Updated Jan 20, 2012 - 9:52 am
Is Manning in Cardinal red so far-fetched?
One song on your iPod that you're embarrassed to own. One song that, when it blares out of your car stereo, up go the windows.
When George belts out "I won't let you down...I will not give you up" there is an internal acknowledgement; I should not have this song on my iPod/I cannot imagine my iPod without it.
The talk about Peyton Manning to the Arizona Cardinals is similarly equal parts shame and love. As irrational and speculative as it is, I simply can't rise above it. I can't stop thinking about it.
On some level, I agree with Darren Urban of azcardinals.com who has written that it's not even worth discussing. He's right. It's absurd speculation. Like that movie "Inception" it's a dream within a dream within a dream. A healthy Peyton Manning getting cut by the Indianapolis Colts and wanting to play for the Arizona Cardinals. Yeah, sure. Sorry Leo, that top is going spin for the rest of eternity.
So why the fixation, beyond of course the pure desire that I want it to be real? I blame Doug Franz and Ron Jaworski:
Franz because he planted the seed of an idea. When Charlie Casserly reports the Manning camp hasn't had any discussions with the Colts about his future the natural follow up question in that off-the-record chat is…well where would he want to go if he isn't with the Colts? Casserly tells a national audience that the Cardinals are a dark horse candidate for Manning because somebody from Manning's camp told him that. Casserly didn't pluck the Cards out of thin air. He was handed that information.
Part 2, I blame Jaws for what he told me on Thursday. Andrew Luck is so good, so NFL ready right now; he has to play right away. He's too good to sit.
Suddenly the absurd speculation turns to a semi-logical timeline. The Colts, armed with the number one pick, stand on the precipice of a new era. A new coach, new GM and new quarterback poised to shift into the next decade with very little down time in between. You're not sure Manning is healthy and what sense does it make to pay him $28 million when you probably should be starting Luck anyway. All you're doing is paying a lot of money to delay the inevitable. Now Manning is free. Show me another opportunity that provides the warmth, weather, facility, stability, style of offense and most importantly…Larry Fitzgerald. Without him the Cardinals aren't in the conversation.
So for now I'll enjoy the song even though I have no business listening to it. Like George sang "All we have to do now is take these lies and make them true somehow…"