What happens when the owner of a team speaks out about his former quarterback’s time in town?
Well, when it’s Jim Irsay being quoted about future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, people are going to sit up and take notice. They’re going to read between the lines and parse every word for a hidden meaning like they’re Tom Hanks breaking “The DaVinci Code.”
And, let’s face it. Peyton Manning’s commercials and “Saturday Night Live” skits have made him one of the most recognizable faces in pro sports. So, there’s a large fan base ready to back their favorite quarterback when the negativity spews, whatever the source. Whether Jim Irsay was talking about Manning’s playoff record in Indianapolis is unknown. But, for the sake of argument, Irsay’s fuzzy comments certainly opened that door and prompted a litany of responses. Reggie Wayne appeared annoyed and frustrated by the Manning questions, referring to the efforts of his teammates in the community and their on-field performances (Rhodes/Addai rushed for 190 yards in the Super Bowl win over Chicago).
Former head coach Tony Dungy weighed in a couple times and had been asked whether Irsay might have been playing mind games with Manning. Dungy acknowledged that it might have been a possible ploy, but never cut off the speculation with a definitive answer that such tactics would be in vain. I find that curious.
Regardless, in the spirit of the “Homecoming” celebration – ie, Manning’s 2013 return to Indianapolis against the Colts – I decided to create a playlist for our virtual homecoming dance. Maybe these songs will make the list as you head home to your respective homecoming/reunion weekends
Please send your suggestions for additional songs to my Twitter account @swollendome.