Sunday, February 7, 2016


There are not many iconic athletes out there that have all three of these very important ingredients for longevity in their professional sports career: integrity, grit and fan appreciation.  Peyton Manning is certainly one athlete whom I appreciate for his commitment to his team and his fans.

Much like our very own Derek Jeter, Manning has been able to reinvent himself, stay focused and keep the fans engaged around the essential purpose of the sport.

Peyton Manning has the chance of a life time: to finish a stellar career on top.  He could retire from the game after completing and possibly winning Super Bowl 50.  It does not get any better than that, quite frankly.  "I know that’s a possibility,’’ Eli (Manning) said. “When you are going into your 19th season, it’s a possibility that it could be your last season. To win on top and kind of sail off into the sunset sounds pretty good. I don’t know if it will be, but I’ll be rooting for him hard either way," the Giants quarterback stated as reported by the NY Post this week.

When you look at Peyton Manning's career next to Derek Jeter's, you see some real similarities.  You see things like team leadership, mentoring, personal integrity, more than 15 seasons of professional work (19 for Peyton, 20 for Derek), championships including the big prize of winning the Super Bowl and World Series, key game statistics that set the respective athletes up for Hall of Fame status, charity work, fan support and overall legacy to their sport.  I feel like by rooting for Peyton, I am rooting for Derek, who went out with a walk off win in his final game at the Stadium and a hit in the final game of his career at Fenway Park.

As we head into Super Bowl 50 just over a week away from pitchers and catchers, I could not help but compare two very iconic athletes who have the changed their sport for good.  Yeah, I guess I get sentimental like that, but I can't help it.  When I think of the good work of Peyton Manning, I automatically think of what Jeter has left us.  So, I am rooting for Peyton to win Super Bowl 50.  And I am rooting for a great 2016 MLB season with the hopes of Jeter's presence at spring training.  Yes, I am rooting for that too.

 --Suzie Pinstripe, BYB Senior Staff Writer
BYB Hot Stove Columnist
Twitter: @suzieprof

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