Cut Peyton Manning Some Slack

Cut Peyton Manning Some Slack

Once considered one of the greatest, quarterback Peyton Manning has been getting a lot of flack since his abysmal Nov. 15 game against Kansas City
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With 2015 in the back burner, there has been some phenomenal and unfortunate moments in sports. One of the issues I had with sports last year are the legends being harassed and labeled just because they have an awful set of games. Such as Kobe Bryant (NBA), Peyton Manning (NFL) and Tony Stewart (NASCAR). All legends and first ballot hall of famers in their sport but everyone wants to harp on those guys on how bad they’ve been lately. Some are understandable because of their age or injuries catching up to him. In the case of Stewart, a tragic event in Canandaigua which people haven't got over with and it happened in 2014. Those situations can be absurd especially if it's what people define an athlete today.

Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos is the one athlete I get bothered on how much animosity he’s been getting after his abysmal game against the Kansas City Chiefs Nov. 15. Those who remember what happened in Week 10, it’s the same game he surpassed Brett Favre’s record for career passing yards. Manning broke the record after a quick four-yard pass to Ronnie Hillman in the first quarter. Afterwards, many people have written him off after what transpired since his record breaking pass. Manning ended the day completing 5-for-20 passes for 35 yards and had four interceptions. Worse of all, he became one of only ten players to have earned both a perfect passer rating and a zero passer rating in their careers.

Although he passed Favre’s record, he had his worst game of his career and was benched by coach Gary Kubiak. Manning hasn’t started a game since due to injury. From there, I've seen people around social media how much ridicule he’s been getting. From “he’s done and washed up” to “don’t make him starter in the playoffs.” It’s sad to see one of the best quarterbacks of my generation fall down. Plus, the HGH allegations doesn’t help his reputation which Manning has denied of doing.

“It's completely fabricated. Complete trash, garbage,” Manning told ESPN. “There are some more adjectives I'd like to be able to use, but it really makes me sick. It makes me sick that it brings Ashley (Peyton’s wife) into it, her medical history, her medical privacy being violated. That makes me sick. I don't understand that.”

This is the issue athletes have faced around the world for decades. Nobody is safe in the world of sports. People will find ways to expose great athletes like Manning who has to deal with this issue in addition on whether or not he’ll be start for the Broncos again.

In 2011, Manning sat out the entire season in what turned out to be his final year being on the Indianapolis Colts roster which he played since his rookie season in 1998. Leading to a number one draft pick from Indianapolis who selected Andrew Luck while Manning has been with the Broncos since. Manning is sort of facing this situation again on whether or not it’s best for the team on growing Brock Osweiler as their future guy or keep Manning to see if he still is a top quarterback.

Don’t give me wrong, Osweiler has done a nice job keeping the Broncos upbeat. They’re in the playoffs after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals Dec. 28. But questions have lurked around the Broncos on whether or not Osweiler will lead the team to the playoffs or will a healthy Manning return and get them back to the Super Bowl for the second time in three years.

However, that’s up to the Broncos staff on what’s best for them after the current NFL season ends. No matter what, it’s obscurity and controversy that gets people in the news these days and Manning is no exception. We’re supposed to celebrate his career, not remember him for having one game with a 0.0 passer rating.

Manning returned to the field and replaced Osweiler Jan. 3 against the San Diego Chargers. Manning completed five of nine passes for 69 yards as the Broncos won 27-20 and are the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

Cover Image Credit: ESPN

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Everything The Student Athlete Loses When They Move On From Sports

Enjoy it while it lasts.

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We used to call it "flipping the switch." You would go through eight hours of school (somehow) and then your mentality would automatically change. The worries and stress from the school day would dwindle as you put on your cleats and begin to warm up. Anything that was going on in your life didn't matter when you hit the dirt. You create lifelong friendships with the girls you spent every day with for months at a time. Teammates who see you susceptible after a bad game and on cloud nine after one of your bests.

