Tennessee fans want Peyton; Colts ‘garbage’ without QB, Irvin says

INDIANAPOLIS — It worked for Tim Tebow‘s faithful followers, so maybe these Titans fans are on to something.

Peyton Manning‘s future with the Colts is wrapped in mystery, but fans in Tennessee aren’t wasting any time in an effort to lure the quarterback back to his old stomping grounds.

A recently launched website — ComeHomePeyton.com — is urging Titans supporters to donate their hard-earned greenbacks for billboards, radio ads and viral videos aimed at convincing Manning, the former Tennessee Volunteer, to end his career in poetic fashion.

“The football gods are smiling upon us,” the site’s opening crawl reads. “We have (Stanford quarterback Andrew) Luck to thank. As (Tennesseans), born or bred, it has always been our duty to volunteer to come together to do all we can do to right a wrong or effect positive change in the world. That is why we call upon you now to join us in sending a message to Peyton Manning to come home to the state of Tennessee and play quarterback for the Tennessee Titans.”

If the football gods are smiling on the Titans, NFL.com’s Gil Brandt isn’t sure they’re smiling on Manning.

“If there’s no medical problem, he still has a lot of gas left in his tank,” Brandt said Monday from the Super Bowl Media Center. “In my opinion, I don’t think he’ll ever play, because I think the risk is so high. When you’ve had three neck surgeries like that, you know, there’s always a consequence at the end. The big thing is, he might pass the physical, but is he going to have the same velocity, is he going to have the same strength?”

NFL Network’s Michael Irvin believes the masses shouldn’t be quick to shrug off what Manning has meant to the Colts and the city of Indianapolis since 1998.

“It was garbage without Peyton,” Irvin said. “… Peyton is beyond talented. He’s gifted. And gifted people, we mark our lives by them. We mark our lives by the gifted.”

— Marc Sessler

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