While you were consuming alcoholic liquid late last night and sleeping off the consequences of that consumption early this morning, something utterly predictable was taking place on the Internets. No, not the mass viewing of pornography.
A blurry and brief video of Peyton Manning throwing at Duke surfaced. Or at least it looks like Manning, and it could be Manning. The quarterback in question who’s throwing in the video is wearing a Colts helmet and Manning’s No. 18, because surely Manning doesn’t wear anything else when he’s practicing.
So the skeptics have that bit of oddness as fuel, even though ESPN’s Chris Mortensen verified the video’s authenticity. The true Manning fans during his time in Indianapolis will notice the signature Manning pre-throw hop that’s pretty hard to fake.
Whatever. Just watch it.
Why Duke? David Cutcliffe, Manning’s former offensive coordinator during his college days at Tennessee, is now the head coach there. Mortensen also wrote that Manning has been conducting “aggressive throwing sessions” in shoulder pads and a helmet on the Duke campus since Tuesday, and he’s been throwing to Colts teammates Dallas Clark and Austin Collie, and former teammate Brandon Stokley.
Manning has also been spotted while eating dinner in Durham, North Carolina recently, and he’ll be at tonight’s Duke-North Carolina game. So if that’s not him in the video, we’re left to assume that he’s either a pretty serious college basketball fan, or he has a very curious taste in early March offseason vacation destinations.
Surely it’s a coincidence that this surfaced just days before the deadline for the Colts to make a decision on his $28 million bonus, right? That day (March 8) is also the day when Manning will likely become a free agent, and until now his rehabilitation process has been guarded more closely than Air Force One.
Even if the quality of the video is poor, that dark curtain around camp Manning has suddenly been lifted, and we now have visual evidence of Peyton Manning looking a lot like Peyton Manning. This wasn’t an accident.