I like things with a “Mania” or “Sanity” or the like on the like as a suffix to surnames. I guess it started when I was a young boy and heard the opening strains of “Eye of the Tiger.” Don’t tell me that you weren’t transfixed by Hulkamania!
In all seriousness, I’m in need of a new fix. Events of the past month have eliminated those suffixes from our collective consciousness. “Lin-sanity” was defeated when the Knicks dropped six games straight and watched their coach depart. On Monday, the announcement that Peyton Manning authorized agent Tom Condon to start negotiations with the Denver Broncos crushed the worldwide phenomenon that was “Tebow-mania.”
I used “The Bachelor” as the analogy for this process weeks ago, so thanks to those who picked up that torch.
We knew that “The Johns” (Fox and Elway) were taking a long, hard look at the quarterback position, and Manning’s arrival on the open market certainly changed the rules of engagement. I never bought into Arizona or Miami as destinations, and you can look at my past posts or listen to the podcasts for the long-winded breakdowns. San Francisco was attractive, but there was too much Favre-ism to it, no?
Manning inherits a strong base and immediate division contender, if not a trip to New Orleans. If you watched the odds, you saw Denver dip from a 75-to-1 longshot to the fifth-favorite squad at 10-to-1. The defense played well for most of the season and returns all-world performers Elvis Dumervil and Von Miller. The offense boasts a strong line (perhaps to be bolstered by the arrival of former Indianapolis center Jeff Saturday) and two wide receivers (Demaryius Thomas is ready for stardom, and Eric Decker is a dangerous option across the middle). Additional reinforcements will be arriving soon in the form of Dallas Clark, Jacob Tamme or the high-flying Mike Wallace.
The reported five-year, $95-million deal demonstrated that Elway and the Broncos mean business. The 2011 run to the AFC Playoffs and victory over Pittsburgh seemingly entrenched Tebow in the starting position for 2012. However, nobody counted on Manning becoming available, so the ideas of hurt feelings and early comments from the post-season were thrown out the window (apply that line to Alex Smith in San Francisco as well). Situations change.
Tebow will eventually be dealt to a new team, possibly Miami or Jacksonville, or maybe off to New England. I suspect that he’ll be dealt for a higher price than the fifth-round evaluation tossed on him on Monday as, at a minimum, his economic impact is far superior to that. He’s shown that he can make big plays. Now, he needs to make them consistently. The eyes of the NFL will be on Manning as we get through mini-camps and into training camp, but that gaze will drift to wherever the “Mania” revs up for Round Two.
The NFL never sleeps.