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NFL

UPDATE: Jim Irsay Traded Peyton Because He Wasn’t Brady, Tony Dungy Thinks He’s Full Of Shit


“Clutch” is a an anomaly. There, I said it. It’s a figment of your imagination. It’s not real. You make it up. I swear, read this scholarly article written about it. And because you believe it to be real, you (and every other sports fan) has said nearly everything there is to say about a quarterback about Eli Manning and Tony Romo. They suck. They’re great. Everything in between. Why?

Because Eli had two amazing Super Bowl runs, and Tony Romo puts up ridiculous numbers and makes circus throws.

Sure, when they both suck, they look like shit. And when they’re good, etc. What I’m saying, is that the timing of their bad play is more or less random, and you just put the pieces together in your head to fit some binary hero/zero narrative where people rise (or don’t rise) to the occasion. You’ve watched too many movies, bro.

You’re not alone, though. Apparently, NFL GM’s think this way, too. Take Jim Irsay for example. He blames Peyton Manning for not winning more Super Bowls despite being in contention every year. That’s why he let him walk — ironically, to get a guy named Luck.

Not the inferior squad around him. Not the crappy running game. Not sheer chance. It was Peyton’s fault. He wasn’t Tom Brady. Irsay just Irsaid this.

[NESN] “[Tom] Brady never had consistent numbers, but he has three of these. Pittsburgh had two. The Giants had two. Baltimore had two, and we had one. That leaves you frustrated…You make the playoffs 11 times, and you’re out in the first round seven out of 11 times.”

Ouch. As if Tom Brady was entirely responsible for those Super Bowls and played all 11 positions on offense and defense. Ok, so maybe he seemed to perform better under pressure over the last decade, but it’s hardly enough to make the argument that Peyton isn’t the QB to help you win Super Bowls. Look at what he’s doing now in Denver. You can’t tell me you’ve seen anything like it (even after the Jags game).

He’s more than capable of winning Super Bowls. Than any other quarterback right now, really. Better equipped than Andrew Luck. Not to say that Luck wasn’t a must-draft — even Peyton admits Irsay’s hand was forced with the first pick in the draft two years ago. “You’ve got to take Andrew,” Manning told Irsay. “You have to. You’re crazy if you don’t.” It’s just that suggesting Peyton’s garish statistics were less important than the number of Super Bowls he’d won is a silly way to think of it.

It’s like saying Star Wars wasn’t a good movie because it never won best picture (Rocky won that year).

Irsay also had this to say.

“You have to understand there’s no way [the current Colts success] occurs if [Manning is] in Indy. It’s just impossible, where our salary cap was — having him stay at the type of number that he expected and deserved to earn and all those things.”

The money part I get. But the “not being Brady” thing — that supposes he’s not as good at playing the position of quarterback. That, or Irsay thinks that nerves get to Peyton. Do you think he’s a nervous guy? Do you think he presses? Or do you agree that Luck (the concept, not player) has more to do with his lack of rings than the “choke” gene?

Let us know.

[UPDATE]

Former Colts coach Tony Dungy spoke with the Denver Post regarding Irsay’s recent comments on Peyton Manning (via CBS Sports):

[Denver Post]“I can tell you it wasn’t a no-brainer…I was on the phone with Jim Irsay probably five or six times over a month as it was leading up to that. He knew all those factors that you just enumerated there. But Jim also had a great deal of loyalty. Jim was a young boy when his dad traded Johnny Unitas. So he knew the ramifications of this type of decision. And he also knew how much Peyton had done for the city of Indianapolis and for that franchise.

“So even for all the reasons you just stated why it should be done, I don’t think it was ever a no-brainer in his mind and I can almost guarantee you that if he knew he was going to be healthy like this and playing this kind of football, in hindsight I don’t think he would have done it.”

Photos via Getty


  • Ted Tidwell

    Irsay is retarded. Like you need to throw gasoline on this leading up to the game. Memo to Pagano you won’t win kicking 4 field goals this weekend. Don’t think this isn’t hanging in Peyton’s locker, and don’t think that his teammates aren’t listening.

  • RelocatedFan

    With his father, Bob, Jim Irsay would be selling apples on the corner. No question that Brady is a tremendous quarterback, but listen to the experts, Jim you can go back to counting your dad’s money, no one reads defenses like Peyton Manning. Luck may be the future of the Colts, but had Manning been calling plays last night, the Colts would not have to hang their collective heads today.

  • bc puckett

    Jim ,Spaulding Smails, Irsay: another winner of the lucky sperm lottery. Also another example of why the NFL should be drug testing owners as well as players.

  • brafacz

    Inferior talent around Manning? Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Edgerrin James, Dallas Clark, Tarik Glenn and Jeff Saturday anchoring a fantastic offensive line?? Gosh I’d kill for some of that inferior talent on my Bears. Irsay is dead on. Manning is a below .500 QB in the playoffs but nobody likes to talk about that

  • Anonymous

    Irsay is a moron since Manning is the only reason that team even had the success they did with making the playoffs. He’s also a moron if he doesn’t realize Luck will get a monster contract once his rookie deal is up and it’ll be no different than the money Manning was getting.

    Furthermore, Irsay himself was the guy going on and on about making Manning the highest paid player in the NFL as it seemed like he felt it was a status symbol to have the highest paid player on his team. Just go look at his comments before the 2011 season where he said he demanded Peyton make more than Brady and be the highest paid player.

    I think Irsay expected Manning to be washed up and since he isn’t he is acting like a moronic school girl holding some grudge against Peyton as though Manning was the one who released himself. Irsay’s comments trashing Peyton seemed to start earlier this year after that solid first year back for Peyton and that Peyton right now is playing out of this world football probably only makes Irsay more jealous.

    As for the whole comparing QBs by their rings idiocy and in this case Tom and Peyton…how many rings does Brady have since he lost his elite defense? ZERO. 3 rings in the first 4 seasons with the elite defense and ZERO in his last 7 seasons when he has had to take on a role Manning had all his time in Indy which was carrying an unbalanced team. We’ll (the morons in the media and moron fans who want to go on about it) ignore that though. I’m glad this writer gets it.

    Another thing people ignore when they trash Manning for the playoff stuff is that he’s lost many games where he left late with a lead only to watch defense/special teams screw up, the most recent loss to the Ravens being an example. Imagine if Brady left a game with under a minute left and the D gave up a 70 yard hail mary…nobody would say he “choked” yet idiots say Peyton did. I’d also like to add that Brady played that very same Ravens team a week later and had a worse game than Peyton and the team lost by double digits…where are the “he choked” comments? Just to add to this, Peyton has at least 3 playoff losses where he left with the lead with under 2 minutes left and NEVER got back on the field. Please explain how that is Manning’s fault…

    If all the playoff losses were on Peyton then he wouldn’t have a higher career passer rating in the playoffs than Brady and all one has to do is LOOK AT GAME LOGS to see Manning’s playoff record doesn’t fit with his performance.

  • truthbtold

    irsay is right, peyton is a choke artist. didn’t matter what peyton said, indy was gonna draft luck and peyton would have been on the bench or traded. luck was gonna start day one. yeah peyton is capable of winning a superbowl, but any qb in the nfl is capable. but the fact is peyton has only one in indy and none in Denver.

  • dude

    I would LOVE to know what you two think at this moment in time now that the colts beat denver and have one of the best records in the afc.


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