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Thread: Peyton Manning was the #1 pick because Ryan Leaf sabotaged the process

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    Default Peyton Manning was the #1 pick because Ryan Leaf sabotaged the process

    I don't think I really buy this but lets say its true the irony considering Eli didn't want to play for SD

    http://ftw.usatoday.com/2014/01/how-...eyton-manning/


    Leigh Steinberg was once the most powerful agent in the NFL. He represented the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft eight times — more than any other agent in history. Steinberg’s fame and power as the NFL’s preeminent super agent crumbled in the 2000’s, when he fell into bankruptcy and battled alcoholism.

    The inspiration behind Jerry Maguire, Steinberg is now penning a tell-all book about his career representing stars like Troy Aikman, Steve Young, and Bruce Smith, and Ben Roethlisberger. He’s also represented duds, like Ryan Leaf. In his book, The Agent, Steinberg details how Leaf manipulated the Indianapolis Colts into taking Peyton Manning instead of himself with the No. 1 draft pick in the 1998 draft.

    Leigh Steinberg (Kelvin Kuo , Gannett)Share this image:
    Leigh Steinberg (Kelvin Kuo , Gannett)
    As Steinberg notes in the following excerpt from The Agent, courtesy of Thomas Dunne of St. Martin’s Press, it’s a decision the Colts surely don’t regret.

    *********

    It was not until several months before the draft that I realized Ryan might present challenges I didn’t anticipate. By then, it was too late.

    “No way do I want to play in Indianapolis,” he told me, refer- ring to the Colts, who owned the No. 1 pick. Instead, because of the exceptional weather and the more laid-back lifestyle, he preferred the San Diego Chargers, who would go second.

    “That’s fine,” I warned him, “but the way to achieve this is not exactly going to help your image. You’ll get a lot of criticism.” Ryan didn’t care about his image, though, only his destination.

    Making his wish come true would not be easy. The Colts leaned toward choosing Ryan. Many scouts also saw him as a better pros- pect than Peyton Manning. Hard to believe now, isn’t it?

    I told Ryan it would do no good to approach Colts GM Jim Ir- say. Irsay saw the sport the same way he viewed his other passion, rock ’n’ roll. Just as musicians tended to be a bit eccentric, so did football players, and that did not stop him from drafting Jeff George or trading for Eric Dickerson. “Leigh,” he used to say, “it’s about the freaking talent.” If someone is that gifted, in Irsay’s opinion, you simply find a way to deal with his personality.

    Instead, the case needed to be made to the Indianapolis coach,

    Jim Mora, and it couldn’t come from anything Ryan said. It had to come from what he did, or, rather, did not do.

    “If you go to the combine,” I told Ryan, “but fail to show up for a meeting with Mora, that should do it. Jim is a real prideful person who has a tendency to explode. I am not recommending you do this, but if you are desperate to go to San Diego, this is the way.”

    Ryan approved, but I first cleared the idea with Chargers gen- eral manager Bobby Beathard, lest San Diego also question my cli- ent’s reliability. Beathard went along with the ruse. If he’d had a problem, Ryan would’ve shown up for his meeting with Mora. Some purists argue players should not have the right to dictate where they start their pro career, but aren’t college graduates who don’t play football allowed to choose where they want to work and live? The draft was not handed down by Moses as part of the Ten Command- ments. The draft, let’s be honest, is a control mechanism designed to prevent college athletes from exercising the same freedoms ev- eryone else takes for granted and to limit their leverage in contract negotiations. It is important to separate the honor of being selected from the concept of not being given the freedom of choice. Just because athletes are well compensated doesn’t change the underly- ing principle.

    Once Ryan was a no-show, Mora, as anticipated, went ballistic. I defended my player, naturally, dismissing the coach’s response as another Mora meltdown. As I’d anticipated, Ryan was criticized, but the plan achieved its purpose. The Colts took Manning. Some- thing tells me the folks in Indianapolis have never regretted that decision.

    The Agent By Leigh Steinberg with Michael Arkush is in stores January 21 and can be purchased here.

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    Default Re: Peyton Manning was the #1 pick because Ryan Leaf sabotaged the process

    Thank god lol.

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    Default Re: Peyton Manning was the #1 pick because Ryan Leaf sabotaged the process

    What a tool Ryan Leaf is. This story just cements it. How did that decision work out for you Ryan?

