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: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: March 7, 2012 8:22 pm

Irsay, Manning press conference was all class

I'm not quite sure what a careet is but I do know what a career is.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: March 7, 2012 8:21 pm

Irsay, Manning press conference was all class

This is why Barry Sanders walked when he did. When an athlete spends the majority of their careet at the top of the food chain they don't want to be tossed out with the trash even if they get a really pretty going away present.

Since: Dec 17, 2011
Posted on: March 7, 2012 8:17 pm

Irsay, Manning press conference was all class

I know both sides tried to finish it with class, but it did get akward at the end especially when Manning tried to hug Irsay and Irsay leaned away only to realize he was screwing up and patted Manning on the back half heartedly. Akward to say the least especially given that Irsay was the one doing the cutting.

Since: Feb 25, 2012
Posted on: March 7, 2012 6:13 pm

Irsay, Manning press conference was all class

This marriage broke up because of irreconcilable differences.  Don't blame either guy. If I was Irsay I wouldnt pay the $28 mill. for a QB that may never play again. If I was Manning I would have opted out of the $28 mil. and settled for that in incentives but can't blame him for not doing it. Now it should be interesting to see who will take a gamble and sign him.  As a Colts fan I hope he does well wherever he goes. A class guy and a class owner and they both set a good example of how a franchise should end a relationship with a star player.....

Since: Sep 5, 2008
Posted on: March 7, 2012 3:39 pm

Irsay, Manning press conference was all class

Because of contracts being what they are, there was really no way this was going to turn out where Peyton and the Colts would remain married for life.  Giving both parties credit, it has been handled with class, no mud slinging, much to the dismay of every reporter in the country.  Nice touch to retire his number 18, when he goes into the Hall of Fame I'd be shocked if he doesn't go as a Colt, and more shocked if at retirement time he doesn't get traded back for one day so he can retire as a Colt.  Nice job gentlemen, and I'll be following Peyton to where ever he goes, class act all the way.

Since: Feb 10, 2012
Posted on: March 7, 2012 3:07 pm

Irsay, Manning press conference was all class

Classy all the way around. Thanks for setting a GREAT example gentlemen.

Since: Feb 29, 2012
Posted on: March 7, 2012 2:21 pm

Irsay, Manning press conference was all class

The colts did what the colts should have done-what was best for the future.
Manning did what he should have done-accepted the reality that teams are
more important than individual players.  Nice press conference.  

Since: Dec 17, 2008
Posted on: March 7, 2012 2:19 pm

Irsay, Manning press conference was all class

When is Peyton going to schedule his one hour special on ESPN to reveal his decision on the next team?  Is he going to take his talents to south beach?

Since: Aug 23, 2007
Posted on: March 7, 2012 2:02 pm

Irsay, Manning press conference was all class

This was sad. I understand Irsay's decision from a buisness stand point in the fact that if you have the opportunity to set your ballclub up for the next decade, you have to do it. I just wish there were a way Manning could have went out more gracefully then this.

Manning is a class act. He handled it so professional. You can't help but wish good things for him on the next team he's on. I'd like for Irsay to show some class and openly root for Manning wherever he ends up landing. Manning is the one who really bilt the Lucus Oil Stadium and Manning is the one who singlehandedly resurrected that franchise.

Just wish he could have been treated better by the organazation at the end. But he'll be back to see his jersey hung in the rafters and the love that the people have for him will live waaaaaaaaaay longer then anything that they'll ever feel for Mr. Irsay. That is Peyton's team in everyone's heart Mr. Irsay.

Since: Aug 2, 2007
Posted on: March 7, 2012 1:38 pm

Irsay, Manning press conference was all class

Welcome to NYC my friend we have a Green #18 waiting for you in E. Rutherford!!!!!

PS Please bring Reggie Wayne for the ride!!!  If he is healthy and the Jets dont pursue him they would be CRAZY!!!!!

The Sanchez era was overlast year, I would love to Say Bye Bye Mark!!! He is just not going to get any better lets face it.
I said it B4 and I wil say it a again the Jets will never win with Sanchez under center.

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