Ryan, Peyton, and Papi: Farewell to all that

Among the many story lines leading up to tomorrow’s Super Bowl, one that gained early traction was the “will he or won’t he” speculation about Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning’s possible retirement following the game, which was fueled by his “this could be my last rodeo” comment to Patriots coach Bill Belichick during the post-game handshake following the AFC championship.

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Whenever a legendary professional athlete like Manning calls it quits on a stellar career, it’s big news, and not just on ESPN and the sports talk radio shows. There’s the obligatory press conference, complete with thanks to everyone in the athlete’s career and often more than a few emotional moments of voice cracks and choking back of tears.

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