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Peyton Manning should thank Cam Newton f
#1
Got a push notification on Tuesday night: "NFL conducting investigation of HGH Mike Gillislee Jersey allegations against Peyton Manning."Aaaand just in time for Super Bowl week. Here we go.MORE: Super Bowl quiz| Building the Panthers and Broncos| Every Super Bowl winner, ranked 1-49We didn't go anywhere, though. Not yet, at least there are 10 shopping days and change left until the NFL/CBS Ameritacular kicks off, andwe all must be entertained, and some of us must generate #content, and thus the Manning reckoning for that Al Jazeera report will come. It will come eventually.When it comes, though, it won't be the bomb-drop it initially seemed. There will be questions, most of them polite and some of them delivered by nude men in barrels, and the i sue will stay planted firmly in the back seat. Driving the Super Bowl Narrative Bus and serving as its tour coordinator is Cam Newton. Manning owes him a fruit basket, or an Edible Arrangement, or a whole bunch of those cardboard garbage circles he pa ses off as pizza.Yes, if these two weeks weren't already about Cam, he made it thus on Wednesday, when he directly, truthfully and correctlyanswered a question that used the "lightning rod" code word."I'm an African-American quarterback that may scare a lot of people because they haven't seen nothing that they can compare me to," Newton said. Mmmmyep, that sums it up. He'd already dominated the news cycle throughout the playoffs people like reading about him, and we all have a job to do, and that's how this works and Wednesday's instance of making the implied explicit restarted the whole thing.That led to good stuff like this, and this, and this, and a whole bunch of other stuff that will be said or written very soon. It's being said and written right now. It's dominating the conversation, and it should; Newton is making everyone rethink, in one way or another, what it means to be a quarterback, or a black man, or a Southern man.And because there can only be one Alpha Story at a time in moments like this, Manning's week has gotten a lot easier for two reasons.MORE: Cam's best moves| Peyton and Cam: More similar than notThe first: More people are either noticing or re-noticing allegations, settled out of court in 2003, that Manning, at Tenne see back in 1996, sat on a female trainer's face. He said he mooned her. There was a court filing, and it presents a version of Manning that is gro s at minimum and, potentially, criminal. The trainer said in a deposition that(it)was the gluteus maximus, the rectum, the testicles and the area in between the testicles. And all that was on my face when I pushed him up. To get leverage, I took my head out to push him up and off.This isn't new. He wrote about the allegations in his 2010 book " Trey Flowers Jersey crude, maybe, but harmle s," merely visible butt cheeks and was actually ruled to have violated the settlement by talking to ESPN about it in 2005.Things are different now;by dint of the fact that it all happened pre-Twitter and, e sentially, pre-Internet, plenty of people had no idea that it happened. They're learning now,though, and for as awful as things can be in 2016, society generally treats sexual a sault allegations differently than we did 10 or 20 years ago. That might not have been a front-and-center story for Manning if there were no Cam Show, but it's undeniably bumped down the list.The second isn't just the Al Jazeera story about Manning allegedly receiving HGH shipments to his house in his wife's name; we all know it exists, even if Jim Nantz who, as should be repeated until it sticks, shares an agent with Manning opted out of mentioning it on TV back in December. As David Steele wrote in the wake of Manning's denial, he sounds angry, if not nece sarily innocent:In fact, Manning could make a much better case for why he would do it, not why he wouldnt. When it comes to HGH and similar performance enhancers, a player like Manning is practically the ideal client.Even if he wasnt one of the best quarterbacks who ever played, hes still an aging, beaten-up veteran playing a brutally physical sport, who, in 2011, was coming off surgery that sapped the strength from the arm that made him a legend. Back then, the NFL and NFLPA hadnt nailed down a testing plan. He didnt want to stop playing. Here was a way not to. Career saved and image protected.Thats believable. Not to say that Donta Hightower Jersey Manning is not. But thats the choice we have now. Any other argument youre hearing is a pump-fake.A month later, Manning still has work to do. For the last few days, in the shadow of his third Big Game, he hasn't had to do it. That's because, first and foremost, of Newton.And none of this is to say that he's guilty; it's to say that letting him skate isn't an option. As Steele wrote, we're talking about allegations from a greasy pharmacist who's defending himself by "admitting" to fantastic, defamatory lies. But whatever your thoughts are about performance enhancing drugs and I certainly have some they're undeniably 1.illegal within the sport and 2.the product of a generally greasy subculture. Kirk Radomski is a dirtbag. Jose Canseco is a dirtbag. All of them, in their own ways, are dirtbags.They also, to a relevant extent, were telling the truth.So, no, Manning wasn't going to be done with this, even before Tuesday's push notification went out. When that happened, though, the die should've been Rob Gronkowski Jersey cast even harder. It should've been written in cement.The NFL is a grotty bouillabai seof corporatecronyism,an unhealthy nationwide obse sion with the product it pushes and an unearned sense of valor.It gives us reason after reason after reason to not only distrust it, but view it with contempt. Its investigation of Manning may well reveal nothing. Maybe we'll hear the results nine months from now. Maybe we never will.Maybe it's more windmill-chasing.But the investigation is happening all the same, and we learned about it during the endle s run-up to the league's marquee event. It seemed like a huge deal, and maybe it'll bear itself out as such.Or, maybe Cam Newton willrestart the cycle enough times to get Manning off the hook for good.
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