Peyton Manning speaks on ESPN


Peyton Manning is walking!

Peyton Manning is doing nothing other than moving his two legs briskly around the Colts' practice facility, but to me, him walking laps is awesome news. Not awesome in that it makes me think he will be back this season, but awesome in that it banished the mental image I had of Manning being immobile and strapped down in a hospital bed wearing a thick neck brace.

Peyton Manning walking around the Colts' practice facility

It is very encouraging to see him up and about. He even joked around with the cameramen saying, "Can I get this for my scrapbook? Pretty exciting, huh?"

There's a video clip of Manning walking his laps at ESPN.

ESPN spoke to Archie Manning about Peyton at the Giants' game and Archie said Peyton was sore for a week after the surgery, but is now feeling better and in better spirits. Archie doesn't know if Manning will play this season and he also didn't say anything about the stem cell procedure.

Besides struggling to get healthy, ESPN reported that Peyton's also struggling with how to feel and how much time to spend around the Colts. He wants to be there and help the team, but also doesn't want to "overload" and be around too much.

As a fan, I don't see any reason why his presence would be anything but positive.

Get well soon, Peyton!

Go Colts!

Week 2: Colts v. Browns 2011 Game Highlights

Ray Lewis was right.

"If you take him [Peyton Manning] out the game, no disrespect to nobody else on the Colts, but you make them a very below average ball club."

Again, I stayed up until 4AM watching the Colts play against the Browns. I felt optimistic after the first few drives ("Wow, big improvement in one week!"), but that ultimately turned into "Here we go again..." when Special Teams (minus V-Money and Patty Mac) was "special" as usual and Colt McCoy carved up the secondary.

What I found most disconcerting was when the announcers quoted Larry Coyer saying something like (and I'm reciting from memory here), our defense was built to play with a lead and now we actually have to play defense to make the lead.

Excuse me, but.... WTF?

Why not build a defense to play good defense with or without a lead?

What is the Colts' front office doing? What are the coaches doing besides blinking quietly?

To be sure, there are other good players on the team, but defense and special teams has been a problem for many years now. And what does the Colts' front office do to address the problem in the off season? Blink.


Though the game successfully cast a darker cloud above Colts Nation and gave more fodder for freaking out, the game itself wasn't all bad.

Silver linings from the Browns beat down:
  • Running game - OL (except Link), Addai, and Carter looked good (Is this the last we see of Brown?) Imagine what Peyton could do with this running game.
  • Adam Vinatieri - V-Money's still got it. No doubt about it. Four for four on field goals and even nailed a 52-yarder.
  • Pat McAfee = power leg. Stop calling for him to cut his hair. He's growing it out to donate to Locks of Love (like I'm doing).  
  • Pat Angerer - Dude's stepping up.
  • Anthony Castanzo - He's really settling in at LT. Two false starts is okay. He's still a rookie and getting used to it. Remember all the false starts by Tarik Glenn? Those were all okay because he was awesome at what he did.    
  • Antoine Bethea - totally underrated

The opposite of silver linings (mercury fillings?): 
  • Coaching - for once I wish Caldwell would just go for it on 4 and 1. Special Team and Defensive Coordinators... o_O
  • Kerry Collins - Did his best "I'm not a sloth, but I really am a sloth" impersonation. He was better in this game, even stepped up in the pocket a couple of times, but he's still a statue in the pocket, takes forever to throw the ball, takes forever to re-load, and then makes throws that make me go "WTF kind of throw was that?!" 
  • Special Teams - cannot give the other team such good field position all the time. Come on!
  • Secondary - 'Nuf said. 
  • Officiating - Missing a bunch of holds, pass interference (Reggie Wayne was livid on that one), these zebras stank up the joint tonight.

And is Austin Collie's arm okay? 17 looked like a cyborg on the field today with his helmet and one black arm.

It pains me how much Manning does for the Colts. Look at him, flying to Europe to get a stem cell treatment just to increase the odds of a speedy recovery from his neck surgery. He is doing everything he can to help his team, but what is his team doing to help itself?

I really wonder.

