Dec 22, 2011; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning watches from the sidelines during a game against the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Indianapolis defeats Houston 19-16. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Manning Fever


If you listened to AA Radio last night (which every single one of you did, obviously), you know your boy Big Matt has got a serious case of Manning Fever. I tried to remian aloof, but am no longer able. Fear of losing draft picks has been my inoculation to the RG III virus, but no such cure to Manning Fever is available.

I guess this means I have to quietly get off my “three more years of Cassel” bandwagon. Not sure who’s gonna drive that thing now. As far as I know there were no other passengers. And even I was only there for a confusing, low-yield joke. If anyone wants to take over conducting that train, I’ll be happy to give you the keys. Warning: you’ve got some serious coal-shoveling ahead of you, and I think the caboose is haunted. Also its been a long time since any of the turlets worked properly.

Fever or not, I find it hard to believe this fantasy becomes a reality. Of course, we have the money. And Clark Hunt finally seems to realize that the natives are restless and he has to spend some of it. So actually, I don’t think he’s going to be the problem here.

Pioli is more of a roadblock. There’s going to be a feeding frenzy when free agency starts, and he doesn’t function well in that kind of environment. For some bizarre reason, some have convinced themselves that this weakness is a strength. That playing scared is the same as playing smart. And thus, spending big is synonymous with spending dumb. This is why you see SO MANY people reference the Redskins. It’s comforting. “That team spends and loses, so not spending must lead to wins!” Childish logic, obviously, but prevalent in Chiefs Nation.

If you like being $30 million under the cap, then yes, Pioli has been just what the doctor ordered. And if he can suddenly flip the switch and go alpha on all the big dogs, then you could make the argument that his past frugality was helpful, because it saved the money necessary to sign Peyton.

Do you guys think he can flip that switch? Because that’s what it will take. If you think Peyton Manning will be licking his chops to come here because of our 11th ranked defense, you’re wrong. We’ve been a bad team for a long time. To get Peyton to KC, Pioli will have to outbid other teams, as well as convince him we’re a team on the rise. Can it be done? Sure. Like I said, we have the money. And we have more than enough talent to make a case for being on the rise. I believe it’s possible to make this happen.

But we’re not talking about whether or not it’s possible. We’re talking about whether or not Pioli is the man to do it. I’m skeptical. This is the guy who said “nobody was calling” when asked why he didn’t trade back in 2009. The guy who had the most cap space in the league and didn’t so much as contact Julius Peppers, a player who wanted to play in a 3-4. Pioli has said numerous times that he doesn’t believe in breaking the bank for one player. And that’s exactly what we’d have to do to get Peyton Manning.

Has his belief system changed so much, so fast? I would love that, but I don’t really believe it. I think the new CBA mandates spending by next year, and the Chiefs know public opinion of them is very low. So why not make a lot of noise about free agency now, one year before the mandate, and act like this change is of your own volition? Ted Crews, take a bow.

I really don’t care what their motivation is, as long as they change their ways. PR? Fine, go spend some money. I just think it’s going to take more than a token change to sign Peyton Manning, and I’m not convinced this noise out of 1 Arrowhead Drive is anything more than that.

The most likely opening day QB in 2012 is still Matt Cassell. I think we all need to brace ourselves for that. We’re more likely to see Kyle Orton or Jason “Cam” Campbell in a Chiefs uniform than either Peyton Manning or Bob Griffin.

Still, I got the fever, and a man can dream.

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Tags: Scott Pioli