In the era of The Decision (this Clevelander will never forget), Brett Favre, and public trade demands, it's becoming increasingly rare to see a star athlete amicably split from their team. Peyton Manning and the Colts have been a stark contrast to that trend, and it has been incredibly refreshing.
While Peyton's teary-eyed press conference will be the enduring image, both parties deserve a lot of credit, in the end. After a tense offseason where Colts management let go of several key actors on the team, it seemed the writing was on the wall. Peyton and ownership fired off a couple of quips about the situation but it never escalated or got personal. After that initial flurry, both sides retreated and went through the process in private. In the end, they made the announcement together and were clear that they both had the utmost respect for the other.
This situation cost Peyton Manning $28 million and cost the Colts' a hugely valuable asset. However, those facts weren't invoked, and the sides kept it professional and cordial. It was really a sight for sore eyes in today's sports culture.
Thanks to both for all the memories over the past 14 years and for making sure that those memories are what endures in our minds and not some messy, petty breakup.