|Manning says he doesn't want things to get 'personal' with Jim Irsay. (Getty Images)|
It's been an odd week for the Colts leading up to everyone and their brother arriving for the Super Bowl. First, there were Peyton Manning's comments on Monday night about how weird a place Lucas Oil Stadium had become with the changes to the Colts organization, among other things. Jim Irsay didn't like what Manning said, and called the quarterback a "politician" who was "campaigning" in his interview.
Manning has responded, via comments to Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star, and he's taking the high road.
|The Manning Saga|
"At this point, Mr. Irsay and I owe it to each other and to the fans of the organization to handle this appropriately and professionally, and I think we will," Manning told Kravitz on Thursday night. "I've already reached out to Mr. Irsay. I wasn't trying to paint the Colts in a bad light, but it's tough when so many people you've known for so long are suddenly leaving. I feel very close to a lot of these guys and we've done great things together.
"It's hard to watch an old friend clean out his office. That's all I was trying to say."
Manning likely knows his time is done in Indy. He has to. But as with his comments on Monday, he's not stirring up his dirt when it comes to what he thinks the Colts will do with his contract.
"I just want to keep rehabbing and working hard, and when the time is right for Mr. Irsay and I to sit down, I look forward to a healthy conversation about my future," Manning said. "I've worked too hard and have such great respect and have so many great relationships inside the building and out, and it's incredibly important that those remain."
Manning also knows how different his legacy in Indy could be depending on how he exits stage right. Which is why he doesn't want things to get personal.
"I want to separate the personal and the business," Manning told Kravitz. "I've seen it get personal in other situations, and I don't want that to happen here."
A perfect example of this is the Brett Favre saga that went down in Green Bay. Things got personal. Things got ugly. And fans in Green Bay hated Favre after he left.
Manning is a smart dude, and he obviously has a ton of love in his heart for Indianapolis and the Colts organization. But he's also smart. Even if his comments on Monday were "campaigning," they weren't part of any type of negative campaign.
Irsay fired the first salvo and now Manning's walking away. If the Colts owner chooses not to do the same things won't get heated, but they will get awkward.
And it's already gotten personal.
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