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    Default Re: Peyton Manning was the #1 pick because Ryan Leaf sabotaged the process

    Not hard to believe at all after watching John Elway and Eli Manning whine their way out of going some where they did not like. Hard to blame Ryan for not wanting to come here at the time either.

    Him weaseling his way out is the best thing that happened to our franchise. Who knows where we would be had we took Leaf and he busted like he did in San Diego. You whiff on the first overall at that time and it sets you back for years to come. We were still new in the city at that time and needed Peyton to really cement our franchise in this city.

    Not having him and the success that followed would have been devastating.

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    Default Re: Peyton Manning was the #1 pick because Ryan Leaf sabotaged the process

    This is why I have nothing but respect for Peyton. He embraced the challenge of turning a Mickey Mouse small market Colt franchise into a powerhouse. Elway, MEli, and Leaf (if story is true) are selfish players who made a mockery of the process. I think that the Colts should have held firm with Elway though. He wasn't going to go play AA baseball instead of quarterbacking in the NFL.

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    Default Re: Peyton Manning was the #1 pick because Ryan Leaf sabotaged the process

    Quote Originally Posted by Sollozzo View Post
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    This is why I have nothing but respect for Peyton. He embraced the challenge of turning a Mickey Mouse small market Colt franchise into a powerhouse. Elway, MEli, and Leaf (if story is true) are selfish players who made a mockery of the process. I think that the Colts should have held firm with Elway though. He wasn't going to go play AA baseball instead of quarterbacking in the NFL.
    Personally I have never been bothered by what any of them did its their careers that they have to consider. The same teams that draft them are the same teams that will dump them when they are no longer useful. I mean Elway and Eli both have 2 SBs so I really don't think they have anything to be ashamed of. Leaf OTOH(if true) was an epic fail and I don't think anyone here hates him for not wanting to be here.

    There are no guarantees I mean it was a perfect storm that Bob Irsay died before Peyton was drafted and Jim has enough sense to hire someone who knows what they are doing where you are drafted matters and in the end the Colts dumped him.

    Now Peyton a #1 Colts draft pick is reunited with Elway a #1 Colts draft pick in Denver on the verge of possibly winning an SB together I guess some Colts do grow up to be Broncos funny how that works out.

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    Default Re: Peyton Manning was the #1 pick because Ryan Leaf sabotaged the process

    Quote Originally Posted by Basketball Fan View Post
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    Personally I have never been bothered by what any of them did its their careers that they have to consider. The same teams that draft them are the same teams that will dump them when they are no longer useful. I mean Elway and Eli both have 2 SBs so I really don't think they have anything to be ashamed of. Leaf OTOH(if true) was an epic fail and I don't think anyone here hates him for not wanting to be here.

    There are no guarantees I mean it was a perfect storm that Bob Irsay died before Peyton was drafted and Jim has enough sense to hire someone who knows what they are doing where you are drafted matters and in the end the Colts dumped him.

    Now Peyton a #1 Colts draft pick is reunited with Elway a #1 Colts draft pick in Denver on the verge of possibly winning an SB together I guess some Colts do grow up to be Broncos funny how that works out.
    I agree that Eli certainly doesn't have any reason to have regrets. He has won two Super Bowls with the classic New York Giants and will always be a legend in the biggest sports market in the country. Obviously he can sleep well at night. But I look at it through the prism of what's good for the league as a whole, not what's good for an individual player. The league has a draft process which is designed to reward the worst teams. It's not perfect as it opens the door to teams completely tanking a season like the 2011 Colts, but it is what it is. The Chargers had the Number 1 pick in 2004 because of a system set up by the NFL, and Eli and Papa Archibald gave it the middle finger. Sure it has obviously worked out well for Eli over the last ten years, but it was still a classless thing to do. I'm sure that plenty of players have been drafted by teams that they don't want to play for, but most respect the process. I'll always have the utmost respect for Peyton since he embraced the opportunity to turn around a bottom feeder franchise.

    Good point about the Manning-Elway Colt/Bronco connection. Another interesting Manning-Elway connection is that Elway's final season was Manning's rookie year (1998).

