Former New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada, who was with the team through most of their glorious run during the 1990s and 2000s, officially retired today. I was struck by the epiphany that Posada claims to have experienced while watching some talking heads posit likely destinations for the man who could have been a free agent. Posada said that seeing his head photoshopped atop different uniforms just didn’t look right and prompted him to give up the ghost rather than don anything but Yankee pinstripes. Might Colts quarterback Peyton Manning experience the same sort of sentimentality if and when he is released and becomes available for hire?
On the one hand, it’s certainly appealing to Indy fans to think that Manning would walk off into the sunset rather than suit up in a non-Horseshoe helmet, especially if his health is still in question. On the other hand, I’d lay dollars to doughnuts that Manning will, indeed, keep going if he can find a green enough jersey. Although his demise has been largely predicted, the man still will be just 36 this spring, which is still near primetime for many elite passers. Even if that neck balks again in a month or two, Manning has five or ten years to ponder whether he has anything left.
Were Manning to walk away from the NFL today, I think there is a better than even chance that he’d slip into Brett Favre mode somewhere down the line when some of the aches and pains have subsided and some would-be contender need that final push.