Peyton Manning retires amid lawsuits

03 FEB 2016:Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) holds his hands up and makes a statement that SEC quarterbacks are the best prepared for the NFL during the Super Bowl 50 Denver Broncos press conference held at the Santa Clara Marriott in Santa Clara California. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

03 FEB 2016:Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) holds his hands up and makes a statement that SEC quarterbacks are the best prepared for the NFL during the Super Bowl 50 Denver Broncos press conference held at the Santa Clara Marriott in Santa Clara California. (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire)

By Charles Glover, Jr.

After 18 seasons Peyton Manning announced his retirement today from the National Football League (NFL) with a lot of fanfare. Manning has been one of the top NFL ambassadors, as a member of the Indianapolis Colts for his first 14 years and the Denver Broncos the last 4 seasons. Manning was gracious during his retirement press conference thanking many, including his last team stating, “Grateful is the word that comes to my mind when thinking of the Denver Broncos.”

Manning announced his retirement in a press conference Monday and expressed appreciation and respect for numerous players, coaches, executives, and media members.

Manning announced his retirement in a press conference Monday and expressed appreciation and respect for numerous players, coaches, executives, and media members.

Retiring after helping the Broncos win Super Bowl 50 only enhances his legacy. Manning retires having won 5 regular season NFL MVP awards, 200 career wins, and a long list of passing records. Manning has also been as one of the most recognizable figures in all of sports for more than a decade, transitioning his success on the field to endorsements and public appearances. Nationwide and Papa John’s are the most frequent commercials Manning is featured in. Manning has also hosted Saturday Night Live on multiple occasions.

Manning’s retirement comes on the heels of a Super Bowl victory and a pair of pending lawsuits that should not be forgotten. His settlements in 1996 and 2003 with Dr. Jamie Naughright from an incident that occurred while Manning was attending the University of Tennessee recently resurfaced. In the court documents, Dr. Naughright accused Manning of sexually inappropriate conduct, further exacerbated by a book which he later co-wrote with his father, Archie. According to the court transcript, Manning was less than truthful in his recounting of his actions yet the university backed him up and hung Naughright out to dry.

Dr. Naughright reinstated the lawsuit after Manning’s book was released and her career suffered due to the entire series of events. and a class action lawsuit has been filed against him and the university by females who said they were harmed. Additionally, the NFL is still investigating claims from an Al-Jareeza report that linked him and his wife to the performance enhancing drug HGH.

FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2010, file photo, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning celebrates after teammate Joseph Addai scored a touchdown during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl XLIV football game against the New Orleans Saints in Miami. A person with knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press on Sunday, March 6, 2016, that Manning has informed the Denver Broncos he's going to retire. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

FILE – In this Feb. 7, 2010, file photo, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning celebrates after teammate Joseph Addai scored a touchdown during the second half of the NFL Super Bowl XLIV football game against the New Orleans Saints in Miami. A person with knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press on Sunday, March 6, 2016, that Manning has informed the Denver Broncos he’s going to retire. (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson, File)

Regardless of the findings of the NFL investigation, or any further developments in the current Tennessee lawsuit, Manning will be a first ballot NFL Hall of Fame selection. As Manning faces retirement he shared, “when someone thoroughly exhausts an experience they can’t help but miss it.”

Manning will always be linked and compared to Tom Brady and held in high esteem by those who appreciated his dedication to the game of football. Manning has his flaws as we all do but has earned the respect of many of the most respected in sports. As Manning said, “There’s something about the number 18. 18 is a good number.”–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr., is a senior writer at OnPointPress.net and a Licensed Insurance Professional working with HealthMarkets.  Contact me directly at (470)755-9940 for your health insurance questions and concerns.

Will Cam Newton’s appeal extend beyond Super Bowl 50?

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been front and center in the media coverage leading up to Super Bowl 50.