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    Default Re: Peyton Manning was the #1 pick because Ryan Leaf sabotaged the process

    Quote Originally Posted by Sollozzo View Post
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    I agree that Eli certainly doesn't have any reason to have regrets. He has won two Super Bowls with the classic New York Giants and will always be a legend in the biggest sports market in the country. Obviously he can sleep well at night. But I look at it through the prism of what's good for the league as a whole, not what's good for an individual player. The league has a draft process which is designed to reward the worst teams. It's not perfect as it opens the door to teams completely tanking a season like the 2011 Colts, but it is what it is. The Chargers had the Number 1 pick in 2004 because of a system set up by the NFL, and Eli and Papa Archibald gave it the middle finger. Sure it has obviously worked out well for Eli over the last ten years, but it was still a classless thing to do. I'm sure that plenty of players have been drafted by teams that they don't want to play for, but most respect the process. I'll always have the utmost respect for Peyton since he embraced the opportunity to turn around a bottom feeder franchise.

    Good point about the Manning-Elway Colt/Bronco connection. Another interesting Manning-Elway connection is that Elway's final season was Manning's rookie year (1998).

    Elway doesn't have any regrets either he ended up on the Broncos and won 2 SB's to end his career there. Besides we should be glad Elway did that we wouldn't have had Manning and Luck otherwise and the Colts wouldn't be here in Indy.

    The reason why I look at it individually because not all of these players stay with the same team that drafted them. In fact its rare so even if they were drafted as soon as something better comes along they either leave on their own or are kicked to the curb.

    There are no guarantees.

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    Default Re: Peyton Manning was the #1 pick because Ryan Leaf sabotaged the process

    Interesting. This is the first time I've ever heard of an NFL player publicly wanting to go somewhere because the market has better weather. You hear about the crap in the NBA all the time, but never the NFL.

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    Default Re: Peyton Manning was the #1 pick because Ryan Leaf sabotaged the process

    Thanks, Ryan!

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    Default Re: Peyton Manning was the #1 pick because Ryan Leaf sabotaged the process

    This dude is an idiot. I have no doubt that Indy wanted Peyton from square 1. Just because you "skipped on the meeting" doesn't mean you had a hand in their decision to choose Peyton --- if anything you only cemented it. It wasn't like Polian and Co. were heavily leaning towards Leaf and then when he didn't show, reversed course.

    Stupid to "reveal" this. And pointless.
    There are two types of quarterbacks in the league: Those whom over time, the league figures out ... and those who figure out the league.

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    Default Re: Peyton Manning was the #1 pick because Ryan Leaf sabotaged the process

    Quote Originally Posted by Kid Minneapolis View Post
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    Stupid to "reveal" this. And pointless.
    Drunken Steinberg has to create controversy so he can sell his book. Besides, this isn't the first time Steinberg tried to turn a player against the Colts.... see Duane Bickett from earlier years.
    You know how hippos are made out to be sweet and silly, like big cows, but are actually extremely dangerous and can kill you with stunning brutality? The Pacers are the NBA's hippos....Matt Moore CBS Sports....

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    Default Re: Peyton Manning was the #1 pick because Ryan Leaf sabotaged the process

    Back in the day the talk was always Peyton... although the Colts never confirmed that. It was much like a couple of years ago and the Luck/RG3 debate. Most everyone believed the Colts were picking Luck but there was always the 'what if' surrounding the pick and not a total 100% lock that it would be Luck. Fans and media expected Manning though with just a shade of 'they couldn't go wrong with Leaf either' floating around.

    Of course (insert Polian hate here) there's always the possibility that with everyone expecting Manning that Polian was prepared to draft Leaf instead just so he could again show us his genius by not doing what everyone regarded as the obvious move.

    But, honestly, I see this article as a lot of one-sided memories mixed in with an interesting story that probably does not now nor ever mean what Leigh is claiming it means. The Colts were taking Manning. At best the interview was Leaf's chance to sway them his way. Maybe by missing the meeting he all but guaranteed the Colts wouldn't pick him... but it was all but guaranteed the Colts were picking Manning anyway. So the meeting was more likely a waste of Leaf's time to have went in the first place.
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    Default Re: Peyton Manning was the #1 pick because Ryan Leaf sabotaged the process

    Snippet from NBC Sports. Full story at link (below):
    ....“I first cleared the idea with Chargers general manager Bobby Beathard, lest San Diego also question my client’s reliability. Beathard went along with the ruse,” Steinberg writes.....

