Tag: Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning Should Be Inspiration for 2013 Philadelphia Phillies

As the calendar turns to March, we are approaching the one-year anniversary of a pretty monumental day in the history of American professional sports.

One year ago Thursday, Peyton Manning was released from the Indianapolis Colts, the organization by which he was drafted first overall in 1998 and was with for 14 seasons. During that time, he became arguably the best quarterback of his generation and put himself in with the top 10 players to ever play the position. The term “face of the franchise” has become a cliche in professional sports, but it was an unadulterated reality in Manning’s case. He truly was the Indianapolis Colts.

But alas, after a bizarre neck injury caused Manning to miss the entire 2011 season, subsequently contributing to the Colts going 2-14 that season and earning the top overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft, he suddenly became expendable. With the shining blue-chip Andrew Luck waiting in the draft and ready to play, it simply did not make sense to bring back a 36-year-old QB coming off injury and send the best QB prospect in years to the bench.

Let me make a disclaimer—I am not condemning what the Colts did. They did what they had to do. The situation in Indianapolis was as unique as a snowflake. Had the Colts wound up with any pick lower than second overall in the 2012 draft, they most likely would have kept Manning and traded the high pick for several lower picks to put some pieces around the aging star to give him one last chance at a run in his final years.

But that didn’t happen. The Colts had the first overall pick, Luck fell into their lap, and here we are.

Having said that, allow me to take you back to the end of 2011. While it is easy to forget since so much time has elapsed, maybe you remember how bleak the outlook on Manning’s career was.

Many people predicted he would embarrass himself in 2012, posting the worst stats since his rookie year and having to end a great career in shame.

Others predicted that his body would have the solidity of a chocolate eclair after a year on the couch, and he would suffer a career-ending injury on his first sack.

A friend of mine even predicted that he would retire in 2012 training camp, realizing the game passed him by.

Of course, we know this did not happen. Manning totally idiocized the pessimistic predictions, posting the best season of his wonderful career next to his legendary 2004 MVP performance. By notching eight yards per attempt, 37 TD passes to only 11 INT, and achieving a terrific 105.8 passer rating, Peyton made everybody forget the bleakness of his post-2011 outlook.

Okay, I am finally going to get to baseball now.

The Phillies can take a lot of optimism out of the Peyton Manning story. The 2012 Phillies were obviously decimated by injury. The problem with that squad wasn’t only that Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and Roy Halladay missed significant time. The big issue was that all three players’ injuries ruined their performance on the field, with Utley putting up a slash line of .256/11/45, Howard going .219/14/56, and Roy Halladay putting up a 4.49 ERA with a 1.222 WHIP.

These bad 2012 seasons by the three cornerstone players on the team have pundits predicting they will face a very tough uphill battle with the Nationals and the Braves in 2013. The other two NL East teams are looked at as the young forces set to take their places at the table, while the Phillies are the broken-down old veterans who the game has passed by.

But, just as Peyton Manning disproved so many doubters, so can the Phillies.

Chase Utley can hit .280 with 25 HR.

Ryan Howard can hit 42 HR and knock in 130.

Roy Halladay can pitch 230 innings, put up a sub-3.00 ERA, and amass 200 strikeouts.

If one of these things happen, the Phillies could make that seven-game jump that would have been necessary to make the playoffs last year.

If two of these things happen, the Phillies can win 91-93 games, and be a legitimate threat for the NL East crown.

If all three happen, then the Nationals and the Braves be damned. The Phillies out-and-out win the NL East and are NL favorites for the World Series.

Do these things seem implausible? Maybe.

But how many people expected the 2012 Peyton Manning to put up a 105.8 passer rating a year ago today?

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

The Daily Fives For November 2nd, 2010 From The Sports Mac

Top Five Stories From Yesterday


1.  The San Francisco Giants win their first World Series title since 1954 after Game 5, and the series four games to one.

2.  The Colts take the lead in the AFC South after cruising to a Monday Night Football win over the Texans in Indianapolis.

3.  The Vikings cut WR Randy Moss less than four weeks after acquiring him from the New England Patriots.

4.  The Bulls hand the Trail Blazers their first loss of the season behind a huge night from Luol Deng.

5.  The Flyers move into first place of the Atlantic Division after defeating the Hurricanes in Philadelphia.


Top Five Games From Yesterday


1.  Giants 3, Rangers 1: San Francisco won the World Series behind a three-run Edgar Renteria HR in the seventh inning, and a superb performance from Tim Lincecum.

2.  Rangers 3, Blackhawks 2: Eric Christensen scored the game-winner 6:30 into the final period to break up a tie game, and help New York to a home win over the defending champs.

3.  Flyers 3, Hurricanes 2: Scott Hartnell scored 6:30 into the final period to stretch the lead to 3-1, and led Philadelphia to the win despite a late goal from Carolina’s Joe Corvo.

4.  Kings 111, Raptors 108: Sacramento was down by 17 after the first quarter, but chipped away and sealed the win with two Beno Udrih free throws with 12 seconds left.

5.  Spurs 97, Clippers 88: San Antonio won its 17th straight game over Los Angeles as Tony Parker led the way for San Antonio with 19 points and nine assists.


Top Five Performances From Yesterday


1.  Tim Lincecum, Giants SP: One run on three hits with 10 K’s over eight IP, helping San Francisco clinch the World Series with a 3-1 win over Texas in Game 5.

2.  Luol Deng, Bulls SF: 40 points and four rebounds in Chicago’s 110-98 win over Portland.

3.  Roberto Luongo, Canucks G: 30 saves for his first SO of the season and 52nd of his career in Vancouver’s 3-0 win over New Jersey.

4.  Kelvin Hayden, Colts CB: Had five tackles, and returned an INT 25 yards for a TD in Indianapolis’ 30-17 win over Houston.

5.  LaMarcus Aldridge, Trail Blazers PF: 33 points and nine rebounds in Portland’s 110-98 loss to Chicago.


Five Performances That Weren’t So Good From Yesterday


1.  Rudy Fernandez, Trail Blazers SG: Just 3-of-10 shooting, and only six points in Portland’s 110-98 loss to Chicago.

2.  David Murphy, Rangers LF: 0-for-3 with three K’s in Texas’ 3-1 Game 5 World Series loss to San Francisco.

3.  Matt Taormina, Devils D: Had a minus-two in New Jersey’s 3-0 loss to Vancouver.

4.  Chris Pronger, Flyers D: Had a minus-two and two penalty minutes in Philadelphia’s 3-2 win over Carolina.

5.  Matt Schaub, Texans QB: Threw for only 201 yards, and committed both turnovers in Houston’s 30-17 loss to Indianapolis.


Top Five Events To Follow Today


1.  NHL: Canadiens (7-3-1) at Blue Jackets (6-4-0), 7:00 PM: Two teams off to solid starts this year face off in southern Ohio.

2.  NCAA FB: Middle Tennessee State (3-4) at Arkansas State (3-5), 7:00 PM, ESPN2: Both teams are trying to catch Troy in the Sun Belt, and a win will keep them in the race.

3.  NBA: Magic (1-1) at Knicks (1-2), 7:30 PM: Orlando makes the trip north in the first of many meetings between Dwight Howard and Amar’e Stoudemire.

4.  NHL: Sharks (5-3-1) at Wild (4-4-2), 8:00 PM, Versus: San Jose makes a Midwest stop to take on Western Conference foe Minnesota.

5.  NBA: Grizzlies (2-1) at Lakers (3-0), 10:30 PM, NBA TV: The latest meeting of the Gasol brothers also showcases a good start to the season for Memphis this year.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

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