Carolina Panthers Quarterback Cam Newton has been front and center in the media coverage leading up to Super Bowl 50.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

Super Bowl 50 is days away and as the Carolina Panthers prepare to face the Denver Broncos, Panthers quarterback Cam Newton has been the centerpiece of media sessions. Newton has had to answer copious questions about being an African-American quarterback, his on-field celebrations and his personality, among other things. Newton’s responses are now being commonly accepted and it seems he is as well, a huge change from how he was covered earlier in his career.

Newton with one of his signature celebrations after scoring a touchdown

Newton with one of his signature celebrations after scoring a touchdown

In the first two seasons of Newton’s career with the Panthers, there was a lot of losing and blame to go around for those losses. The former Number one overall draft pick and Heisman Trophy  winner found out the hard way that every aspect of his game would be scrutinized as the team struggled. Newton was even called by former teammate Steve Smith, Sr. and current head coach Ron Rivera, “Mr. Mopeyhead” for the way he apparently sulked when the team struggled. Reflecting on that difficult period, leading into his third season, Newton said:

“It was very disgusting. That’s as blunt as I can be. I could say other words as well. We went back on YouTube and looked at Cam Newton’s post game interviews. I was like “oh my God,” I see what people see. I see how people are viewing me. When they see this selfish player, or see this childish temper tantrum that I was throwing, I’m like “that’s why people look at me like that”

Newton (l) and Rivera (r) have grown together to help lead this team to the franchise's second super bowl appearance.

Newton (l) and Rivera (r) have grown together to help lead this team to the franchise’s second super bowl appearance.

Newton’s third season was in 2013, a year in which the Panthers won their division with a 12-4 record and earned a first round bye. Though they lost in the second round of the playoffs to the San Francisco 49ers, the team has grown together and has not missed the playoffs since that season.

While Newton has been clear in recognizing the need to mature on and off the field, it is clear that he has the support of his team and in particular his head coach Ron Rivera. Rivera has been the Newton’s head coach since he entered the NFL. Rivera’s past experience as a player for the Super Bowl winning ’85 Chicago Bears has helped shape his view of how to govern his team. Rivera has admitted that he embraces players individuality as long as they work together as a team on the field.

Newton (l) and Manning (r) are the first pair of former #1 overall selections at quarterback to face each other in the super bowl.

Newton (l) and Manning (r) are the first pair of former #1 overall selections at quarterback to face each other in the super bowl.

The Broncos and their top rated defense hope their quarterback Peyton Manning has one more vintage performance left in him to help pull off the upset over Newton and the Panthers. Manning, for his part acknowledged how much he has had to change this season stating, “I haven’t been stubborn. I have been flexible.”

Newton has been given the opportunity to have his personality and style of play embraced by his organization over the last few seasons and the results have been resounding. The Panthers enter Super Bowl 50 with a 17-1 record and the overwhelming favorites to win it all. With this being the fourth straight Super Bowl with an African-American starting quarterback, maybe there is growing acceptance for different ways to win at the quarterback position.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr., is a senior writer at OnPointPress.net and a Licensed Insurance Professional working with HealthMarkets.  Contact me directly at (470)755-9940 for your health insurance questions and concerns.

Russell Wilson’s quiet leadership is exemplary among black quarterbacks

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson hopes to lead his team to consecutive championships.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson hopes to lead his team to consecutive championships.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

On  Sunday, February 1, 2015, Russell Wilson has a chance to become back-to-back Super Bowl champion. There are only a handful of quarterbacks that have that distinction on their resume, most recently his opponent on Sunday, Tom Brady. However, Russell Wilson has already achieved an historic accomplishment by being the first African-American quarterback to reach the Super Bowl in consecutive years.

Steve McNair had a great deal of success in his career, including his play in the wildly entertaining Super Bowl XXXIV.

Steve McNair had a great deal of success in his career, including his play in the wildly entertaining Super Bowl XXXIV.

