PEYTON’S PLACE

By Eric D. Graham BASN columnist
Updated: March 12, 2012

Can he still play?

Can he still play?

NORTH CAROLINA, (BASN)–There were no happy endings in Indy.

But, the circumstance produced the conclusion.

The past had lost to the present.

And the present had embraced the future.

As a result, as much as we hated to see it, the quarterback with the huge hammerhead, which squeezed into that tiny helmet, heartbreakingly, had to hang-up his horseshoes.

Why? Because, the conservative, Colts calculated play-caller with the rocket arm, robotic motion and flawless footwork, found himself in a Civil War.

And in the cult of youth, which rules the NFL, the old was replaced with the young.

Yes, Peyton Manning had a bit of “bad luck.”

And, the organization that he built, which loved him so, reluctantly, hated but had to let him go, even, as they held on tightly to his jersey with two hands.

Now, the touchdown technician, after a teary eyed press conference, finds himself looking for another team, another city and another center to place his hands under.

But, with the Indianapolis Colts cutting Manning, it gives hope to several teams, who are desperately seeking a quarterback to lead them to the Super Bowl.

Now, the rumors are running rampant as teams scramble for his services.

Will he join the dysfunctional Washington Redskins and run for President?

Will he decide to take “his talents to South Beach” like Lebron James, becoming the “new” Dan Marino of Miami, while getting a suntan?

Will he go to Denver, becoming a part of Tebow-mania, while getting his neck healed in the process?

Or will he go to the New York Jets, making Rex Ryan’s Super Bowl press conference predictions real?

These are the questions sports reporters are asking themselves.

“We are more interested in the transaction rather than the action….in the possibility than the game” said Dan La Batard, sports columnist from the Miami Herald.

Yes, the possibilities seem promising.

And, even though, many Colts fans felt it was a crime to cut Manning, it was a $35 million decision.

Besides, the NFL is a brutal and cut-throat business.

And, no one is exempt from getting their throat cut.

Not even, Peyton Manning.

With blue blood dripping from his neck after being ceremonially cut by the Colts , Manning, who is possibly is the best regular season quarterback in NFL history, finds himself, in the same year his younger brother (Eli Manning) won the Super Bowl, unemployed and “passing” out his football resume’ to a league-filled with lots of lousy quarterbacks.

Yes, unfortunately, due to his numerous neck surgeries, Manning still has to prove he can still play, can still throw the football with accuracy, can still throw the deep ball with precision and can still throw the over the shoulder pass with ease.

Oddly, the only evidence of Manning throwing a football was that eerie X-File footage of him at Duke University that mysteriously appeared on ESPN.

Strangely, the only thing missing from that poorly filmed practice of Peyton in shoulder pads was a UFO hovering in the background.

As a result, despite the embarrassment, Peyton may have to participate in a Pro-Day or a NFL Combine-type work-out as if he was an undrafted rookie QB in order to make it in the league he once dominated.

And even though, the 36-year old Manning, may perform these passing drills with his trademark-timing, all of it will be irrelevant until he gets hit, sacked or blind-sided by a blitz during live competition.

In other words, can Manning take a hit?

We all know the NFL is a violent game. And with Peyton’s neck injury, it becomes even more dangerous for him.

Hopefully, we will see Peyton’s No.18 jersey in some team’s huddle this season, barking out plays at the line of scrimmage, macro-managing the game and challenging cornerbacks with his laser passes.

But if he is unable to perform this year, we’ll remember him as one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game.