    Polian did confirm that Leaf had skipped a meeting with the Colts at the Scouting Combine, and Polian said that Steinberg lied about it afterward and claimed that the Colts had given Leaf the wrong time.

    “I remember Leigh telling the press that we had blown it because we hadn’t given him the right time,” Polian said. “I knew that was false because I made the call. I’m glad after 16 years he’s finally told the truth.”

    Beathard also appeared on Mike and Mike and seemed confused about the whole story, saying he didn’t remember much about it. But he said that the Chargers liked Manning better than Leaf, and so the Chargers wouldn’t have gone along with a plan to manipulate the Colts into drafting Leaf.

    “We absolutely wanted to draft Peyton,” Beathard said.

    Beathard says he realized at Leaf’s first practice that he had made a huge mistake by drafting Leaf with the second overall pick.

    “He was in terrible shape — he couldn’t even complete the jog around the field at the start of practice,” Beathard said. “It was a disaster from the start and I’m responsible for it.

    Ultimately, what’s really extraordinary about this is that we’re still talking about the Manning-Leaf decision, all these years later. Leaf is sitting in a jail cell, while Manning is preparing for a Super Bowl that may be the crowning achievement for the greatest quarterback of all time.
    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...ted-the-colts/
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    Default Re: Peyton Manning was the #1 pick because Ryan Leaf sabotaged the process

    Polian and Mora were old school disciplinarian types. I don't think they were ever overly serious about taking Leaf. Of course, the final decision rested with Irsay since it was a franchise-altering decision like releasing Manning/drafting Luck, but it sounds like he always wanted Manning too. I was pretty young in 1998 and don't have a great memory of all of the pre-draft build up, but everything I've ever read since then makes it seem like Irsay/Polian/Mora were all three in general agreement about Manning. I think Peyton really helped seal the deal when he told Polian/Irsay, "I'd actually like to play here, but if you don't pick me I'm going to kick your *** for the next 15 years." When Manning was released two years ago, I wonder if he said something like, I'd actually like to finish my career here, but if you cut me I'll stick it to you by throwing 55 touchdowns and going to the Super Bowl with a different team."

    That's what I always loved most about Peyton. He wanted to play in Indy from day 1, even we were a joke franchise in flyover land.

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    Default Re: Peyton Manning was the #1 pick because Ryan Leaf sabotaged the process

    Irsay refutes it as well he also said he's rooting for Manning in the SB (but that was an entirely different story)

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com...manning-claim/

    Irsay calls B.S. on Steinberg’s Leaf-Manning claim

    Leigh Steinberg claims that he and his former client, Ryan Leaf, manipulated the 1998 NFL draft by convincing the Colts to pass on Leaf and select Peyton Manning first overall. The owner of the Colts says that’s nonsense.

    Jim Irsay says that while Steinberg and Leaf may have agreed in advance to skip a meeting with the Colts, that had nothing to do with the Colts’ decision to draft Manning instead of Leaf. Instead, Irsay says, the Colts simply thought Manning was going to be a better pro quarterback than Leaf.

    “I read something where [Leaf] purposely missed that meeting with Mora and that’s what affected what we were going to do; that’s a bunch of BS,” Irsay told the Indianapolis Star. “This was a football decision. [Missing the meeting] wasn’t even a factor.”

    Irsay thinks Steinberg is just trying to drum up some attention for his autobiography.

    “Leigh is writing a [bleeping] book so I guess he’s got to get out there and promote it,” Irsay said.

    Steinberg is certainly getting a lot of attention for his book. And Irsay just gave him some more attention.

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    Default Re: Peyton Manning was the #1 pick because Ryan Leaf sabotaged the process

    Quote Originally Posted by Sollozzo View Post
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    Polian and Mora were old school disciplinarian types. I don't think they were ever overly serious about taking Leaf. Of course, the final decision rested with Irsay since it was a franchise-altering decision like releasing Manning/drafting Luck, but it sounds like he always wanted Manning too. I was pretty young in 1998 and don't have a great memory of all of the pre-draft build up, but everything I've ever read since then makes it seem like Irsay/Polian/Mora were all three in general agreement about Manning. I think Peyton really helped seal the deal when he told Polian/Irsay, "I'd actually like to play here, but if you don't pick me I'm going to kick your *** for the next 15 years." When Manning was released two years ago, I wonder if he said something like, I'd actually like to finish my career here, but if you cut me I'll stick it to you by throwing 55 touchdowns and going to the Super Bowl with a different team."

