Maybe this really is Manning’s last dance

I don’t know how on earth nobody has talked about it here (at least, not that I have read) but ESPN has released an article that will be on their October magazine. It’s about how old and in pain Manning really is.

Here, I quote the most important thing for me:

IT TAKES PEYTON Manning 15 minutes to shed his suit of armor after a game.

He begins with his cleats, which he can barely untie without assistance. A Broncos equipment staffer helps peel them off his feet while he does a radio interview, because after nearly 25 years of football dating back to high school, it’s a relief to not have to bend over that far. Next come his shoulder pads, which, when yanked over his head, generate a groan that is a mixture of suffering and sweet relief. Manning’s pale arms and torso are covered in fresh scrapes and old bruises, some the color of strawberries, others a shade of eggplant.

His socks come off after several violent tugs, revealing toes that are twisted and bent into obtuse angles. When he removes a thick blue DonJoy knee brace from his stiff left leg, he twice pauses to grimace and gather himself before stripping it off and handing it to a staffer for safekeeping. As he slices away at the thick layers of athletic tape supporting his ankles, he looks like a surgeon operating on his own leg without anesthesia.

It was hard not to cringe on Manning’s behalf as he waited on the field after the Chiefs game to speak to a television reporter. As jubilant teammates jogged behind him, several of them thumped him on the shoulder pads in their excitement. He was grinning like a high school kid, but each time it happened, he winced in pain, looking every bit like a 39-year-old man with a sore neck who wished he could see the hits coming, if only so he could brace himself for such a hearty celebration.

If you want to read the whole thing, you can check here.

As a matter of fact, I’ve always said that Manning is less naturally gifted than Brady and Rodgers, for example, but that his brain and his work ethics have always struck me as the reason for admiring him and wishing him the best. I was looking for this to write a post for Mile High Brasil, but I thought you’d like to talk about it.

Let’s enjoy Manning for as long as we can. Let’s celebrate every single good pass and hope the running game can gets going and that this defense is able to do for Manning what the Ravens Defense did for Trent Dilfer.

This may be Peyton ‘s last dance.