Moments in Time

Colts Authority reader matt_has wrote a piece that offers a different perspective regarding Peyton Manning’s future with the Colts. This is another excellent piece we thought readers would enjoy on the front page.

Preface: I can see both sides of the Manning/Luck debate, but I expect Manning to be cut. With that expectation in mind, this is primarily a therapeutic release for myself. 

Some moments in your life stick with you forever, locked into an pseudo-picture frame for years. Collecting mental dust in the archives of your mind to be retrieved and shared every so often. Detail by detail. You can describe the minutiae of the moment to your audience as if they were there with you, breathing it all in.

When Baghdad was being lit up like a Christmas tree (the first time), I was at a party with my best friend. We were the only two down in the basement watching the footage. Wood paneled walls, and the TV was on a milk crate.

Michael Jordan retired in January of ’99, and when I saw it on ESPN I was visiting a musty fraternity house in West Lafayette. And I was devastated. The Bulls were not the Pacers, but Jordan was still ‘my guy’ … as much as he was to any young man who grew up in the Jordan era and knew how special #23 was. I still remember the pattern of that couch that I turned around and slumped down on.

I was riding in a work truck with “Dirty Steve” in Indy when it came across AM radio that Jerry Garcia had died. I remember trying to process the news when Steve hit me right in the gut with “Who’s Jerry Garcia?” The fence that we built at our next job stop? A 42″ picket. I can even see the yard right now if I close my eyes.

I believe that the details are important. I believe that we assign them as a way to forever bind these moments to our lives, to our personal histories, for fear that we’ll never be there again. That we’ll never see anyone like Jordan run the court. Or Garcia on guitar.

Or Manning in a horseshoe.

For several weeks now, I’ve been wondering how I will adjust to that. Bottom line – I don’t know. What I do know is that there is no amount of gentle steering or even blunt force facial trauma will be able to emotionally prepare me for seeing the headline…the tweet…the news scroll across the ticker. Overly dramatic? Who knows? After all, I’m a grown man –  wife, kids, a mortgage and many more important things to worry about. But I’m confident that I’m not alone when I say Peyton’s inevitable departure from Indy will, years from now, be filed right up front in my mental archives. What details will I lock in with the news? Where will I be? What sights, sounds and smells will I remember?

The significant moments in our lives become the stories we tell our children, the stories that have built our personal history. I’ve tried to explain to my kids the talent of Michael Jordan, but maybe they need to be older. Jerry Garcia? OK – much older. But they’ve watched Peyton on sundays, and a Manning jersey hangs in my son’s closet as well as mine. On some level, they know of the impact of #18. They just may never fully understand it until they get older

And when they get there, they’ll have “moments” of their own. Here’s to hoping that my childrens’ “moments” are built on stories of men and women even half as impactful as Peyton Manning.