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The Pure Magic Of Peyton Manning

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It is hard to define and nearly impossible to imitate, but Peyton Manning seems to be spinning pure magic this year on the football field. It is highly unlikely that a 37 year old athlete with dozens of years of playing under his belt along with a significant toll on his body would be able to produce the kind of numbers that he is posting this season. He is leading his team once again toward the Super Bowl with only one more win necessary to insure that will happen. Manning is playing at the highest level of his entire career and doing it with a neck that has been surgically repaired and weak ankles that are easily and repeatedly sprained. What is his secret?
The man has an indefatigable will for one thing. He’s like the Energizer bunny who just keeps going and going and going. The Indianapolis Colts for whom Peyton played fourteen seasons during which they went to the playoffs every year and to the Super Bowl two times must be shaking their collective heads. In fairness, it was a difficult decision they had to make in releasing him. The money was a big part of the equation. After all, we’re talking about a four time MVP and that spells big money. Then there was the neck injury which kept Manning from performing throughout the 2011 season. Prior to this Peyton had never missed playing in an NFL game.
Whatever Manning seems to lack due to an aging and well worn body he seems to be able to make up for with a brilliant mind for football. His anticipation of what a defense is going to do is second to none. It’s almost uncanny how he is able to read the next play coming at him. His work ethic is legend. He takes the time to help his teammates improve in their positions and to learn to read plays themselves. He leads a team that produced the third highest points in NFL history by week 11 of the season. How does this happen?
Again, the man leading this team is a machine. A machine that thoroughly understands the game that he loves so much. His discipline has been described as robotic and his will to play at the highest level is unsurpassed.
It is difficult not to admire such characteristics especially when they are combined with a overriding humility that belies his success. It is small wonder that the Indianapolis fans were so heartbroken when their idol was released. Their loss is Denver’s gain and the Colorado fans are loving what their new quarterback is doing. So are the millions of Manning fans throughout the country though they reside in other states. Magic, after all, is a rare commodity.