Stealing a few days of joy from the San Francisco 49ers Faithful, the Denver Broncos won the Peyton Manning competition, with Manning telling his agent, Tom Condon, to go ahead and consummate the agreement between the organizations.
In a way, it was shocking, long, and ultimately upsetting – a perfect zero sum game where someone wins and someone loses. And the late Oakland Raiders Owner Al Davis is rolling in his grave, or haunting Raiders Headquarters, looking for someone to chew out.
This is the kind of deal Davis would have done, or tried to do, had he been alive. Consider. One of the best quarterbacks in a generation, and of a generation, available not necessarily to the highest bidder, but to the organization that not only had the best fit, but made advances to get him. Name the NFL teams – Broncos, Browns, Cardinals, Dolphins, 49ers – the Oakland Raiders didn’t even announce they were in the hunt.
That is un-Raiders like.
Surprisingly, Raiders fans aren’t upset. Maybe they’ve bought into the Kool-Aid that Manning’s done. Could it be they think a man who’s had multiple surgeries can’t possibly play well? Or perhaps they believe that Peyton has to learn a new offense, rather than the more logical possibility: the blending of what Manning knows with what the Broncos have done? Whatever the reason, Raiders fans aren’t upset that Oakland didn’t make a play for Peyton Manning. If message boards are to be believed, Manning just takes “one good hit” before he’s on the sidelines.
Isn’t that a call for a bounty of some kind?
The problem is many discount Peyton’s unique skill as an offensive coordinator on the field. Anyone who thinks the Broncos won’t take advantage of that is smoking something.