This morning we had our first official firestorm of the Peyton Manning free agent hunt and it was started off by this tweet from Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel:
I’ve been told Peyton Manning is a small town guy, & isn’t interested in circus style coverage. I also warned he misses NOTHING.
— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) March 9, 2012
This got everybody in a frenzy and I wanted to quickly give my two cents:
“Small Town Guy”
I think you’ve got to start here: Peyton owns a condo on Miami Beach. He can’t hate it too much if he has property and spends time in South Florida. I suppose the retort would be he likes to come down here for short periods of time, but still, it’s hard to imagine him owning a place here if he didn’t like it at least a little bit.
That said, even if the Beach lifestyle is a bit too loud and crazy for an NFL quarterback during the season, there are no shortage of quiet places in South Florida, one of which happens to be the exact town that the team’s training facility is located in: Davie.
If you’re unfamiliar with Davie, the population (as of the 2010 census) is 91,992 and to really give it that small-town feel, they even have their own RODEO.
There are plenty of big, nice, quiet places to live that would be less than 10/15 minutes away from the facility. Not bad.
“Circus Style Coverage”
Another one I’m having a tough time swallowing. Fact is, wherever Peyton ends up, it’s going to be a circus. The national media will descend upon the place and there will be no escaping the spotlight. That said, this isn’t New York. Omar is a good guy and a good reporter–not some sort of monster that players try and avoid (same goes for the rest of the beat reporters–good guys all around).
For all we know, Omar’s info could be dead-on and Peyton wants no part of a place like this. It could also be a smokescreen, as he pointed out later on. If it’s real, though, it’s too bad, because it means that Jeff Ireland and Steve Ross are left in a position where there’s really not that much they can do. If Peyton’s made up his mind that he doesn’t want to be South Florida, there’s nothing left to do but go on to the next…
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