    That's what I always loved most about Peyton. He wanted to play in Indy from day 1, even we were a joke franchise in flyover land.
    Maybe I'm just too big of a homer but my recollection is the idea that the Colts were regarded as one of the jokes of NFL franchises up until the arrival of Manning is just not correct.

    Yes, in those Kush, Dowhower, Meyer, etc years.... But by the mid 90's and after the death of Robert Irsay, getting Bill Tobin in the front office, yada yada yada... That image was turned around IIRC. Harbaugh played a role in that. You had Ditka on TV saying good things about the Colts. The defense came around. We got a lot of respect for our 'NFC style' defense. I'm not even sure but that the Jeff George debacle way back when didn't actually help the Colts' image-wise because he was a well-regarded QB prospect and the Colts went all in to get him. It didn't pan out but it showed a team willing to go after what they wanted and not just sit back and waiting on fans to show up. OTOH, that run after Jeff George short-circuited a pretty decent team that we already had building at the time (Chandler, Hinton, Rison all part of the trade to get the George pick). And there was the play for the Dick-Back way back in the day too... showing the Colts weren't just wanting to field a team in name only and not make moves.

    But I think by the mid 90's we'd shed that laughing stock image and shown ourselves to be players in making things happen via transactions and even on the field.

    I think there's a misconception that the Colts prior to Manning were the Keystone cops of the NFL but I think that image was shed sometime around the time Robert Irsay died and when Jim Irsay concentrated on owning and looked to hire respected football people. Once we got into that era I just don't remember being the butt of jokes on Inside the NFL or the Sunday morning NFL shows (or MNF even) any longer.

    Sure, there were some Mora Meltdowns to laugh at after that but that stuff reflected more on Mora, not the Colts as a franchise.

    Of course RWB will probably correct me on my recollections.....
    Last edited by Bball; 01-22-2014 at 08:27 PM.
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    Default Re: Peyton Manning was the #1 pick because Ryan Leaf sabotaged the process

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    Maybe I'm just too big of a homer but my recollection is the idea that the Colts were regarded as one of the jokes of NFL franchises up until the arrival of Manning is just not correct.

    Yes, in those Kush, Dowhower, Meyer, etc years.... But by the mid 90's and after the death of Robert Irsay, getting Bill Tobin in the front office, yada yada yada... That image was turned around IIRC. Harbaugh played a role in that. You had Ditka on TV saying good things about the Colts. The defense came around. We got a lot of respect for our 'NFC style' defense. I'm not even sure but that the Jeff George debacle way back when didn't actually help the Colts' image-wise because he was a well-regarded QB prospect and the Colts went all in to get him. It didn't pan out but it showed a team willing to go after what they wanted and not just sit back and waiting on fans to show up. OTOH, that run after Jeff George short-circuited a pretty decent team that we already had building at the time (Chandler, Hinton, Rison all part of the trade to get the George pick). And there was the play for the Dick-Back way back in the day too... showing the Colts weren't just wanting to field a team in name only and not make moves.

    But I think by the mid 90's we'd shed that laughing stock image and shown ourselves to be players in making things happen via transactions and even on the field.

    I think there's a misconception that the Colts prior to Manning were the Keystone cops of the NFL but I think that image was shed sometime around the time Robert Irsay died and when Jim Irsay concentrated on owning and looked to hire respected football people. Once we got into that era I just don't remember being the butt of jokes on Inside the NFL or the Sunday morning NFL shows (or MNF even) any longer.

    Sure, there were some Mora Meltdowns to laugh at after that but that stuff reflected more on Mora, not the Colts as a franchise.

    Of course RWB will probably correct me on my recollections.....

    We had some good moments before Peyton but outside of that dream season with Harbaugh that ended in Pittsburgh it was mostly bad the Colts were rather nonexistent I grew up in Bears country and despite the Colts being in Indianapolis it was all about the Bears and Packers. But when Manning came along and winning divisions and playoff games became the norm did anyone notice the Colts. Finally in local stores I saw Colts stuff(before they used to sell stuff of other teams like the Vikings and 49ers etc) they got a lot of press. Add that to the Pacers being the team of the city with Reggie Miller the Colts were known as Count On Losing This Sunday.

