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Peyton’s Next Stop: Where Will He Go, and Will It Be Awkward?

Well…it’s done. One of the most intriguing will-they-won’t-they dramas professional sports has ever seen has finally come to an end: the Indianapolis Colts have officially released Peyton Manning.

But though this split has been a foregone conclusion for some time, processing the reality, at least for me, is proving to be an entirely different beast. As a football romantic, I’ll have a difficult time closing the book on Manning’s career in Indy, one of the finest chapters in NFL history. It was the kind of story every football player (and professional athlete for the matter) wants to be a part of and every fan loves to follow: Manning, a blue-collar guy from Louisiana, not only wins but single-handedly transforms a franchise and shapes a culture. His presence made the Colts a force to be reckoned with year in, year out for 13 seasons, and under his leadership, the team became a model of professionalism, discipline, and consistent execution. Continue reading

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