If we’ve learned anything from the travails of one Martin McFly, it’s that you can’t fuck with the past. You make one bet on the Cubs to win the 2005 world series and all off a sudden your brother vanishes from a photograph, Biff is banging your mom, and you end up stuck in the old west with Ted Danson’s wife.
Well, ahead of Sunday’s Conference championship games, I say we throw caution to the wind and play a quick game of What if?
Today’s question: What if the Colts had passed on Peyton Manning and gone for Ryan Leaf instead?Â We’re not going to predict game results or levels of success here. Let’s just see how one different decision made in 1998 would have affected the current rosters of NFL teams.Â
We can start in Indianapolis, where the Colts obviously would have a different quarterback. Next, we will go to San Diego. The Chargers would have drafted Manning number 2, and would still have him today. That means they never would have drafted Drew Brees in 2001. Brees, in turn would not have become a free agent and left for the Saints in 2006. The Chargers also would not have drafted Eli Manning in 2004 and traded him to the Giants for Phillip Rivers. If they hadn’t obtained Manning, the Giants wouldn’t have brought in Kurt Warner to be his tutor. Warner, in turn, wouldn’t have become a free agent again in 2005, so he wouldn’t have been available to sign with the Cardinals. Meantime, Kerry Collins probably would have stuck with the Giants, meaning he would not have signed with the Raiders in 2004, then may not have signed with the Titans two years later.Â If Collins wasn’t available, the Titans would have held on to Steve McNair, instead of letting him leave for Baltimore.Â Who knows how the rest of his life may have played out if that happened.Â Now, if we stretch just a bit, we can argue that not signing McNair would have led the Ravens to search for a more permanent solution at QB at that time. And that means they would not have needed to draft Joe Flacco last year.
That’s a lot of fall out from one seemingly autonomous decision made nearly 12 years ago. and I didn’t have to steal plutonium from the Libyans to prove it.