No plan B Peyton Manning's comeback with the Denver Broncos

Mark Kiszla

Book - 2013

Peyton Manning won the Super Bowl, hosted Saturday Night Live and threw 399 touchdown passes during 14 amazing years as an NFL quarterback. Then he got fired. Indianapolis no longer valued Manning, a four-time winner of the league's Most Valuable Player award. Get this: The Colts cut the most-liked athlete in America. "And I'm glad they did," Denver Broncos executive John Elway said. The Broncos made the most buzz-worthy signing in the history of NFL free agency during March ...of 2012. Despite missing a season with a neck injury that threatened to end his brilliant career, Manning was acquired to lead the Broncos back to Super Bowl glory. "We don't have a Plan B," Elway declared, as he presented Manning with an orange No. 18 jersey. "We're going [with] Plan A!" Even for a quarterback as decorated as Manning, his task in Denver was daunting. At age 36, Manning had to relearn to throw the football with a right arm that had suffered extensive nerve damage. The new quarterback in town had to convert devout fans of Tim Tebow, who won games in the name of Jesus. A brutal early season schedule left the Broncos with a 2-3 record, as whispers grew the old Pro Bowler had lost his touch. What happened next is one of those great comeback stories that make us fall in love with sports. Manning went from washed up to nearly unbeatable. He led Denver to 11 consecutive victories to close the regular season. More important, Manning lifted the Broncos back to the elite status that had been slip-sliding away since Elway retired as quarterback in 1999. How did Manning do it? On the practice field, he can be a perfectionist who is a pain in the ass. On the team plane, he can be a comedian who has teammates rolling in the aisles. To get inside football's most beautiful mind, award-winning journalist Mark Kiszla takes readers from raucous locker rooms to quiet film rooms for a behind-the-scenes look at Manning's remarkable revival. Football is a violent game. Life can be a contact sport. Before moving to Denver, Manning was sacked 231 times by NFL defenders, but never harder than the 232nd, when Colts owner Jim Irsay hit him with a shot that shook the veteran QB to his core. So the toughest question for Manning was the same as the uncertainty facing any proud worker who has been slapped with a termination note: How does a man respond after he gets knocked on his butt? Manning is the master of the no-huddle offense. But, with his physical ability fading and anything less than a championship considered failure, Manning has never had to beat the clock with such urgency. There's no time to waste. No excuses. No looking back. No Plan B.

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 796.332092/Manning Withdrawn
Lanham, Maryland : Taylor Trade Publishing [2013]
Physical Description
xi, 200 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : color illustrations ; 23 cm
Includes bibliographical references (pages 183-188) and index.
Main Author
Mark Kiszla (-)
  • Get lost
  • No plan B
  • Riddle me this
  • He's PFM. You're not ; Mr. Noodle Arm ; The day Tebowmania died ; Old No. 7
  • The Brothers Orange
  • Who's in charge?
  • Signed with respect
  • Genius at work
  • No laugh track required ; Last of the dinosaurs ; Manning versus Elway
  • Skyfall
  • Swimming with the snarks ; Doom 'n' boom
  • Never take a knee
  • The scoreboard for the Denver Broncos 2012 season.
Review by Library Journal Review

Veteran sportswriter Kiszla (Denver Post) spent last season covering 36-year-old future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning in his 2012 comeback season with his new team, the Broncos. While dutifully reporting the team's game-by-game highlights and ultimate disastrous loss to the Ravens in the playoffs, the author primarily focuses on profiling Manning through a series of revealing prisms: his relationship with fellow competitor, Broncos GM John Elway, his comfortable interactions with easygoing coach John Fox, his long friendship with local baseball star Todd Helton, and his handling of the harsh realities of the salary-cap NFL, where even the biggest of stars are one misstep from being cut. The smoothly written book shows Manning as both a bossy, obsessive perfectionist and a likable, loyal, funny friend and teammate. VERDICT Manning is as popular as anyone in football, and this insightful piece of journalism will be of interest to all fans. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.