Talking to enough people over the years who remember the Colts when they were in Baltimore, I could understand why Hanoverians loved the horseshoe.
After all, with the largest standardbred farm in the world just outside town, Hanover and horses are a natural fit. Then again, some Colts made annual visits to Hanover during training camp, so they were much more accessible to the community.
And then there are the uniforms, largely plain by NFL standards, and, from a community which also follows the vanilla white and blue of Penn State, the more basic, the better.
Even though the Colts left long ago for the Midwest, Peyton Manning walked into their new city and, like those former Colts seemed to do for Hanover, adopted it as his own.
That’s why Monday’s news that Manning will ply his trade in Denver next season seems so shocking.
Sure, as a free agent, he’s entitled to play wherever the team there wants to pay him. Yet the Broncos don’t play in a warm dome with a fast surface, and there’s this little issue of potential brutally cold days … and nights in the Mile High City.
And it will be totally weird to envision Peyton Manning dressed in a sometimes outlandish blue and orange uniform, even if the number on the jersey says “18.”
But, seemingly faster than you can say, “Tim Tebow,” Peyton Manning has a new employer, not unlike the situation years ago when Joe Montana left San Francisco for Kansas City.
That turned well for a short while for the Chiefs. Envision the same for the Broncos, who have to know they really will have a 36-year-old franchise quarterback only for the short term.