Wilson is the fourth African-American quarterback to play in the Super Bowl. In 2004 Donovan McNabb led the Philadelphia Eagles to the Super Bowl and in 1999 Steve McNair also led the Tennessee Titans to the Super Bowl. McNair and McNabb fell short of leading their teams to victory and were ultimately unsuccessful in winning the Super Bowl.

McNabb fell short of Super Bowl victory in 2004, but led the Eagles to several NFC title games.

McNabb fell short of Super Bowl victory in 2004, but led the Eagles to several NFC title games.

In 2012, Colin Kaepernick surprised many by leading the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl in just his 10th career start. He narrowly missed a second opportunity to appear in the Super Bowl last season, losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks. Wilson, Kaepernick, and Cam Newton are few of the young African-American quarterbacks who are changing perceptions about the position with their varied styles of winning.

Doug Williams put forth one of the best Super Bowl performances of any quarterback when he led the Redskins to victory in 1987.

Doug Williams put forth one of the best Super Bowl performances of any quarterback when he led the Redskins to victory in 1987.

In 1987 Doug Williams guided the Washington Redskins to the Super Bowl and was victorious over the Denver Broncos. Williams’ Super Bowl appearance is not only distinctive because he is African-American, but also because of his superb performance that day. Williams orchestrated a 42 -10 rout of the Denver Broncos with 340 passing yards and 4 touchdowns, en route to being named Super Bowl MVP. As successful as Williams and the Redskins were that day, they were unsuccessful in repeating the following year.

Marshawn Lynch (l) and Richard Sherman (r) have been the main attractions when discussing the Seahawks during this week's media sessions.

Marshawn Lynch (l) and Richard Sherman (r) have been the main attractions when discussing the Seahawks during this week’s media sessions.

Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks hope to add their names to the history books with repeat Super Bowl victories on Sunday against the New England Patriots. While many of Wilson’s teammates like Marshawn Lynch and Richard Sherman have become major headlines during media week, Wilson has flown under the radar. However, his importance to the game cannot be understated.

Wilson hopes this Super Bowl ends the same way the last one did, with the Seahawks victorious.

Wilson hopes this Super Bowl ends the same way the last one did, with the Seahawks victorious.

Wilson is the unquestioned leader on offense and will have to play a much better game than he did in the NFC championship game if the Seahawks are to prevail this Sunday. So far in his career Wilson has been successful in overcoming challenges, so there’s no reason to believe Super Bowl XLIX will be any different.–OnPointPress.net–

Charles Glover, Jr. Is a sports aficionado and a training/benefits consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com. For business inquiries contact (646)309-1938.

Seattle Seahawks win first franchise Super Bowl, 43-8

Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson speaks to reporters after leading his team to Super Bowl 48 victory.

Seahawks Quarterback Russell Wilson speaks to reporters after leading his team to Super Bowl 48 victory.

By Carmen Glover

The Seattle Seahawks dominated the Denver Broncos from the very first play of Super Bowl 48 in New Jersey on Sunday night to win its first Super Bowl in franchise history. The victory is especially sweet as it vindicates the mobile quarterback style of play, effortlessly displayed by Russell Wilson. At 26, Wilson becomes only the second African-American quarterback to lead his team to Super Bowl victory, after Doug Williams first did so in Super Bowl 22 with the Washington Redskins. Williams, in the 1987-88 NFL season, thrashed the John Elway-led Broncos 42-10. Elway is the current president of the Broncos.

Doug Williams is the first African-American quarterback to win the Super Bowl in 1988, also against the Broncos.

Doug Williams is the first African-American quarterback to win the Super Bowl in 1988, also against the Broncos.

The Seahawks stifled the Broncos with their defense, leaving highly touted season MVP Peyton Manning looking bewildered, bemused, lost and totally out of his league. The precision, poise and spectacular plays that exemplified the major action by the Seahawks team serve as a strong statement to skeptics of the mobile quarterback play and the keen instincts exhibited by the overall Seahawks team.

Marshawn Lynch is a man of very few words, choosing to let his play speak for him.

