On Lacrosse and Peyton Manning
Our long national nightmare is over. Peyton Manning is a Denver Bronco. (While for this Jets fan, another circus is just beginning.)
Manning's free agency selection brought with it the requisite sports media attention we've come to expect for superstar players in this age. Basically, you see the story on ESPN every time you turn it on.
But there were a few things that haven't been mentioned prominently, and for lacrosse folks, I think they'll be of at least some interest.
Back a few weeks ago, Manning was visiting a few teams, like the Arizona Cardinals, Tennessee Titans and Broncos, to see where he may want to play post-Colts. While in Denver, Manning stayed at former teammate Brandon Stokley's house and while there, Manning wanted to throw and have a workout.
Stokley picked out a local park near his house for a Saturday morning, but when they arrived the field was occupied by a group of lacrosse players.
"Who plays lacrosse at 8:00 in the morning?" Stokley said during a local radio interview.
We all know about the sport's growth in Colorado, so it should come as no surprise. Manning and Stokley found a small area to have a throwing session.
Then, this week, Manning decides to sign with the Broncos.
He wants his No. 18, but the number is retired by the team. Frank Tripucka, the first quarterback of the franchise, wore it. Frank Tripucka is the grandfather of current Duke junior midfielder Jake Tripucka, who has started six games for the Blue Devils this season.
Frank, who is battling some health issues, decided to allow Manning to wear the number, thus the nice pretty pictures you saw with Manning holding up the orange 18 Broncos jersey.
Kelly Tripucka, Frank's son and Jake's father, is the former Notre Dame basketball star from the late 1970s and early 80s and a 10-year NBA veteran. He's also now a television analyst for New York Knicks games on MSG Network in New York.