Even though he already gave his tearful goodbye - enraging conservative radio shrews everywhere - many fans (and blogs) still don’t fully believe that Brett Favre has finally fled the Frozen Tundra once and for all.
(“You Da Man!” “No, YOU Da Man!”)
And now you can add one more doubting Thomas to the crowd - or make that, a doubting Peyton.
Mike Chappell of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR (on a tip from Bob Wolfley of the MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL) explains that the Colts QB often sends letters to retiring NFL stars he admires, congratulating them when they finally hang up the cleats. As he puts it:
“I’m always very sensitive to players retiring,” Manning said. “In the NFL, not many guys get to retire as much as they’re sort of retired.”
Kyle Turley hears that (and is sure to add some colorful words about it.)
Recipients of such well wishes have included Curtis Martin, Will Shields, Frank Wycheck and most recently, Steve McNair.
But Manning didn’t deliver such a nice note to Favre. Does he not think highly of the now former Green Bay QB? Don’t be silly - it’s just Peyton doesn’t believe Brett is really ready to actually call it quits:
“Like everybody else, I guess we’ll see what happens this fall,” Manning said with a smile. “In a lot of ways I kind of hope (he returns). Brett’s a guy that’s been such an influence on me and all young quarterbacks. [Your 11 years in the league doesn’t quite make you such a spring chicken, Peyton.]
” . . . I guess part of it is kind of hope, maybe, that he finds his way back in the NFL this year.”
Any particular date Manning would prefer? Like, say, October 19 - when the Colts gallop up to Lambeau Field?
Peyton’s hopeful reply - “You never know.”
But we’re not so sure that Brett would want to come back for that contest. Remember the last time he faced a Manning - it was his last time, period.
For the time being, anyway.