Peyton Manning is a future Hall of Famer. One of the best quarterbacks to ever take the field. An affable chap with great comedic timing. A student of the game. A non-offensive owner of a folksy drawl. On paper, he’s the perfect television analyst.
There’s just one problem.
The guy doesn’t want to do it.
For the second time, Manning passed on the opportunity to join Monday Night Football, The Sporting News’ Michael McCarthy reports. ESPN, knowing his level of interest, reportedly didn’t make a formal offer. And it’s no real skin off their nose as a backup plan includes a 30-episode order of Peyton’s Places.
There was less time and energy expended this time in wooing Manning. Even when Jason Witten unexpectedly announced he was stepping away from the booth, Peyton’s name was floated as a long shot, not a real possibility. So now we have further proof of his relative disinterest.
The reasons are obvious. Most believe his passion resides in team-building from the comfort of a front office. He needs the money far less than most. He has the capacity to find an even better media gig.
For a vast majority of retiring players, a television job is the white whale of a second act. But Manning is different. He can look at the marquee gig and impressive salary, throw up his hands and say no thanks with his typical aw shucks manner.
So the question: will we be back here in a year doing the same thing — reading about a hard or soft sell trying to get Manning into the booth? Will his attractiveness wane at all with another year? One could argue that every year a new crop of more relevant players flood the market — and Manning’s relevance recedes a bit.
Seems like one of these guys will actually want the best job. When that happens, Manning will be just fine.