I can't say this wasn't unexpected in the least. Between health reports last season, his looming HUGE bonus, and the Colt's terrible play the writing was on the wall. That doesn't change the God-honest tears that well up in me watching Manning say goodbye to the Colts and their fans.
I have many bittersweet memories of Peyton Manning. That guy plays QB unlike any other. In his hey-day we we part of quite a nice roshambo with the Colts and New England. We OWNED the Pats. The Colts OWNED us. THE Pat OWNED the Colts. Looking back I honestly don't mind too much. Manning is an artist with the football. He's like a refined and perfectly cooked Joe Montana honestly.
I guess the main thing I wanted to say is that this whole thing is a damned shame. 14 years and you throw the face of your franchise in the garbage. Yes, I understand the business reasoning and part of me agrees with it. But Irsay and the Colts will be paying dearly for this. If there is one thing I've noticed in all my life watching NFL football is that there is Karma involved. I for one hope they draft Luck and he just falls on his face (it won't happen...he's a great prospect, but hey...I like to have a villain to cheer against).
The other thing...I'm very thankful for Pat Bowlen and his steadfastness regarding Elway in the middle of Elway's career. For those of you who were too young to know it: Dan Reeves at one point was trying to get rid of Elway. He drafted a big QB prospect (Tommy Maddux) and was seriously giving Elway the cold shoulder. It was a mess. Thanks for sticking with him Pat. It was of course the right choice.
In closing...I have nothing but respect for both of these guys. They are / were masters at their craft and I love(d) watching them play.