When Peyton Manning left the Indianapolis Colts, the organization added a note to the giant banner of Manning hanging on the front of the stadium. It read, "THANK YOU, PEYTON!"
Wednesday night, it was "Goodbye, Peyton." Or at least, "Goodbye, giant Peyton Manning poster."
The banner was taken down, just hours before the Colts will make Andrew Luck the new face of their franchise. Manning, of course, is in Denver now, and the Colts will replace him with the first pick of Thursday night's NFL draft.
The timing, according to Pete Ward, the Colts' COO, is just a coincidence. There happened to be a crane in the area capable of taking the banner down, so they did it then. But isn't it a nifty bit of serendipity that when Andrew Luck and the Colts brass head back to Indianapolis to officially introduce Luck as a member of the Colts, they won't have to walk into a building draped in an image of Manning?
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If you want to see some poignant symbolism here, I encourage you to do so. Cling to any of the following: Luck moves out from under Manning, so to speak. The building is under new ownership ‒ it's Luck's now. No longer are the Colts swaddled in the fabric of Manning, but open to the new wonders of Luck. Peyton's place? That's not what the sign says anymore. Now it's Andrew's abode.
None of those things are true, of course. If Luck is going to play his way out of Peyton's shadow, it's going to take a lot more than the removal of a banner.
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