(The following is a letter to a certain Peyton Williams Manning)
Dear Mr. Manning,
It has come to my attention that you want to return to the game of football next season to play at a “significant level”. Upon hearing this news, I jumped for joy. I am a mere 13 days removed from my beloved New England Patriots winning the world championship, and somehow, this news of yours made me even more excited than I was when your pal Tom Brady hoisted his fourth Lombardi Trophy.
As an avid New England fan, I am obliged to hate you. That’s just the way it goes. Sure, on some level I respect your game, and what you have accomplished in your 16 years in the league. I mean, it is quite impressive to play that long, and only have one game winning drive in the playoffs. Even further, I am in absolute disbelief that a man of your incredulous talent can survive for this long, break the absurd amount of regular season records that you have, and only win one Super Bowl.
I will tip my hat to that, sir.
Now, you may be wondering why I was so excited to see you imply you would like to return to the Denver Broncos in 2015. Well, it is simple my large-foreheaded friend: this league is just not the same without you. You bring a certain level of weird competitiveness that others lack. You show an uncanny ability to compete from September to November, only to fall flat on your face when the weather gets a bit chilly. You are also one of the best of all time at killing any receiver that works hard for you: Wes Welker, Anthony Gonzalez, Austin Collie, Emmanuel Sanders. The list just goes on and on. What would an NFL season be like without your wobbly duck throws leading your poor wideouts into a face-full of lifetime brain damage?
Not only that, it appears your good friend Tom Brady will be heading out to the city of marijuana this year for another regular season clash! It wouldn’t be any fun to see Tommy put a beatdown on Brock Osweiler. But if you return, Brady and Belichick can give you an amazing 12th butt-whuppin on what will likely be national television.
Come on, you can’t pass that up.
In conclusion, I’d like to say this: you have had an amazing career, one that will net you a nice bust in Canton someday. And as tempting as it may be for you to call it quits, and avoid more crushing defeats at the hands of the GOAT Tom Brady, you are obliged to give it one more go. One more blistering opening two months to the season. One more breakdown in January. One more season of righteous Manning faces. One more duck pick-six. One more epic choke to lose the biggest game of the year.
One more loss to Brady.