The way I figure it, someone really wants Peyton Manning to retire, and do so before he plays another NFL season later on in 2016.
Allegations came up over the weekend (made by Shaun King of the New York Daily News, not to be confused with the Buccaneers QB of a decade and a half ago) that as a Tennessee Vol, Manning engaged in some regrettable conduct with a trainer at the university, Jamie Naughright. The story varies from the various sources I’ve read, but most accounts of the incident involves the 19 year-old Manning’s bare buttocks being in rather close proximity to Naughright’s face, with Manning backers stating the incident was prank not meant for the trainer.
(There is also the variation of the story that replaces Manning’s butt with his genitalia, but the “bare buttocks” story is the most frequently used version, so I’m going with that.)
Am I surprised? Heck, no. My guess is if you took an uncensored look at the starting quarterbacks of all 32 NFL teams, at least a third of them would have incidents in their past that are similarly regrettable as the allegations against Mr. Manning.
There are also the allegations that Manning took human growth hormones (HGH) while he had a broken neck in 2011 which kept him out of play the entire year. Considering how Peyton, at 37, had a season in 2013-14 (a 115.1 QB rating at age 37) that was the football equivalent of what Barry Bonds did in 2002 (hitting .370 while hitting 46 HR’s, also at 37), I’d think that’s a more credible claim that could led to his demise.
But if you all are trying to shock me that Manning doesn’t have the squeaky clean image most fans think he has, I’m not one of those people who gets shocked so easy anymore. We as fans think we know these people and their lives when in reality we don’t. Got to always remember that we are merely mortals.