Sociology, Spock, and Manning



I love the fact that everyone in the world is practical and logical.  It’s almost like we’ve all become versions of Spock or Data.  (Whichever Star Trek reference you prefer.)  It has made life so much easier.  It was heartbreaking when every Starbucks closed down because we all realized that spending that much on coffee wasn’t a smart thing.  Everyone cheered when American Express closed, but it really just goes to show that buying on credit is rarely wise.  And who would have thought that crime and drug addiction would end completely.

Wait, those things haven’t happened?

The simple fact is that humans are not inherently logical or practical.  It’s what makes the characters of Spock and Data interesting.  They only saw the logical conclusions, not the subtlety of what we want, desire, or what makes us happy.  They were always the objective third party.  They never took sides.  They always made the smart dispassionate decision.  They weren’t human.

Humans do not inherently seek only the logical and practical.  We seek what we want and what is comfortable for us.  The reasons Starbucks and American Express exist are because of those desires.  We want someone else to serve us coffee.  Who cares about the price?  We want a 60” LCD now, not in six months when we have the money.

Now you’re thinking, what do three paragraphs about sociology have to do with the Colts?  Everything.  The two most important people in the Colts franchise are getting ready to decide its’ future.  Laura Calaway pointed out some of the interesting comments that have been made recently by Irsay and Manning.  Her conclusion was that Peyton would still likely be gone. However, another option was perhaps in play.

Nearly every NFL expert, radio personality, pundit, columnist, and blogger have all come out and said that Manning is gone.  They all point to the fact that Manning’s 28 million dollar bonus, his cap number, the holes on the team, and Manning’s risky future, all point to a logical conclusion that Manning will be released.  Once released, they believe that Manning will move on to a team that he has a shot to win the Supe Bowl with in his last few years if he can regain his health.  Did you notice the important word in that second sentence?  Logical.

Manning and Irsay are both intelligent men.  They have been more successful than most of us will ever be at anything.  But they are still both men.  They are not always logical.  They are at times going to be emotional and going to do what they want because it makes them comfortable.  Look at Manning’s last major statement.  He’s willing to make his contract so that it is completely based on playing time.  That statement wasn’t necessary for the rest of the league.  It was for Irsay, and to give Manning the opportunity to tell everyone that he said it before he was cut.

Manning is creating the space he needs to tell everyone that this is his choice.  He wants to be here in Indy.  He’s comfortable here.  Maybe he likes his house, friends, city, school, whatever.  Perhaps Maning is loyal to a fault and would rather stay and help this organization, than go to another.  Manning may believe that this team is as close to another Super Bowl as anyone else that he would want to play for.  I don’t know for sure, but by offering publicly to do his contract based purely on playing time, Manning has left Irsay the option of cutting him and resigning him to a contract that works for both him and the Colts.  I think he’s trying to stay.

Manning’s contract has always been at the heart of the problem of him being on the roster next year.  It had nothing to do with Manning’s skills or Irsay’s desire to have him in Indy.  Irsay didn’t want to be in a position to draft Luck, but since he is he would love to have Luck watch Manning and learn.  The problem with Manning was a crazy cap number, and the long recovery has made it an impossibly bad risk.  The opportunity to draft a future QB only clouded the issue further.  But Manning has made a major plea to stay in Indy.  I think Irsay will respond in kind.  I think Manning retires as a Colt, just not this spring.

This is comfortable.  This is what they both want.  It may not be practical.  It may not be logical. Most of us rarely are.

Live long and prosper.