You develop a routine and superstitions. Hitting your bat on the inside of your cleat before you hit, chewing a certain type of gum on the volleyball court, how many times you spin the ball before you shoot a free throw, whatever your quirk was, you 100% believed it would make you play better. You practice in your free time with your dad, devote three to five months of your school year to a team, and play all summer long with your travel team as you live off hotel breakfast. Then one day, it's all over.

It is a feeling that nobody can prepare you for. They say enjoy it while it lasts but you never really understand what you'll be walking away from when you play your last game and hang it up for good. You lose a part of yourself when you're no longer an athlete. I forgot what it feels like to be competitive and be a part of something that is bigger than myself. It has been two years since I've played my last softball game and not a day goes by when I don't miss it. I didn't play because I wanted to go pro or even to the collegiate level, but I played because it was an escape and helped me become who I am.

You begin to forget what it felt like to hit the sweet spot on a bat, what it sounded like to have an audience cheer for you as you stand alone on second base and see your family in the stands, to hear the metal spikes of your cleats on concrete when walking in the dugout. It's simple things about the game you love that brought you pure joy and an escape from the world and the thoughts in your head. Batting practice was always mine. Focusing on nothing but the next pitch and how hard I could hit it.

When you have to watch the game from the other side of the fence, you realize how much pressure you put on yourself when you played. It's just a game. Make as many memories as you can and enjoy every inning because when you leave sports behind you have to find your inner athlete in other things. Create a workout routine, joining a club sport or intramurals, or even becoming a coach. As much as I miss the sport, I am thankful for everything it brought me. It taught me how to be a good friend, respect others around me, and to push myself to discover what I was capable of.

So, enjoy it while it lasts.

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It's Been A Year And I Still Miss It

The memories with my teammates and coaches are remembered everyday.

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Never thought I'd say it but here I am. I am happy to say I am proud to be where I am today but the thoughts of never playing a sport again linger in my mind. Those emotions of anticipation and excitement when it comes to playing a sport are long gone. Sad to say I will never have butterflies before running a race, floor burns all over my knees and sweat mixed with softball dirt all over me.

The little aspects that I took for granted are what I remember the most. I am who I am today because of my coaches and teammates. Each and every sport came with a support system to fall back on and friendships that would last a lifetime. My coaches and teammates taught me life long skills that I will carry with me forever. They taught me the true meaning of dedication, teamwork, perseverance and respect. Yes, I love the game but the connections and memories I have built have impacted me. Especially, the times I have created with my teammates and coaches on the bus rides, practices and game days.

Those are the moments I will never get back. I will never forget the times my volleyball teammates and I would run over to Perkins after a win. We would eat junkie, greasy food till our tummies were full but during those moments we were all owning the moment while being young and careless. Even during track season my teammates and I found time to have fun while running rigorous workouts. I will never forget the mid-dance parties during track meets to keep our mind off of the stress of performing to our best ability. Softball season always seemed to be on the road, which meant plenty of bus rides with my teammates. Those hours of traveling were the best from the never have I ever games to singing along to great hits.

I will never get the chance again to compete in front of a crowd. The cheers and the roars of the fans is such a surreal feeling. Running on the blue oval was something I will never forget. As much as I hated the queasy, uneasy feelings before running, I would go back for it one more time. Stepping foot on the blue oval meant a great athlete once took those same steps I did. The moment my teammates, coaches and I clinched the win to go to State for the first time in school history was unbelievable. It was an accomplishment for us seniors, for our coaches, for our families and fans, for our school and for the past softball players. We did something that was never done before in school history and all I can say is I'm proud to have done it with the group of girls that I did.

Getting to state and playing with the best of the best is remarkable but what seemed to be even better was getting a victory against a city rival. Everyone came out for those games from grandparents to students to alumni. Our best performances were amongst us when competing against city rivals. Particularly, through volleyball, my teammates and I seemed to be hungrier for a win whenever it was a city rival. I guess, the best moments happened when we beat a cross-town rival. You could say we got bragging rights for the year.

To all the athletes out there competing in their last game, last match or last race, relish in those last seconds because before you know it you will never pick up a ball again, race in a relay or dance after a victory.

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