STOP THE FU­NERAL: MAN­NING’S NOT DEAD YET

The Drumheller Mail - - CLASSIFIEDS -

Bruce Pen­ton thought: When Pey­ton Man­ning re­tires, he’ll fi­nally have time to make a few com­mer­cials.” Scott Ostler of the San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle, on place­kicker Blair Walsh’s sea­son-end­ing miss for the Vik­ings: “Blair Walsh gets all the blame for shank­ing that 27yard field-goal at­tempt, but what about the holder, who failed to spin the laces away from Walsh? ‘It’s not easy be­ing a place­kick holder. A lot of odd and crazy things can hap­pen in the heat of the mo­ment,’ said for­mer kick­holder Lucy van Pelt.” Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Her­ald: “The St. Louis Rams or­ga­ni­za­tion bashed the city of St. Louis in its ap­pli­ca­tion to move. The only way this gets worse is if the team writes graf­fiti on the Gate­way Arch.” Late-night fun­ny­man Co­nan O’Brien: “To­day, the Dow ended down 249 points. I’m sorry, did I say the Dow? I meant the Lak­ers.” Ian Hamil­ton of the Regina Leader Post: The ECHL’s Toledo Wall­eye are to wear jer­seys that are based on one of Don Cherry’s suits in a re­cent game. To fur­ther hon­our Cherry, Toledo is ex­pected to scratch all of its Euro­pean play­ers that night.” Wash­ing­ton Post colum­nist Nor­man Chad, on Twit­ter: “You’ve gotta love Pey­ton Man­ning’s sly hu­mour, re­plac­ing his ‘Omaha!’ snap count with ‘ HGH!’” Head­line at Sport­sPickle.com: “Pey­ton Man­ning ad­vises Tom Brady: ‘Just tell ev­ery­one your wife de­flated those foot­balls.’ ” Com­edy writer Alex Kase­berg: “For­mer Pitts­burgh Steeler re­ceiver, Ant­waan Ran­dle-El said he wishes he never played foot­ball be­cause he is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing mem­ory loss. When asked what he would have done in­stead, Ran­dle-El said; ‘In­stead of what?’” pers about the five-time MVP be­ing fin­ished be­came louder. But no one told Man­ning. Osweiler’s star faded quickly and when Man­ning’s health al­lowed him to re­turn to ac­tion, the Bron­cos started to roll again. Man­ning still couldn’t throw with much ve­loc­ity, but that out­stand­ing de­fence, and Man­ning’s abil­ity to man­age a game was a great com­bi­na­tion in play­off vic­to­ries over Pitts­burgh and then New Eng­land in the AFC cham­pi­onship game. Carolina will likely be the bet­ting favourite to win Sun­day in the af­ter­math of their 15-1 reg­u­lar sea­son, their tri­umph over Seat­tle in the divi­sion play­off game and the evis­cer­a­tion of Ari­zona Car­di­nals in the NFC cham­pi­onship game. New­ton has had a spec­tac­u­lar sea­son and seems un­stop­pable, but there’s an aura around Man­ning and the Bron­cos that is un­ex­plain­able, but pow­er­ful. It could be the best way pos­si­ble to end a Hall of Fame ca­reer. Ei­ther Pey­ton Man­ning’s ca­reer is not dead, or that will be a ghost wear­ing No. 18 for the Den­ver Bron­cos in Su­per Bowl 50 at Santa Clara, Calif., this Sun­day. At quar­ter­back, it will be the old man and the C, as in Cam — Cam New­ton, the Na­tional Foot­ball League’s Most Valu­able Player — in the Su­per Bowl and if you’re plan­ning to put down a 10 spot in Ve­gas, here’s some ad­vice from some­one who was a non-be­liever but is hav­ing a change of heart: You’d be fool­ish to bet against the Bron­cos. Man­ning, with one Su­per Bowl ti­tle to his credit in three starts, will be the old­est quar­ter­back to take his team to the sea­son’s ul­ti­mate game. Bron­cos’ GM and ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent John El­way, who had the ‘old­est’ record un­til Man­ning came along, made a great de­ci­sion four years ago to sign the NFL leg­end. Four sea­sons, two Su­per Bowl ap­pear­ances. The first one (a 43-8 loss to Seat­tle) was for­get­table. Man­ning is hop­ing the 2016 ver­sion is un­for­get­table. That he’s play­ing in this year’s Su­per Bowl is a bit of a shock. As he turned 39, his age started show­ing. Man­ning was given up for dead mid­way through the reg­u­lar sea­son. His arm strength ri­valled that of a 12-year-old Pop Warner QB and his in­ter­cep­tion to­tal of 17 in nine games was by far the league’s worst. But be­cause the Bron­cos have the league’s best de­fence, by a coun­try mile, the vic­to­ries kept on com­ing. Then Man­ning got hurt. Was this the end of a great ca­reer for the 39-year-old? Most ob­servers thought it was. When 6-foot-5 stud backup quar­ter­back Brock Osweiler ral­lied the Bron­cos to three straight vic­to­ries, in­clud­ing a Sun­day nighter in the snow against the pre­vi­ously un­de­feated New Eng­land Pa­tri­ots, the whis- • NOT Sport­sCen­tre, on Twit­ter: “New Ea­gles coach Doug Ped­er­son: ‘Our tro­phy case is emp­tier than the liquor bot­tles at Johnny Manziel’s house, and I’m here to change that.’” RJ Cur­rie of Sport­sDeke.com, on Mike Tyson en­dors­ing Don­ald Trump: “Maybe Iron Mike is hop­ing to one day have the pres­i­dent’s ear.” Dwight Perry of the Seat­tle Times: “Sho Darvish, brother of Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish, has been ar­rested in Ja­pan for op­er­at­ing an il­le­gal gam­bling ring that took bets on MLB and Nip­pon Pro­fes­sional Base­ball games. Say it ain’t so, Sho!” Greg Cote of the Mi­ami Her­ald: “Alabama wins na­tional cham­pi­onship. Nick Sa­ban cracks brief, in­ad­ver­tent smile.” Bob Moli­naro of pi­lo­ton­line.com, Hamp­ton, Va., on Twit­ter: “Idle Care to com­ment? Email bru­ce­pen­ton2003@ya­hoo.ca 5b

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