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The Great Saban-Manning Conspiracy

by admin on Friday, April 25th, 2014

NFL LogoIf you play in the National Football League you had better be careful which old friends you go to visit in the off season, Big Brother is watching and you just may be violating some fine print in the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NFL Commissioner’s office and the NFL Players Association.

Real football players care deeply about the game of football and the guys who play it. It’s in their blood. The dedicated ones never stop learning, never stop improving, never stop teaching.

So what is all the fuss about an innocent visit by Bronco’s quarterback Peyton Manning to see his old buddy Nick Saban down at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa? When asked why he went to see Saban, Manning replied, “just trying to learn”. On the surface that would seem kind of hard to argue with or to punish.

Most sports fans would think that Peyton Manning was already one of the most knowledgeable people on the planet on the subject of playing football, but like great musicians, the really good ones never stop learning. It’s the part of the process that keeps the game forever new and interesting.

Peyton made the trip with Bronco’s offensive coordinator Adam Gase who also has a long history with Nick Saban having served under him before at Michigan State and LSU. Now Roger Goodell’s office is poking into the visit to determine if any rules were broken. Seems ridiculous, but there you have it.

Saban had this to say about the visit after pointing out the Peyton Manning is “about as good as anybody’s been in the history of the league”. “After all the experience and knowledge that he has, he’s going out and trying to seek more knowledge and understanding of the game of football so he can play better.”

There is a rule on the books agreed to in the CBA that players and coaches aren’t supposed to be talking football before offseason workouts begin. Of course there is the letter of the law…and then there is the spirit of the law. It seems most unlikely that the league or the players could raise a legitimate objection to learning something new.

Nick Saban is reassuring everyone that everything’s above board’move along folks, nothing to see here’. He summed it up like this, “It’s a great example for a lot of young people, whether they’re playing high school, college, Pop Warner or whatever, and it’s something that I have tremendous respect for. I really enjoyed visiting with him”.

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