Yesterday, the surprising Indianapolis Colts upset the favored Denver Broncos 24 – 13 to advance to next weekend’s AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots.
However, to many unbiased sports fans, the clear cut winner in last night’s game was neither emerging young QB Andrew Luck nor the surging NFL Wild Card qualifying Colts.
It was Father Time.
To keep his perfect record intact, the old codger reared his hoary head again and scored another major victory.
On this occasion, Father Time’s vanquished was soon-to-be-39 year-old Peyton Manning.
Denver’s defeat is destined to doom the certain Hall of Fame QB’s immediate future in the Mile High City.
With another lackluster performance during the NFL post-season, Manning looked tired and old. He knew it. His teammates saw it.
And, the Broncos’ franchise will now need to deal with it.
Sluggish and uncertain, the five-time NFL MVP was a shell of the player football fans had always expected him to be whenever he set foot on the gridiron.
Yesterday, #18 lacked the normal zip to his throws. His expert marksmanship was way off and his normal comprehensive command seemed to be on injured reserve.
Less than a year after Manning posted the gaudiest numbers in NFL history, Father Time stepped in and caught up with the QB legend about as quickly as Darrelle Revis closes on an open receiver.
Viewers witnessed an older, struggling Peyton. He not only lacked the fire, but he also lost the ability to rally his team back from his 13th overall and ninth first game playoff exit – a dubious NFL record.
It was evident, almost painful, to watch the once elite player football fans call The Sheriff as the cameras panned the Denver Broncos’ sidelines. Manning looked lost, beaten and old, bereft of his metaphorical spurs and badge.
Manning will shortly face the biggest challenge of his career as he goes toe-to-toe with an opponent who’s posted an unrivaled, unbeaten record against an athlete in any sport.
“My mindset right now is just disappointment after (Sunday’s) game,” Manning said following the loss. “I’m disappointed, I kind of need to process this game, we’ll meet (Monday). I’m disappointed I need to process this game.”
Here’s hoping Peyton will process things quickly and do what football fans expect him to do.
Sadly, our sports heroes eventually display their humanity as Peyton portrayed last night. Living on athletic borrowed time, these proven athletes can no longer outrace their fleeting mortality.
Tomfoolery beckons many to continue. It constantly woos them into believing they will be the first to defeat Father Time.
They may be confused to believe the endless adulation from fans as well as the poppycock of their own purported immortality in sports.
But, they’re even more foolish to think they can prevail against undefeated and universally unchallenged Father Time.
Please retire, Peyton. It’s time.
MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!