Here are highlights from the Colts vs. Browns game:


Football gods, please show Manning some love. As much as I want to see him play, I think he needs to sit out this season and rest up.

Colts play the Steelers next week. It might be an even uglier game, but I will still cheer for Blue.


Peyton takes the snap...

How I will miss hearing those words this season.

Re-live Peyton Manning to Reggie Wayne highlights from the 2010 season:


18 to 85 (Pierre Garcon) 2010 season highlights (must watch for circus catches):


18 to 17 (Austin Collie) 2010 highlights (even though Collie had a shortened season because of injuries, his chemistry with Manning was amazing):


Week 1: Texans v. Colts 2011 Game Highlights

What a weekend.

I spent half the time bawling over the sad and touching 9/11 tributes and the other half crying and shaking my head at how unprepared the Colts were in their ugly, ugly, fugly loss to the Texans. Peyton Manning was not there and it clearly showed.

Speaking of Manning, please send the tough guy some well wishes. As the rest of the world probably already knows, he took a chunk out of his hip bone to use for his third (second this year) neck surgery. It's a more painful and aggressive procedure and has the potential to cause him lifelong hip discomfort, but he opted for the procedure because of the potential for a speedier recovery (6-8 weeks). While the Colts still have not put him on IR, my gut tells me he will not be returning to the field this season. Even if he did recover that quickly, I still would not want him on the field until he was 110%. The thought of him taking hits just months removed from serious surgery makes me cringe.

And Manning is such a team player. He instructed his agent to "protect the team" in case his neck didn't heal as planned, so the Colts can opt out of his contract. The Colts seriously owe it to him to do everything they can to be a better team offensively, defensively, and special team-sively.

But, back to the Week 1 game.

As I am currently in Asia for work, I stayed up until 4 AM watching a livestream of the game. I wanted to turn it off and not ruin my sleep schedule for the rest of the week, but I just couldn't! It was like watching a train wreck. It was so bad, I just had to keep watching. Anything that could have gone wrong went wrong.

  • Kerry Collins - sacked, fumbled, turned the ball over, stood like a statue in the pocket. Is it me or does he look like the oldest 38 year old ever? He makes Matt Stover (former Colts' Kicker) look like a teenager.
  • Special Teams - allowed lots of yards on punt returns and even a punt return for a TD (Adam "Money in the Bank" Vinatieri  missed an easy field goal. He also missed an easy on in the preseason, but he nailed a 50 yard one too. Not worried about Mr. Clutch.)
  • Tackling - What? What tackling? Exactly
  • Penalties - I know, it's just the first game of the season, but the Colts are usually pretty clean on penalties.
  • Right side of the offensive line - It's going to take some time for the OL to get it together, but I was hoping for more.
  • Coaches - I really dislike Coyer. What on earth is he doing to allow the Texans to run so many bootlegs. Hello! It's all they do against the Colts. And Caldwell. Sigh. I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that behind the scenes, he is different from the way he presents himself to the media and fans (a well-fed and less competent Dungy). But he does not seem inspire... anything. Confidence least of all. When I think of him, instead of thinking of the fire and passion a football coach should have, I think of fish. Cold fish, like sashimi too. Wtf.
  • Dierdorf - Still one of the worst sports announcers ever. 
  • Reviewing EVERY scoring touchdown - Blah, just slow down the game even more why don't you.

Some Salvation:
  • Awesome shoes and gloves (I love you America!)
  • Reggie Wayne - This guy played his heart out. And he actually has a really big heart.  Before the game, he was talking to a military vet in the stands and the guy asked Wayne if he could have the football if he caught a TD. Wayne remembered after the game and gave the guy the ball
  • Castonzo looked good in his debut
  • Addai ran well. I am happy he was re-signed.
  • Pat Angerer, Gary Brackett, Dwight Freeney played their hearts out.
  • Saturday fought under the pile to hold onto the football. (Ahem, Hank Baskett, take notes please.)
  • Schaub still has stoner-Ben Affleck face.

I wanted to see more of Austin Collie, but he was noticeably more invisible. Garcon didn't have a circus catch, but Dallas Clark had a one-handed catch that was cool to watch but ultimately didn't make an impact.

