Unless you’ve been completely pre-occupied with following the Republican primary, or making yourself watch another excruciating episode of HBO’s Luck, you’ve probably heard about that quarterback from Indianapolis who just posted his resume on The Ladders. Speculation has been widespread regarding Peyton Manning’s new landing spot, with places like Arizona and Denver leading the conversation after weekend visits. Some say Peyton could make his decision as soon as Tuesday.
Well, that speculation ends today.
In JOURNEYMEN’s inaugural guest blogger issue, South Florida correspondent and legal consultant Matthew Feluren checks in to explain why there is only ONE destination that Peyton is considering. (Hint: it’s not Denver.)
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It’s a Thursday night in Tennessee. Peyton Manning is wearing a plaid button down and drinking a citrus cooler Gatorade at a local YMCA. Jim Nantz sits across from him, asking questions about his past with Indianapolis, the pressure of choosing a new place of employment, and how great Colts owner Jim Irsay has treated him over the past decade. Then, finally, Peyton proudly announces: “Next Season, I’ll be taking my talents to Miami Gardens…”
I know, I know. It’s been done before and the Dolphins need another starting veteran quarterback like Snooki needs a baby. But I’m hear to tell you why Miami is the best landing spot for number 18. The most important aspect in Peyton’s decision is winning -- the only thing he cares about at this point in his career. The Fins offer Peyton the best chance to win now with their young, talented roster and new coaching staff.
First, Miami boasts an array of weapons for Peyton, and that starts with Reggie Bush. For Peyton, a guy who had his best seasons dumping off passes to Edgerrin James, a good, reliable, dual-threat running back is crucial. Bush proved this past season that he’s more than just a receiving threat, especially after the Kim Kardashian Effect kicked in. (It is a well known fact and almost as consistent as gravity that Reggie ignites more “REG-GIE! REG-GIE!” chants when Kim is single and “having coffee” with him than when she’s dating no-name basketball players).
As for the receiving core, everyone knows Brandon Marshall is the prize and has managed to set NFL records with the likes of Kyle Orton. With Peyton getting the ball to Marshall, the possibilities are endless. Additionally, the Dolphins have one of the best kept secrets in the slot in Davone Bess, who is ALWAYS open on third down. Then, The Fins have an underrated piece in second year fullback/tight end Charles Clay, who is basically a bigger, faster Dallas Clark.
Like every great warrior, to compliment these great weapons a superior shield is needed (except for Jack Bauer and Chuck Norris who need no shields). The Fins offer Peyton a brick wall of a shield in Jake Long, their All Pro left tackle. Peyton’s biggest fear after multiple neck surgeries is having a 6’5 280-pound monster running at cheetah speeds toward his surgically-repaired neck. With Jake Long, the Fins offer Peyton the peace of mind of knowing that his backside is protected.
Lastly, not much needs to be said about the Dolphins defense. It’s a young, talented unit, led by an All Pro end rusher in Cameron Wake, Karlos Dansby stopping the run, Yeremiah Bell playing center field, and Vontae Davis blanketing number one receivers. The Fins offer Peyton a better defensive complement than he's had since the Clinton Administration.
Turning from the roster, Miami offers Peyton a fresh start with a fresh coaching staff and an owner obsessed with winning. New Head Coach Joe Philbin comes with a proven system executed to perfection by Aaron Rodgers. Unlike any other possible suitors, Miami can start fresh with Peyton instead of inserting him into a previously existing scheme.
Next, let’s face it: Miami is a football town with a basketball problem. (No offense Miamians or Miamites, but showing up to a basketball game eight minutes after tip off featuring three of the top fifteen players in the sport does not mean you’re a basketball fan.) Miami has always been the Dolphins’ town and Peyton can restore that tradition. Miami has plenty of personalities (Lebron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and Ozzie Guillen) to dominate the media, allowing Peyton to hide in Davie at Dolphins headquarters throwing to his new receivers. Further, Peyton has a home in South Florida and so does Reggie Wayne (go ahead, try to find a team pursuing Peyton that offers a better wide receiver corps than Brandon Marshall, Reggie Wayne, and Davone Bess. Still thinking? Ok, point proven). Lastly, Peyton will have a chance to beat the model/quarterback in New England twice a year, a priceless opportunity.
Recent history has shown the Fins can be successful with a quarterback who can hit his receivers. Remember the 2008 season when the Dolphins signed former enemy Chad Pennington and won the AFC East? Remember, Chad Pennington finished second in the MVP voting that season? (Guess who came in first…) All this was accomplished by a less talented roster and Pennington’s shoulder, which was held together by Elmer’s Glue. You still don’t think Peyton could give the Dolphins four to five great seasons?
Finally, there are rumors floating around of other possible destinations for Peyton. None of those stand a chance against Miami. Seattle is great if you enjoy a city where it rains 488 days a year. Kansas City is nice, except it’s in Missouri. Denver would be a great landing spot for a college junior who is following the Dave Matthews Band summer tour (or if God told you to go there -- cough cough). Arizona would work, except it’s basically Miami with an income tax, and without the beaches, good-looking women, and amazing lifestyle. And finally, the Jets had no chance, which is why they just signed Mark Sanchez.
Peyton will be the best quarterback to play football in Miami since Dan “the Man” Marino (unless you count “Steamin’” Willie Beamen in 1999). He will fill the void left for 13 years in every Miami fan’s heart, one that could not be filled by greats like Jay Fiedler (the best Jewish quarterback ever), Ray Lucas, Daunte Culpepper, Sage Rosenfels, and Trent Green.
For these obvious reasons, watch as Peyton Manning chooses to take his talents to Miami Gardens, where post-game celebrations with part owners Marc Anthony, J.Lo, the Williams Sisters, and team friends Fergie, Will.I.Am, and Will Smith will follow each victory.
Peyton, the orange carpet is calling!
Matthew Feluren, Esq.
JOURNEYMEN Guest Blogger and Legal Consultant
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Feel like telling your sports story? Think you can do it better than us? E-mail me directly (Reed.Domershank@gmail.com) to join the JOURNEYMEN guest blogger circuit!