Thursday, March 08, 2012


It is indeed surprising that Peyton Manning will not end his superlative career with the Indianapolis Colts, but I'm not sure that his departure should serve as evidence that all employers are evil and are looking to do nothing but exploit their workers.

That doesn't mean I don't believe that notion - in fact, for reasons that I won't go into here, I have good reason to believe that gratitude and loyalty to employees are not notions that come to some employers easily. But I've always had a little difficulty believing that with professional sports teams, and particularly when it comes to superstar athletes.

In fact, what the Colts are doing, at least from a sports sense, makes absolute sense. It's the same approach that the San Francisco 49ers under the stewardship of Bill Walsh and Eddie DeBartolo took. The 49ers of that era were masters of knowing exactly when to let a player go, and the list of great 49ers of that era who ended their careers with other teams is a long one. Even the greatest quarterback of his (and perhaps any other) era, Joe Montana, ended his career somewhere else. I think the only time the Niners blew it was with Ronnie Lott, who obviously had a little bit left in the tank when he was sent packing.

So while it will be strange to see Peyton in another jersey next fall, I can't blame the Colts for what they did, especially when a commodity like Andrew Luck is on the table. And 25 years from now, what people will remember is Peyton as a Colt - not Peyton with any other team.

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