Watch highlights of the game here:


Next week, the Colts play the Browns. Hopefully things will get better. Like Dwight Freeney said, "It can't get worse."


"I hope."


On the other hand, for once I will be able to watch the Colts play football with relatively little stress. With no Peyton Manning in the game to be potentially injured, I am way more relaxed during the games!

Go Colts!

Peyton Manning ruled out for Week 1

Well, it's official.

Peyton Manning will not play Week 1 against the Texans this upcoming Sunday. Man, I feel for him. It really sucks that his iron man streak will come to an to end. It will suck not seeing him play.

Here's what 18 had to say about it:

"To say I am disappointed in not being able to play is an understatement,” it read. “The best part about football is being out there on the field playing with my teammates. It will be tough not to be out there playing for the organization and our fans.

“I simply am not healthy enough to play, and I am doing everything I can to get my health back. The team will do fine without me, and I know for sure that I will miss them much more than they will miss me


Get well soon, Peyton.

I will be praying to the Football Gods for his speedy recovery every single day. 

Digging deep and finding silver

The regular football season is less than a week upon us, yet I find myself now wishing the lockout had maybe postponed the season a few weeks to give Peyton Manning more time to heal. Then again, the longer the lockout lasted, the longer Manning would be without his rehab team, so that wouldn't be good either.

I haven't been posting recently because I have been in denial. If I ignore it, it's not there right?

I want to wholeheartedly believe Dungy when he says that Manning will play "unless he's dead." I want to believe that Peyton's visibility (versus how he was guarded like Coca Cola's secret recipe in 2008), seemingly good mood in recent interviews, and activation off the PUP list are all positive signs that everything is going to be okay.

But seeing this picture of Manning's post neck surgery scar put things in perspective:

Peyton Manning's neck surgery scar. Indy Star.

That is no light surgical incision. And for all the haters out there, there is absolutely no doubt that #18 is tough. Tough as nails. Tough as my Grandmother's Thanksgiving turkey that nearly yanked out my molar. And that is certainly saying a lot in terms of toughness.
With such ominous clouds looming above, I can freak out and go through the five stages of grief like everyone seems to be doing at the moment. I can proclaim that 2012 is starting early in Indy. Hell, I can even crown the eternal "let's shoot ourselves in the boot" Texans (my home city, by the way - I love Houston!) as 2011 winners of the AFC South.

But, I can also choose to believe.

And believe I will.

I don't mean believe in the way where naive optimism overpowers reality. But believe in the way that Manning and the Colts are a talented bunch of guys who constantly and consistently dig deep. I'm not sure how successful the Colts will be this season if Manning misses any significant time, but I am sure our boys in blue will manage to grind out a few wins, even if it is Kerry Collins at the helm. The wins may not be pretty or plentiful, but the best battles usually aren't.

I'm a big believer that there is a silver lining for everything in life. Yea, Manning's slow recovery is devastating news to a rabid Colts' fan. The numbness he is feeling in his triceps nearly made me shit my pants. But, if you calm yourself and tweak your perspective, you will see opportunity where others confirm failure. Without Manning, here is the silver lining (assuming Manning is unable to play):

  • #18 gets a mental and physical break (you can't get better or continue to dominate without rest and renewal, right?)
  • Manning gets a new challenge that the competitor in him will be dying to overcome
  • Manning has never really taken a break before and the sideline view of the game will give him new perspective and inspiration
  • The o-line will get some time to gel without Manning there to suffer any slip ups
  • The defense will learn to step it up (no more bend or break please) and help carry the weight of the game
  • The offense will be more balanced (finally addressing the running game)
  • The coaches will no longer have a subconscious safety net that Manning unknowingly gives them (step it up Caldwell, Coyer, special-team-coach-whose-name-I-can't-be-bothered-to-look-up)
  • Manning will feel less pressure for being the one who has to win games for his team to win

Change can be good or bad. But change is certainly opportunity.

Like Manning said last year during his "three game slump," this is a test of faith and football adversity.

So let's have faith in Blue and be that 12th man!
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