FOXBORO, MA - DECEMBER 4: Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts watches the action in the first half against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium on December 4, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
We've had some pretty big news hit us the last few days. I've been laid up during all this breaking news, following everything here at Stampede Blue (thanks to Matt and the gang for holding down the fort). While the announcement that Peyton Manning's neck fusion surgery was a success is very encouraging, the one bit of news that seems to be flying under the radar is that, last week, Manning suggested team vice chairman Bill Polian is a big, fat liar.
Last Friday, when it seemed like entire the population of Indiana was huddled around Peyton Manning's locker, peppering the 35-year-old quarterback with questions mostly about his rehab status, a reporter asked Manning about the possibility of the Colts drafting a QB in the 2012 NFL Draft. The reporter cited Bill Polian's comments made on Nov. 14 as part of his weekly radio show.
Here's what Bill Polian said on that Nov. 14th show [emphasis mine]:
"The bottom line is that if the right person is there, and it has to be the right person, then now is the time to make that choice," Colts Vice Chairman Bill Polian said on his radio show Monday via the Indianapolis Star. "Peyton and I have spoken about that, and he’s okay with that."
Peyton's response to the question regarding him and Polian talking about the Colts drafting a quarterback:
I will say he and I have not had a conversation about the 2012 draft. Bill keeps a lot of the players informed on different things, but I’ve never known who we were going to draft in years past.
Hmmm. Interesting. But, not as interesting as the follow-up questions, along with Peyton's answers.
He wasn’t being truthful?
"Maybe a couple years ago, he would say, ‘Eventually we’re going to draft your replacement.’"
But that conversation hasn’t been had?
"No. No. I don’t get into personnel. I don’t. I don’t know what was said on the radio show, but that’s not the kind of conversation that would happen between him and I. Whatever Bill has to do for the organization, that’s what he has to do. I just play football. I really am, have been, just the starting quarterback here for 13 years. I have no other goal besides that, doing my job and doing that.
"Whatever they have to do, (owner) Jim (Irsay), Bill, that’s what they have to do. I don’t really know what else to say besides that."
OK. So, Bill Polian said on his radio show back on Nov. 14th that he's spoken to Peyton (and the insinuation was that conversation happened recently) about the Colts drafting a quarterback with a high pick in '12, and that Peyton was 'okay with that.'
Peyton is now saying that conversation never happened.
So, either Peyton is lying now when he says the discussion never took place, or Bill Polian was talking out of his butt back on Nov. 14th when he said it did.
Phil Wilson of the Indianapolis Star tweeted some about this little disagreement on what was and wasn't said between Manning and Polian. In fact, he talked to Peyton this Sunday about his comments made last week, and Manning reiterated that he and Polian have not discussed the 2012 Draft.
So, yeah. Peyton Manning is claiming Bill Polian lied.
Now, I'm sure some follow-up from this will involve Polian lashing out at the media for 'misinterpreting' his words on Nov. 14th, or some such nonsense. We've already got Peyton saying he didn't listen to the radio show, and when he re-reiterated to CBS Sports' James Brown, in an interview broadcast Sunday, that he had not talked with Polian about the draft, he suggested that maybe two years ago the two had some general talks about drafting quarterbacks. Nothing quite like what Polian said Peyton was 'okay' with back on Nov. 14th.
The bottom line is Polian stated, on-air, that he had a conversation with his star player about the draft, a conversation that star player has now repeatedly stated did not happen.
Look, I won't tell you who to believe here. I general, more people are going to believe Manning than Polian. The reason I am highlighting this story is to show, yet again, just how dysfunctional this organization presently is. We now have the No. 1 star player on the team directly refuting a pretty significant, public statement made by the club's top executive.
So, to all your people out there thinking Peyton Manning is going to be a-okay with the Colts drafting Andrew Luck, think again. To hammer that point home even more for you, I'll just point to Peyton's completely non-committal answer to a questions posed last week as to whether or not he'll finish his career as a Colt:
All we want to do is get a win on Sunday. All I want to do is keep making progress. Anything beyond those two things aren’t really on my radar at this point.
2011 is Peyton's final year in Indianapolis, folks. If we're lucky, it'll be Bill and Chris Polian's as well.