Let’s talk, Peyton.

Your spine is made out of recycled aluminum cans. The only thing you do fast is fall down. Your fingertips don’t work right. Laser rocket arm? Not anymore.

Even The Atlantic Monthly recently wrote about your “inevitable decline.” The Atlantic Monthly.

Look, I respect you. I wrote a glowing piece about your many contributions to Indianapolis back in 2012. You mean a lot to this city. That’s why I’m asking—no, begging—you to retire next year and become the next general manager of the Indianapolis Colts.

At heart, you’ve always been a strategist. Your greatest asset has never been your arm, but your brain. You’re also a fierce competitor. That’s why you’re still playing, risking paralysis to chase that elusive second championship.

You don’t just love the challenge of competition: You need it. But you also need to realize that the most challenging competition of all doesn’t happen on the field. It happens in the GM chair.

That chair in Indy is yours if you want it. Do you really think Jim Irsay will turn you down? He let Bill Polian boss him around for more than a decade. He’ll give you the keys to the team in a heartbeat.

Speaking of Polian: He may have been a tyrant who earned his ticket out of town, but at least his decision making was in the service of a coherent plan. Ryan Grigson, on the other hand, has the tactical aptitude of a slightly drunk eighth-grader. Show him a shiny object, and he’ll sign it to a four-year contract. He spent the past three years chasing down big-name free agents and drafting flashy offensive players while leaving the team’s most pressing needs—defense and the offensive line—twisting in the wind.

We need a GM who sees the whole field. And somebody Colts owner Jim Irsay can trust to steer the ship. Because right now, we’re perilously close to Irsay stepping in to make personnel decisions. If that happens, Stephen Stills will be returning kicks soon.

This city loves you, Peyton. You’ve been gone for three years, and still thousands of Colts fans wear your jersey every Sunday. Broncos games are aired on TV here because Hoosiers would rather watch you than the Bengals or the Bears.

Indianapolis also has everything you need to make your post-retirement life as right as rain. Health care? We have a hospital with your name on it. Travel? We’re home to the best airport in North America. Chicken parm? This is cheese-smothered, deep-fried meat country, baby.

Before long, you could be back to the good old days, dining at St. Elmo’s, drinking at Chumley’s, and golfing at Crooked Stick. And did I mention we have a fledgling quarterback who could use your tutelage? The past few weeks have been tough for Andrew Luck. Who better to set him straight than you, Indy’s original football Jesus?

Isn’t it time you rose again to claim what should have been yours all along: full control of the Indianapolis Colts? In a couple of years when Tom Brady is finally retired and taking orders from Gisele between spa appointments, you’ll be doing what you were built to do: using your beautiful football mind to win multiple championships.

What else are you going to do? Become an ESPN analyst? Nah, you’re too smart for that. Return to where you belong, Peyton: back home again in Indiana.


“Peyton Manning (18) pursued by B.J. Raji (90)” by Mike Morbeck – Flickr: Peyton Manning (18) pursued by B.J. Raji (90). Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Peyton_Manning_(18)_pursued_by_B.J._Raji_(90).jpg#/media/File:Peyton_Manning_(18)_pursued_by_B.J._Raji_(90).jpg