Blog Entry

Irsay, Manning press conference was all class

Posted on: March 7, 2012 12:42 pm
Edited on: March 7, 2012 1:42 pm
Manning and Irsay closed out an era in Indy the right way. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

"I sure have loved playing football for the Indianapolis Colts," Peyton Manning said to open up his final press conference with the Indianapolis Colts.

It was classic Peyton, said in his typical Southern, aw-shucks and sincere-sounding accent.

If you want to pick one word to describe the joint press conference between Jim Irsay and Manning, announcing Peyton's departure from Indianapolis, "emotional" would work. But so would "class" -- Manning and Irsay did things the right way and closed a wonderful career in an amicable fashion. (LeBron James, please take notes.)

Today's snark-filled reactionary world makes it tough to pull off a genuine public event that doesn't come off as forced. And considering the NFL world's been narrowly focused on Manning for several months now, a press conference with both divorcees present had all the makings for a trainwreck.

Instead, Irsay and Manning both deserve an A-plus for the way they handled the adversity. Irsay spoke off the cuff, and Manning had some prepared words. But they both were quick and to the point, while remaining sincere. It was a welcome change in a world where Jim Gray and Vitamin Water have made press conference cringe-worthy.

Peyton doesn't want to play anywhere else. We all know that. But he wants to play. He's even "confident" he'll play next year. And he could have talked about where, but he didn't.

"I haven't thought a lot about where I'll play," Manning said. "But I have thought a lot about where I've been."

Irsay doesn't want Peyton playing anywhere else either. He knows Peyton will though and was honest enough to wish him luck. He already made the (easy) decision to retire Manning's number too.

"The 18 jersey will never be worn again by a Colt on the field," Irsay said.

Manning, fittingly, got the last word before a few brief questions from the press.

"Thank you very much, from the bottom of my heart," Peyton Manning, fighting back tears, addressed Colts fans to close out his presser.

"I truly enjoyed being your quarterback."

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Since: May 16, 2007
Posted on: March 9, 2012 9:29 pm

Irsay, Manning press conference was all class

Adversity? Two mega rich guys - one is a NFL owner, the other is about to get richer playing a game - adversity? Tell that to people who have lost their jobs and struggle to make ends meet in this country.

Adversity? Horse sheet....

Since: Sep 15, 2011
Posted on: March 8, 2012 6:47 pm

Irsay, Manning press conference was all class

In the United States military, there is the Commander in Chief, President,(owner of 49'rs), the Head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, (the GM) and the Army Chief of Staff, (Harbaugh).  YOU STILL NEED a General Patton.......(Manning)  You are so right RVS, just hope the military hierarchy sees what you do.

Since: Sep 20, 2009
Posted on: March 8, 2012 11:07 am

Irsay, Manning press conference was all class

All competitive sports are emotional pro football is no exception. When you add the fact that he grew up in indianapolis after leaving collage and is leaving a lot of long term relationships behind, then the chokeing up (He didn't cry) is understandable.

Since: Jan 6, 2012
Posted on: March 8, 2012 10:50 am

Irsay, Manning press conference was all class

Yes the final act was 100% class and should serve as the prototype for all similar partings between franchise players and their teams. I'd have loved to see the Chiefs do that with Tony G, the Cowboys with Tom Landry and Bret Favre with, oh well never mind him. The only thing that bothers me is still all of talking that Irsay did in the 2 weeks prior to the Super Bowl and the 2 weeks after the game. Was that all a contrived game plan to soften the blow for yesterday? It seems like it in hindsight. Maybe it served a purpose, but it was totally annoying and classless and could've been handled in a different way. Irsay bombed that part of the process, but made up for it all yesterday. It was wonderful to see the shared love and respect of player, organization and city. Well done Indy and #18. I lived in Indy the 10 years prior to #18's arrival and can attest that it was a football wasteland, except for the brief awesome moments that Jim Harbough provided. Best of luck Peyton, and take a look a making KC Peyton's Place lol.

