I remember one time talking to a player about relationships with coaches, and — being a younger guy, only in the league a couple of years — he was disappointed he couldn’t/didn’t have the same kind of relationship with his NFL coaches that he had in college. The trust level wasn’t the same, and that was realized with a lack of playing time and the reality of guys getting cut.
But that’s how it is. That’s pro sports, and that’s the NFL. The problem, of course, is that — regardless of both that reality and the fantasy football world many fans seem to view their teams — the sport is still inhabited by humans with human emotion.
That’s what I think of when watching how the whole Colts-Peyton Manning thing has developed, coming to a kind of head yesterday, a few days after Manning talked about how it was tough to get healthy in Indy because of the vibe of change and then owner Jim Irsay responded and then Manning responded again. They are now trying to say the right things and desperately not have this be another Packers-Favre melodrama, but is that even possible?
Clearly, Manning wants to play again. He probably wants nothing to do with a star-in-the-making replacement like Andrew Luck (I remember talking to Kurt Warner a couple weeks before the Leinart-Young-Cutler draft, when the Cards seemed sure to take a QB if one was there, and he calmly but firmly kept insisting the Cards didn’t need to take a quarterback.) Certainly it didn’t work well with Favre and Aaron Rodgers. Warner and Leinart was better, but then again, Warner is a different kind of guy.
All this reinforces the human element in this game. Feelings get hurt. Guys get angry, feel things are unfair. Winning always lessens the issues, but make no mistake, someone is always disgruntled. Nature of the beast. And the business.
Tags: Kurt Warner, Peyton Manning
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