Manning Watch: This Is Getting Ridiculous

Breathless updates on Twitter.

Helicopters trailing an SUV down the highway.

Zapruder-like cell phone footage of a guy — could be Peyton — throwing the football.

Yep, the pursuit of Peyton Manning is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. He’s the biggest free agent name since free agency began in the early 90s, so it’s not altogether undeserved. But it has been a remarkable chase, filled with cloak-and-dagger reports that don’t tell the whole truth, the typical Chris Mortensen game of holding back information to block criticism for his sources (went nearly a week without reporting Manning had worked out for San Francisco; that’s not journalism or reporting. That’s being a PR shill. He’d be wise to learn the difference at some point), and lots of false information.

This morning, the Titans Examiner, who writes for (a “publication” I once worked for) reported that Denver was suddenly out of the race. Of course, he’s the only one reporting this, so it must be true; unpaid writers always have the best scoops.

This entire thing is getting out of hand.

There is prevailing wisdom from local media luminaries like Mike Klis of The Denver Post and Vic Lombardi of CBS4 News that a deal for Manning in Denver was all but done last week, and that something changed. That something? Nobody really knows. Might have been the Titans getting involved, or the Niners, or it might have been the Tebow Show that nobody seems to want to be a part of (Brady Quinn took $500k less in salary to go to Kansas City because of the nonsense that Teblowers bring). Whatever it was, something changed, but the fact that Denver is still involved speaks to the strength of their pitch, the benefit that comes with having a Hall of Fame QB running the show.

So Peyton Watch continues in Denver. “ESPN is setting up shop outside Dove Valley! Might they know something?” Yes, I suppose they might know “something.” Like, “Monday morning, set up shop at Dove Valley just in case something happens.” Solid take. Last night there was supposedly a press conference set up at Bronco headquarters. 10 minutes later, that rumor was debunked.

Nobody knows anything, but they’re claiming to know everything. It’s like my last relationship.

At this point, am I willing to throw in the towel and give up the dream of getting both a hall-of-fame quarterback to run my team AND simultaneously getting rid of the circus that surrounds Tim Tebow? Of course not; that dream lives on in many a man’s heart.

Am I getting sick of waiting? Yeah, but big deal. It’s not actually that much work to check Twitter a few times a day, check out IAOFM on the regular, and call Olivia Manning to check on the status (she and I had a torrid love affair in the mid-70s) of negotiations.

Are the Broncos missing out on free agents? Yeah, but without Manning do they want to come here in the first place? And if we DO get Manning, how many dominoes will fall that will bring us some really quality players? A lot, I’m guessing.

Anyway, today could be THE day. The day that the chase ends, that Manning selects his team, and the team will be a prohibitive favorite to appear in the Super Bowl in 2013.

Of course, it could just be Monday.

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