Since: Mar 8, 2012
Posted on: March 8, 2012 8:58 am

Irsay, Manning press conference was all class

I agree with you totally! I love Manning, and he loved his team it is a sad day for the Colts fan, But I like the way it was handle, first class not like the way they let Brett Farve go. Both brought so much to their fans, to the game of football, the team, and the city that they loved. You are right both coaches/GM wish they would retire. Like Brett you can bet Manning wants one more Super Bowl and he would have loved to have had it with the Colts. I believe one more year in Green Bay and they would have went to the SB and Brett would have retired. Like Peyton he is a Packer through and through he loved the team and they loved him! I just hope Peyton will have no regrets, I feel they both would be great role players as coaches because they both understand how to play the game. I feel the reason Aaron Rodgers is so good today, he watch one of the great ones play the game and studied under him for two years, he still had to learn how to play with the complete team. He is one of the great ones today and he can thank those year with Brett, that why they both should consider being a coach WOW such great mentors of the game of football! I was honored to have been able to watched them play for so many wonderful years. They both are in the same class and will be remembered like Montana, Elway, Starr, and their names should be placed above in the stadium and the team that they love with honors. I want to take this opportunity to thank both Brett Farve and Peyton Manning for the absolute fun, and excitement that they brought to us the fans.....what a ride and I got to watch every minute of it!

Since: Dec 17, 2011
Posted on: March 7, 2012 11:23 pm

Irsay, Manning press conference was all class

It was all fine and dandy when Barry Sanders left on his own terms, but this is not the case here. Yes, Irsay would have loved to have Manning retire and take pressure off of him, but Manning still has another 4 to 5 good years left in him. It's not Irsay's call and I would not be surprised if Manning made some noise before he retired. Just cause he does not fit into Colts rebuilding mode, does not mean he has nothing left. Irsay will live to regret his decision when Peyton wins one with another team. You all will see. There is magic in Manning blood just ask Elite.

Since: Jan 13, 2007
Posted on: March 7, 2012 9:43 pm

Irsay, Manning press conference was all class


Since: Jan 13, 2007
Posted on: March 7, 2012 9:37 pm

Irsay, Manning press conference was all class

I agree it was classy,it is what we have come to exspect from Manning,he is class and has done some wonderful things for the city of Indianapolis with his childrens hospital at the top of my list just to mention one of the many things he has done for the community.I'm sure it was hard for him to leave but at the end of the day it is just a game and he is just a QB,I don't get the crying part,cry when your children borads a plane for deployment,when a loved one is sick,when you lose a loved one or a friend or even a pet.But no need to shed tears or feel sorry for Manning because Indy was good to him too,he walks away a legend with millions,more money than a common man could imagine......feel bad,miss him....yeah.....but don't cry because as I stated he is just QB playing a game and another QB named Luck hopefully willfill his shoes......theres no crying in football.There are plenty of people and children we should cry for?

Since: Jan 16, 2012
Posted on: March 7, 2012 9:34 pm

Irsay, Manning press conference was all class

i, too, watched the press conference and was impressed with how both of them conducted themselves......

Since: Mar 30, 2010
Posted on: March 7, 2012 8:31 pm

Thanks guys. Nice to see the respect.

I agree, it was refreshing to see a classy, honest, and unscripted press conference. Now. In order of probability: Seattle (they got the money, the O-line, a BEAST at RB, and the right opponents), Arizona (money, sorta an O-line, Kolb was over-rated, Fitzgerald, and the right opponents), Jets (the bottom line is ad $$, and if the Mannings corner the New York market? Fuggeddabowtit.) Miami - no. Don't be ridiculous. The Niners? The best D in the league, a great O-line, all pro-RB, 2 great receivers, all-pro TE... but a GM reluctant to put a coach on the field with such a great one on the sideline. We'll see.

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