Marshawn Lynch is a man of very few words, choosing to let his play speak for him.

The Seahawks earned a safety within the first minute of the game, ending the first quarter with eight points. On a mission to secure their rightful place as the team of destiny, they ended the first half 22-0. The only touchdown for the Broncos came in the last play of the third quarter, after the Seahawks shut them out in every single play up to that point. In what seemed like an unapologetic Super Bowl clinic, the Seahawks team read cues, manhandled the Broncos and outplayed, outclassed and embarrassed a team, which, boasting a drop back, pocket quarterback in Manning, was largely seen as the winner of the game even before the coin toss to start the game.

Richard Sherman declared that he is the "best cornerback" in the game.

Richard Sherman declared that he is the “best cornerback in the game.”

Leading up to the game, Wilson was asked on Media Day how he planned to play come game day, “Just to have poise and fun,” he replied with a smile. That message appeared to have resonated with his teammates because it was evident throughout the game that they had a single-minded focus: Dominate the Broncos and win convincingly but have fun doing so. Wilson, in his second year in the NFL, soundly outplayed Manning, who in his sixteenth year, amassed the most impressive statistics of his career and was seemingly crowned as the winner by virtue of those numbers, while the reserved Wilson was overlooked and treated as an afterthought prior to the game.

Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll had the pulse of his team, making sure they had fun while playing to their diverse strengths.

Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll had the pulse of his team, making sure they had fun while playing to their diverse strengths.

The Seahawks were coached by Pete Carroll who appeared to tap into the players’ individual personalities, from the loquacious Richard Sherman to the media-shy Marshawn Lynch and the sophisticated, polished, effective leadership style of Wilson, who seemed content to fly under the radar. All season long the Seahawks have been a team on a mission, determined to make their statement with their style of play which deftly utilized both the running quarterback and the suffocating defense that mesmerized fans while confusing and frustrating their opponents.

Percy Harvin, who missed most of the season with hip surgery, scored a touchdown in the game.

Percy Harvin, who missed most of the season with hip surgery, scored a touchdown in the game.

The only thing that matters, however, is that the long drought is officially over and the Seahawks have taken their rightful place among the elite teams in the NFL by becoming the latest winners of the prized Super Bowl and the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Wilson, for his part, has expanded the number of African-American quarterbacks who won the Super Bowl to two, and he did it by dazzling with the running style that has excited fans while demonstrating that the game is versatile enough to accommodate more than one type of quarterback play to ultimately lead to Super Bowl victory. Lynch and Percy Harvin were among the touchdown scorers.

Malcolm Smith was named game MVP.

Malcolm Smith was named game MVP.

At the end of the game, Seahawks Linebacker Malcolm Smith walked away with game MVP honors. A jubilant Wilson thanked “God for leading” the team to victory and said he asked “the guys at the beginning of the season: ‘Why not us?'” Now he has his answer. —OnPointPress.net.

Please follow us on Twitter @OnPointPress_.

It’s Broncos vs Seahawks for a great Super Bowl matchup

 

Russell Wilson leads the Seattle Seahawks to Super Bowl 48 with a chance to win the first championship in franchise history.

Russell Wilson leads the Seattle Seahawks to Super Bowl 48 with a chance to win the first championship in franchise history. Are they the team of destiny?

By Charles Glover

One thing is certain for the upcoming February 2 Super Bowl game: an established, seasoned, white, pocket quarterback will face a younger, exciting, black, dual-threat running quarterback in what will provide a great showcase of two distinct styles of quarterback play. Peyton Manning leads Denver in a structured offense based on timing and precision, while Russell Wilson leads Seattle in a more instinctive offense that reacts to the defense.

Leading up to the AFC and NFC championship games, much of the attention focused on the rivalry between Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. But if the Seahawks wins the Super Bowl, it would be the second time in NFL history that a black quarterback has led his team to Super Bowl victory and it would be the first time that a dual-threat quarterback has done so.

