have to do with the Phillies?   Be patient, it’s coming.  If you had asked most football fans and analysts even a year ago they would have said, without a doubt, that Peyton Manning would play his entire career in Indy and retire as an Indianapolis Colt.  It would have been unthinkable to most Colts fans that they would ever have to watch their superstar quarterback wearing the uniform of another team.  Even Peyton, himself said he hoped to play his entire career and retire a Colt.

But that was not to be.  If Peyton Manning can be “let go” by the Colts is nothing sacred in the world of sports?  Yes, I know in the end, all sports is a business, ruled by the mighty dollar.  I saw Moneyball.

But what does this have to do with the Phillies??  OK, here it is. The thought I’ve had this morning watching all the “where will Peyton go” coverage and seeing the incredible highlights of his storied career is that I’m truly glad that the Phillies resigned Jimmy Rollins.

I know the situations are not identical.  And I know that there are many Phillies fans who think Rollins is past his prime , that he’s a lousy lead-off hitter or just that it was time for a change.  I get that and those arguments can be made.  But there’s another argument that can be made as well.

That there is something to be said for making that extra effort to keep the face of your franchise.

That there is something special, especially these days, to see an athlete spend his entire career in one city, with one team.

That there is a place for tradition, and maybe even emotion, in sports.

Yes, it’s an intangible, not necessarily a dollars and sense decision.  Billy Beane would not approve.

But I do, whole heartedly.

And on Opening Day when I hear, “Leading off for the Phillies, at shortstop, Jimmy Rollins,”  I, for one, will be proudly standing and cheering in my living room glad to see J-Roll back where he belongs.

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6 Responses to “What Does Peyton Manning Have to Do With the Phillies?”

  1. Banyanjd March 7, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    Not to mention, Jim Thome

  2. geetie cohen March 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm #

    Heart and emotion in sports.WHAT A CONCEPT.To say nothing of Jimmy’s smile. My rally towel is ready.

  3. Lea Dickler March 8, 2012 at 1:08 am #

    I totally agree!!! I will stand up and cheer with you.

  4. Ray March 8, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    It just goes to prove, no matter what you have done for your team, no matter how good you are, no matter how long you have been there, at some point, you become expendable to that team.

    Lucky for us, Jimmy hung around 🙂

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