Superbowl XLVI closed the 2011 NFL Season in February where the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots for the second time in four years at the Superbowl, winning at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. The victory for Eli Manning in his big brother Peyton's home stadium at the time gave the win a special meaning, especially when he also picked up the MVP award.
Roll on the next month and with the dust settled after February action and reaction it was time to look forward to the combine and the upcoming talent for the 2012 season. Players such as Andrew Luck from Standford and his fellow QB rival in the draft Robert Griffin III from Baylor are making fans and analysts alike lick their lips with anticipation.
We are a mere 10 days from the combine, but March was not been about the new influx. It hasn't been about who the Indianapolis Colts will pick as the first pick of the 2012 draft or what college players will make the jump to the big league. Its all been about Free Agency, The 'Mannibow' Show and those devilish Saints.
A team who was in desperate need of a boost, a struggling franchise still needing to find its feet in a new city after its move from Baltimore was single-handedly made into one of the best by a single man, one of the greatest quarterbacks that would ever play the game, a boy out of New Orleans, son to former NFL quarterback Archie Manning, named Peyton.
A serious neck injury and surgery cost Peyton his 2011 NFL Season and pretty much opened the exit door from Indianapolis. The opportunity like the first pick of the 2012 draft was too much for the Colts and Irsay to ignore with the inevitable conclusion of Andrew Luck being the Colts' new QB this April; Luck's father was also an NFL QB in the 1980s.
It seemed time for the Colts to sadly move away and begin the new era after Manning and its seemed like Luck has been destined to join Indy since the start of last season, highlighted by a group of Colts fans in October in a match on the road at divisional rivals the Titans in Nashville, Tennessee. (Number of fans wore 'LUCK 12' jerseys despite Manning still not being a complete write off for the season then).
Its sad, but it seems that Indy's fans were in dreamland having to watch their team go through a nightmare season. Without their leader, they believed in the unknown. This unknown was a college QB, who would be the man to bring them success, despite Peyton being their one and only Superbowl winning QB and a player who had dragged them from the dark and into the light as one of the AFC and NFL's best.
So it was goodbye to Peyton...but where to go?