In the AFC game, Manning and the Broncos dominated the Patriots defense throughout, with Brady seeming unable to galvanize his team, while lacking the typical passion that is usually associated with his play. The Broncos won 26-16.

Peyton Manning heads to the Super Bowl for the 3rd time in his 16 year career as the Broncos defeated the Patriots Sunday.

Peyton Manning heads to the Super Bowl for the 3rd time in his 16- year career as the Broncos defeated the Patriots Sunday.

“Being in my 16th season and going to my third Super Bowl I know how hard it is to get here,” Manning said after his team won the game, while Brady expressed disappointment in not getting the result that he wanted, stating that “it was not a good feeling.”

In the NFC game, the 49ers led for most of the game but were plagued by turnovers. Meanwhile, the Seahawks were determined and dogged, as if they felt that they were the team of destiny. they won 23-17. Seahawks team owner Paul Allen, in accepting the championship trophy, thanked “the coaches, the players and the fans,” calling the fans “amazing” while quarterback Wilson thanked “God for bringing us here.”

The Super Bowl game will be an exciting matchup of two vastly different styles of play, featuring a quarterback in Manning who has led his team with the top offensive record. Manning has been in the NFL for 16 seasons and is coming off a spectacular year. In Wilson he will face a younger running quarterback who has led his team all season long to the top defensive record, despite being in the NFL for only two seasons. Stay tuned for what will be a great matchup on Super Bowl Sunday.–OnPointPress.net–

 

Charles Glover Jr. is a sports aficionado and management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.

 

AFC or NFC, which championship game will be better?

Russell Wilson hopes to take the #1 seed Seahawks to the Super Bowl in his second year as a starter in the NFL.

Russell Wilson hopes to take the #1 seed Seahawks to the Super Bowl in his second year as a starter in the NFL.

By Charles Glover, Jr.

Magic, Earvin Johnson versus Larry Bird or Lakers versus Celtics: Epic individual matchup or dynamic team rivalry? Which was better? Like the great games played by those two competitors, the National Football League (NFL) couldn’t have asked for a better championship weekend. The AFC championship will feature the two biggest stars in the NFL over the past decade as Tom Brady leads his New England Patriots to Denver to face Peyton Manning and the Broncos. Two all-time great quarterbacks facing each other with an opportunity to play in the Super Bowl has to be the best game of the weekend, doesn’t it?

Colin Kaepernick will have to be at his best to lead the 49ers to consecutive Super Bowl appearances.

Colin Kaepernick will have to be at his best to lead the 49ers to consecutive Super Bowl appearances.

Meanwhile, the NFC championship will feature the best rivalry in the NFL, the two best defenses remaining in the playoffs, and two of the best young quarterbacks, who are both African-American, in the game. Combine those factors with two head coaches who have a rivalry that goes back to their days coaching in college (Pete Carroll at USC and Jim Harbough at Stanford) and you have a recipe for a combustible contest. The San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks will send a combined 16 players to the pro bowl and both teams play similar styles offensively and defensively. This will also be the third meeting of the season for these teams as both have won on their home field. Russell Wilson and Colin Kaepernick are two of the most exciting young quarterbacks in the game and they have done nothing but win since they took over as starters in the league. The Seahawks can make it to the Super Bowl for the first time since the 2005-06 season while the 49ers are trying to reach NFL title game for a second consecutive season.

Peyton Manning's last two trips to the AFC championship game were successful. He looks to add to that success this Sunday.

Peyton Manning’s last two trips to the AFC championship game were successful. He looks to add to that success this Sunday.

