By Dick Platt
Corsicana Daily Sun
— Join the discussion on this story by using the Facebook app to the right.
The city of Denver and the state of Colorado have dubbed Tuesday, March 20, 2012, as St. Peyton’s Day. That is the day that Peyton Manning decided that, of all the teams wooing him in free agency, Denver is where he wanted to play. The Bronco masses have already conferred sainthood upon him and he is expected to lead them to the promised land (Super Bowl) within the next three years. Like St. Patrick, who legend says banished all snakes from Ireland, he is expected to banish the Chiefs, Chargers, and Raiders from the land of the Orange Crush.
Sadly, I feel that this upheaval also means Tim Tebow’s football career in the Mile-Hi City has come to an ignominious (this week’s big word) end. In a cruel sport where youth is constantly supplanting age and experience, just the opposite is happening here. Tebow is only 24, he’s as strong as a horse (just not a Bronco), and he has his whole career in front of him. Peyton Manning, on the other hand, is 36 and is currently still rehabbing from serious neck injuries that kept him out of football all last season.
Mr. Computer just informed me that Tebow has been traded and will now be “Tebowing” in the Big Apple. The New York Jets got him from Denver for mere fourth and sixth round draft choices. I don’t know what he will be paid there but it will be chicken feed compared to Peyton’s five-year, $96 million dollar Denver contract with $58 million in guarantees. The poor guy didn’t get a signing bonus but he is guaranteed $18 million next year. Let’s see, with four pre-season games and 16 regular-season games, that works out to about $360,000 per game. Of course, he will get extra pay and incentives if they go into the playoffs.
Peyton Manning has always worn the number “18” throughout his career — but guess what? That number had been retired by the Broncos in 1986 when Frank Tripucka was enshrined in the “Ring of Fame” at the old Mile-High Stadium. Frank’s 13-year professional football career with nine different American and Canadian teams was not all that remarkable, but he was the Broncos’ very first quarterback when the old American Football League was formed back in 1960. As unusual as it is to “unretire” a number, Frank assured the Broncos and Peyton Manning that he wanted him to wear that number. What a guy!
There they were at Wednesday’s press conference — owner Pat Bowlen, St. Peyton, and Hall-of-Famer John Elway. Pat was emotional, Peyton was humble, and Elway was grinning that horsey grin like Mr. Ed in a jacket and tie. It sure made The Little Woman (she does not...) and me feel warm all over and raised our aspirations for the team to high levels. Let’s hope this euphoria does not end in “...the agony of defeat.” There is always the propensity for the latter since Peyton’s medical rehab program has not been completed. Also, the Broncos’ schedule for this year is rated the second-toughest in the entire NFL. Having said all that, it is interesting to note the Las Vegas odds of Denver winning the Super Bowl just went from 50-to-l to 10-to-1.
So here’s our game plan: we acquire the all-pro tight end (Dallas Clark) and center (Jeff Saturday) who played with Peyton in Indianapolis for years; we find a whiz-bang free-agent running back who can catch passes; we draft a future Jerry Rice at wide receiver; we have new defensive coordinator, Jack Del Rio, shore up the less-than-sterling defense; and we rewrite the play book to accommodate Peyton’s “no-huddle,” “check-with-me,” “frantic/nonsensical signal-calling” style of play. OK. Got it.
A good man died and went to heaven. At the Pearly Gates the guy said to St. Peter, “I know I led a righteous life, and I really do appreciate being brought to heaven, but I can’t help but be curious about what hell is like.”
St. Peter pondered this for a moment and then said to the man, “I’ll tell you what, I’ll let you have a look at hell before you officially enter into heaven.” With that, he led the man over to a freight elevator and told him, “Take this elevator to the very bottom floor. When the doors open you will be able to see what hell looks like, but, under no circumstances are you to get out of the elevator.”
The man thanked St. Peter, entered the elevator, and punched the button for the bottom floor. After quite some time, the elevator stopped its descent, the doors opened, and the man peered out. As far as he could see there was nothing but huge mountains of ice sticking up through blankets of frozen snow. Remembering St. Peter’s instructions, the man quickly pushed the top floor button and returned back up to heaven.
The man approached St. Peter and said, “I am ready to enter heaven now but I do have one more question first.” “What is it?” said St. Peter, a little impatiently. The man said, “I thought hell would be all fire and brimstone, but instead all I could see was ice and snow. Is that what hell is really like?”
St. Peter mulled this over for a few seconds and finally answered, “Nothing but ice and snow, huh? I guess that means the Dallas Cowboys finally won another Super Bowl.” (Gotcha!)
I’ll close this mess with a belated St. Patrick’s Day wish for everyone. May the wind at your back not be the result of all that corned beef and cabbage and green beer you had on parade day.
Dick Platt is a Daily Sun columnist. His column appears on Tuesdays. Want to “Soundoff” on this column? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org