While yesterdays sites were set on nothing more important than Morgan Cox and Shareece Wright being signed to the Baltimore Ravens, a historically great quarterback apparently retired.
All kidding aside, The Sheriff was nothing but an absolute treasure to the sport of football, and the loss will be noticeable in the coming seasons. Baltimore will surely feel the lost presence of Peyton Manning. For the Ravens it's a good thing, but that's something to discuss later.
Peyton Manning went through a list of all great defenders he prepared against, and Baltimore racked in two names.
"I'm going to miss a steak dinner at St. Elmo's in Indianapolis after a win. My battles with players named Lynch, Lewis, Bruschi, Fletcher, Dawkins, Seau, Urlacher, Polamalu, Harrison, Woodson, and Reed." Peyton goes on later to say, "I always felt like I was playing against that middle linebacker or that safety or that defensive coach."
Peyton, we all noticed it too. Countless times the line rushed to scrimmage, and Manning would be signaling out coverage. Ray Lewis would then counter and change defensive calls, sometimes grabbing a player and pointing out where the hell he needs to be before Manning found the weakness. Many times Manning did find that weakness, I mean for goodness sake he is the All-Time Passing Touchdowns leader. It also seemed the last one to finish calling the offensive or defensive audible won that particular down. Even so, Manning and Lewis battles were something to share and pass down to our friends, family, and children.
These men were our Greek gods. Our mythology. The people we build statues for. This general from the Blue and Orange Nation, riding upon a Bronco pointing and shouting against the Land of Purple & Black. Ravens swarming in being lead by a general of the highest rank. Battling upon a gridiron to truly reign supreme.
I may be romanticizing this too much, but in truth that's what we witnessed. That's what it felt like on Sunday. Fans painting their faces and hair, screaming and hollering in a coliseum to cheer on their particular team.
It felt great to know all these battles meant something. Every game strategizing against other Hall of Fame legends. Soon enough, they'll be in the same jersey of sorts; a gold jacket.