As intense as the NFC matchup will be, it will not have the historical impact of the AFC contest. Peyton Manning completed a regular season in which he set just about every single season passing record and led his team to the number one seed in consecutive seasons. Tom Brady helped his team overcome a litany of serious injuries as the Patriots continued to dominate the AFC east and reach the AFC title game for 8th time in the Belichek-Brady Era. Manning and Brady will face each other for the 15th time in their careers, with the Patriots beating the Broncos earlier this season. However, the last time they faced each other in the playoffs, Manning and the Colts defeated the Patriots en route to Manning’s only Super bowl win in 2006-07. A win for Manning would put him in the Super Bowl for the third time and allow him a chance at multiple championships. Meanwhile, Brady is trying to join a class with Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana, four time Super Bowl champion quarterbacks.

Tom Brady attempts to lead the Patriots to the Super Bowl for the 6th time.

Tom Brady attempts to lead the Patriots to the Super Bowl for the 6th time.

Both games should be entertaining, intense, and memorable. All the teams remaining won at least 12 games in the regular season and the winner of either matchup will provide NFL fans with something special to look forward to on Super Bowl Sunday. Will Manning cap off a record breaking season with a Super Bowl win? Will Brady get that elusive fourth title? Will the Seahawks get the first Super Bowl victory in franchise history? or, Will the 49ers tie the Pittsburgh Steelers with the most Super Bowl victories for a franchise with its sixth win? One thing is sure, the NFL championship round will be one for the ages.–OnPointPress.net–

 

Charles Glover Jr. is a sports aficionado and management training consultant. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.com.

Revisiting NFL playoff predictions for insight, context, perspective

image

By Charles Glover, Jr.

As the final week of the regular season for the National Football League(NFL) approaches this weekend, this writer will revisit predictions made about the playoff teams at the start of the season. Most of the playoff spots are currently unsettled coming into the final weekend, bringing greater excitement and interest in the season finale for NFL teams.

Peyton Manning has led the Denver Broncos to the best record (12 - 3) in the AFC so far.

Peyton Manning has led the Denver Broncos to the best record in the AFC so far.

In the American Football Conference (AFC), the four divisions have already been decided. The winners of those divisions are:

AFC West – Denver Broncos (12 – 3)

AFC East – New England Patriots (11 – 4)

AFC North – Cincinnati Bengals (10 – 5)

AFC South – Indianapolis Colts (10 – 5).

One of the two Wildcard playoff spots is going to the Kansas City Chiefs (11 – 4), while there are several teams vying for the final playoff opening in the AFC. The Miami Dolphins (8 – 7), Baltimore Ravens (8 – 7), San Diego Chargers (8 – 7), and Pittsburgh Steelers (7 – 8) all have different scenarios in which they can make the playoffs if they win their last game this season.

Russell Wilson has led the Seattle Seahawks to the best record in the NFC so far.

Russell Wilson has led the Seattle Seahawks to the best record in the NFC so far.

In the National Football Conference (NFC) only three teams have clinched a playoff birth and none of the divisions have been decided yet. The current division leaders at this time are:

NFC West – Seattle Seahawks (12 – 3)

NFC South – Carolina Panthers (11 – 4)

NFC East – Philadelphia Eagles (9 – 6)

NFC North – Chicago Bears (8 – 7).

Based on conference records, the three teams that have clinched playoff births are the Seahawks, Panthers, and the San Francisco 49ers (11 – 4). The New Orleans Saints (10 -5) or Arizona Cardinals (10 – 5) can clinch the final Wildcard position with a win this weekend. The NFC North division winner will be decided on Sunday afternoon when the Bears face the Green Bay Packers (7 – 7 – 1). The winner of that game makes the playoffs. The same applies to the winner of the NFC East division deciding game between the Eagles and Dallas Cowboys (8 – 7) on Sunday night.

This writer was very wrong in predicting the Houston Texans (2 – 13) and Washington Redskins (3 – 12) would make the playoffs this season as they have the two most dreadful records in the NFL this season. However, there is still a chance that 10 out of the 12 predicted teams will make the postseason this year. The final playoff spot will be decided in the final game of the NFL regular season.–OnPointPress.net–

 

Charles Glover, Jr. is a sports aficionado and management training specialist. Follow me @OpenWindowMES on Twitter.