    With Manning memories of how awful the Colts were became a very distant memory(well until the 2011 season)

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    Default Re: Peyton Manning was the #1 pick because Ryan Leaf sabotaged the process

    Quote Originally Posted by Basketball Fan View Post
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    We had some good moments before Peyton but outside of that dream season with Harbaugh that ended in Pittsburgh it was mostly bad the Colts were rather nonexistent I grew up in Bears country and despite the Colts being in Indianapolis it was all about the Bears and Packers. But when Manning came along and winning divisions and playoff games became the norm did anyone notice the Colts. Finally in local stores I saw Colts stuff(before they used to sell stuff of other teams like the Vikings and 49ers etc) they got a lot of press. Add that to the Pacers being the team of the city with Reggie Miller the Colts were known as Count On Losing This Sunday.

    With Manning memories of how awful the Colts were became a very distant memory(well until the 2011 season)
    That's not what I'm saying...
    I'm saying the idea that the Colts were the laughing stock of the NFL before Peyton is not true. They had reached a point where they had some respect. Sure, the winning wasn't where it was going to be so there weren't droves of bandwagon fans onboard and people jumping ship from other teams just yet. And clearly there weren't going to be Colts swag all over the midwest yet. BUT they weren't a team where draftees thought they were going to be a career-killer any longer. By the mid 90's playing for the Colts was not looked upon the same as the mid and late 80's....

    The entire feel of the national coverage had changed by then.

    I think there's this misconception that there was the Robert Irsay era Colts and then there was the Manning Colts. There was a bridge in between those eras. That 95 run wasn't just some aberration but I'm not just talking about one year. In the 80's you could find the Colts on the Sports Bloopers reels... By the mid 90's... not so much. There was a level of respect in the sports world by then.

    IOW there's not some big line where the Colts were the Clown Colts and suddenly here's Manning and the Colts are all of sudden perennial contenders that everyone respects. Like I said... there was a bridge.
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    Default Re: Peyton Manning was the #1 pick because Ryan Leaf sabotaged the process

    Jimmy disagrees ...........

    http://www.indystar.com/story/sports...-bowl/4779239/

    "I read something where he (Leaf) purposely missed that meeting with Mora and that's what affected what we were going to do; that's a bunch of BS. This was a football decision. (Missing the meeting with Mora) wasn't even a factor. It was based on multiple evaluations and Bill (Polian) and I knew weeks before the draft that we were taking Manning, just like Ryan (Grigson) and I knew months before we were taking Luck. You do your homework, use all the time, find out everything you can. But to suggest Ryan did things that made us change our mind is just ridiculous and not true. It was very clear it was going to be Manning just as it was with Luck."
    Last edited by PacerDude; 01-23-2014 at 08:43 AM.

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    Default Re: Peyton Manning was the #1 pick because Ryan Leaf sabotaged the process

    Quote Originally Posted by Bball View Post
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    Sure, there were some Mora Meltdowns to laugh at after that but that stuff reflected more on Mora, not the Colts as a franchise.

    Of course RWB will probably correct me on my recollections.....
    Never really had much contact with Jim Mora and by hearing/seeing some of the stories glad I never did. Seems he had a habit of being a real @sshat with common everyday people trying to do their jobs. The only reason I was aware of this is because sometimes I would have to let folks into restricted areas and would have to wait around until they were finished. I know Mora became unglued because a phone tech didn't make Mora's telephone cord long enough for him to reach every corner of the room. Apparently Jimbo liked to walk around and look out windows while he talks. And the one I witnessed and knew Mora was a dick was Mora had ordered some fruit, drinks, and appetizers for a coaches meeting and the food service girl was a three minutes early. Mora chewed out this girl (high school age working the summer part time) for being too early. When he wants something it's not to be early or late but exactly on time when he wants it. Wow guess he put her in her place.
    You know how hippos are made out to be sweet and silly, like big cows, but are actually extremely dangerous and can kill you with stunning brutality? The Pacers are the NBA's hippos....Matt Moore CBS Sports....

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