The Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning are parting ways. While the story broke yesterday afternoon, there's a press conference scheduled for later today (3/7/2012) to confirm what we already know. Expect there to be tears and reminiscing when Colts owner Jim Irsay and Manning take the podium.
As one might expect, the reaction to the news concerning Manning's release is big-time news, especially on Twitter. Another place where the reaction to Manning's departure is loud and clear is the sports blogosphere. There are a number of quality blogs devoted to the NFL, and most, if not all of them, have some kind of reaction to the news of the Colts and Manning parting ways. Over at SI.com, their NFL section has been converted to a "The End is Near" page, focusing almost solely on Manning's release. Yes, there's some chatter concerning the New Orleans Saints and Bountygate, but Manning is ruling the day.
Much like a group of fans waiting at the airport the for the arrival of a winning team and/or a new coach--just ask John Calipari about that--SI has video of Manning and Irsay arriving in Indianapolis. The big difference, of course, is Manning will be leaving the Colts, not joining them:
Some are also having fun with Manning's departure. This is quite evident at Kissing Suzy Kolber, perhaps the quintessential NFL blog, especially if you want some humor with your football coverage. Considering KSK's devotion to the Manning face, this is perhaps the best place to get a less serious look at the Manning scenario. In fact, the following image, which was used in their Manning post sums up the blog's position quite well:
At other, more serious ventures, stories about Manning's future are starting to appear, asking one simple question: Where will Peyton Manning play next. Well, if Jerry Rice has his way, Peyton Manning would wind up in city by the bay:
"I think you go for it," Rice said. "A guy of that talent, you've got everything in place. You've got a defense that smacks you in the mouth. You just need a little more out of the offense. That's not knocking what Alex [Smith] did. [Manning] can take you to a whole different level.
"If he goes to the Washington Redskins, I guarantee they win 10 games. If he goes to Miami, they win 10 games," Rice said. [Current 49ers quarterback Alex] Smith is also a free agent, which means that the 49ers could go in many different directions at the position.
Considering Smith led his team to NFC Conference Finals, a step away from the Super Bowl, perhaps the only thing Rice is offering is wishful thinking. While Manning's teammates (soon to be ex-teammates) have no doubt Manning will continue his NFL career for another team, for now, people can only speculate about where perhaps the most coveted NFL free agent winds up.