it wasn’t love at first site.
i have to admit, when they announced they’d be drafting this punk kid from the redneck south, with that accent and that way his lips moved when he talked, i was quite disappointed. i was only 14, after all. what did i know about football?
over time, he changed my mind. it was the confidence. the swagger. they way he could command a team on the field and exact such loyalty from his teammates. and let’s not forget his “laser rocket arm.”
while it may seem quite silly in face of so many tragedies both home and abroad, i find myself heartbroken at today’s news.
Peyton is leaving.
and so i thought i might dedicate a blog to reflecting on and appreciating this man, quarterback, and forever Colt.
as a 14-year-old female, i was not yet into football. not as i would be later (anyone who watched those fateful playoff games against the Patriots can attest to the extremes of my loyalty). you might say i was raised, in my football life anyway, in a Peyton-only atmosphere. when he was pissed, so was i. when he celebrated, i did so doubly. when he threw a good pass or made the game winning call or just plain breathed, my heart grew just a little bit more.
in college, my friend Abby and i decided to paint a giant blue sheet for the play-offs. we used wall paint to outline a horseshoe surrounded by the words “we believe.” we nailed it to the front of the porch and let it fly with pride. at the time, i had only a cheap knock-off version of a jersey, but it was only Peyton’s number that i would wear.
finally, i was gifted with an official jersey that i wore every Sunday.
while at family get-togethers…
while playing foosball.
with other Colts fans…
in Peyton’s locker….
and then came that fateful day. my sis and i made the trek to Anderson to watch training camp, and i got to meet the man himself.
i’ll never forget the moment. the players had just gotten off the field and Peyton made his way to our fence. all along the row, people were pushing and shoving, and little kids were getting knocked out of the way. Peyton repeatedly stopped and told the crowd, in that deep, authoritative voice of his, that if they didn’t stop he would not do any more autographs.
then he came to me, and i froze. he was right there and it was like slow motion. i couldn’t think straight. i vaguely hear a young kid beside me was waving his jersey and my sister yelling for me to get his autography. but the moment was way more important to me, so i just soaked it in. he continued to move down the line and away from me.
so, here’s to you, Peyton Manning, in the way that i will remember you best: in a Cobalt blue #18 jersey, buckling up your chin strap, all business as you take the field.
and if you never stop when you wave good-bye
you just might find
if you give it time
you will wave hello again.
you just might wave hello again.
and that’s the way this wheel keeps workin’….
that is the way this wheel works. i understand business decisions and the necessity of good-byes. i just hope that someday in the very soon future, we get to wave hello again to Peyton Manning.