The sports scene is ecstatic at the recently announced comebacks of two FAN FAVORITES, Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees and Peyton Manning of the Denver Broncos, both after recent periods of inactivity.
We can only ask one question - Is any of this really necessary?
The Indianapolis Colts released Peyton Manning earlier this month for two reasons. One, they would have had to pay him a mere $28 million if he was on the team's roster one more day and Two, oh by the way Manning sat out the entire 2011-2012 season due to multiple injuries to his neck.
Incredibly, Peyton Manning has decided to resume playing pro football, reaching a free agent deal with the Denver Broncos for 98 million dollars over a 5-year period. Rather than begin early retirement in his mid-30s, Peyton has decided to risk permanent injury, which I guess is his perogative. It shouid be said that whenever Manning decided to stop playing and retire he has a television job waiting for him at multi years and multi millions. He probably has enough money to never need to work again right now so, why is he doing this?
New York Yankees' Andy Pettitte announced that he is coming out of retirement to resume his career after retiring following the 2010 season. After a borderline hall of fame career, Pettitte retired after 15 seasons and 5 world championships to spend time with his family. Like Manning, Andy Pettitte need not worry about money -- he signed with the Yankees this time for only 2.5 million dollars so its clearly not the money. Granted, baseball is not as physically threatening as the violent NFL, but why would Andy risk his career memory to come back now? Does anyone remember Willie Mays botching fly balls in center field as a New York Met way past his prime?
Two other prominent sports figures come to mind that suffered immeasurably when they stayed around too long. Muhammad Ali suffered an awful beating at the hands of Larry Holmes in 1980, and yet came back again to get pounded by Trevor Berbick in 1981 - yes that Trevor Berbick. Sugar Ray Leonard nearly ruined his hall of fame career getting beat up by Terry Norris in 1991. Incredibly, like Ali, he still didnt know when to quit and returned for a beating by Hector Camacho in 1997.
It is said that the competitive edge that inspires athletes is the same edge that brings them back for more competition - er - punishment. Does anybody remember Brett Farve? Please have some iced tea, pull up a chair and watch like the rest of us. Please?