Peyton should pass on No. 18

When Broncos owner Pat Bowlen hands to Peyton Manning his new jersey at 3:00 p.m. ET (we’ll be streaming the press conference live via a special edition of PFT Live), the number 18 will appear below Manning’s name.

Mike Klis of the Denver Post reports that Frank Tripucka, the first quarterback in franchise history, has given his blessing to the unretirement of Tripucka’s previously retired number, so that Peyton can wear it.

Tripucka shouldn’t have even been asked.  No player with a retired jersey ever should face that request.  That’s the whole purpose of the retired jersey.  It’s retired.  If a jersey isn’t going to stay retired, then don’t retire it.

It’s not as if the Broncos retire jerseys recklessly.  According to the Official NFL Record & Fact Book for 2011, only three have been set aside:  18, 7 (John Elway), and 44 (Floyd Little).

Some would say, “Who cares?”  To that I say, “Exactly.”

It doesn’t matter which number Manning wears.  Thus, he should respect the fact that Tripucka’s jersey is retired, and Peyton should pick a different number.

Like 16, the number he wore in college.

Then, if he delivers a couple of Super Bowl wins as a Bronco, he could become the first NFL player who has two different numbers retired, with two different teams.

And no one should ever ask him to unretire either of them.

107 responses to “Peyton should pass on No. 18

  1. He’s the great Peyton Manning. The greatest QB in the history of the NFL (even with a sub-.500 post-season record, lol). He takes what he wants!

  2. No he shouldn’t. That’s ridiculous, and I dont give poop about the Broncos either way.

  3. My question is why did a guy who only played 37 games for the Broncos get his number retired?

    51 TDs 85 INTs 51.8% Comp%

    Those are certainly the numbers worthy of retiring a jersey.

    I’m left to wonder why Tripucka isn’t in Canton….

  4. Peyton should not wear 18. This is the first bad move he’s made with this whole process. Go back to 16 from college. It’s just showing that retired numbers don’t mean anything anymore, and no one has respect for players of more than 20 years ago.

  5. That guys picture on the card looks like he is drunk and on a heavy dose of Viagra.

  6. If hes still injured he could wear 15, take a knee before and after he hits the field and maybe Bronco fans will think the team passed on Manning and Tebow is still their QB.

    If hes healthy I think they would figure it out eventually thou.

  7. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal, but I agree that retired numbers should stay retired. When Joe Montana came to KC, Len Dawson offered to let him wear 16, but Joe declined. That’s the classy thing to do.

  8. cakemixa says:
    Mar 20, 2012 1:56 PM
    He’s the great Peyton Manning. The greatest QB in the history of the NFL (with a career postseason QB rating of 88.6 – higher than Tom Brady’s 86.0 and his brother’s 88.0). He takes what he wants!

    Fixed it for you (since everyone with half a brain knows that postseason W-L records are a TEAM stat).

  9. The whole idea is that it’s never worn again. What’s the point of retiring it, if at any time a high-profile player can come along and steal it?

    like on Seinfeld complaining about rental car reservations

  10. As a Bronco fan im so happy about this I cant sit still. However, as a Bronco fan, I respect the history. Peyton, go with 16 buddy. Be cool.

  11. Just because Frank Tripucka isn’t a household name doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be recognized as a Bronco legend. He was the first quarterback in team history.

  12. Ever think that maybe Tripucka has something to possibly gain from this little deal?

    Like getting his name brought into the mainstream via reports just like this.

    I agree with the premise of your argument, but we have little clue of the conversations behind it, thus probably jumping to ill conceived conclusions. (Not signing autographs come to mind, lol)

    Look.. I personally think this decision isn’t going to bear fruit for the Broncos.. but I am not going to hammer every aspect of the process going forward.

    I will just watch it unravel next season.

    Biggest question in this deal.. plus or minus about 3 weeks before the Tebow regret chatter picks up steam?

  13. All jersey numbers in the NFL should be un-retired. There are too many players on the rosters today, plus nobody has ever heard of half the guys who’s numbers are retired. Time to move on.

  14. 100% Agreed.

    As a Seattle fan, I’m still not over Jerry Rice wearing #80 during his “cup of coffee” period with the Seahawks.

    Teams “retire” jerseys too often and “unretire” them too easily.

  15. It’s sad that jerry rice couldn’t learn from joe when jerey went to Seattle and begged largent to wear 80

  16. I agree, if a number is retired, leave it retired. You’re not with your former team where you wore that number so move on. If it’s the number that is that important, find a way to stay with your former team and keep it. Also, it shouldn’t even be up to the player that wore the number before, it should be the respect of the organization to keep it retired. Another thing, what if the former player of the retired number is deceased? Does the Broncos say to unretire it because it’s Peyton Manning? Bad avenue to be going down.

  17. Again, we get it. You don’t like Peyton Manning. If I’m not mistaken, Frank Tripucka stated he would have no problems with Manning wearing the 18 jersey before he was even asked. He said it would be an honor.

  18. Records are meant to be broken and retired numbers may re-enter circulation. On a long timeline it will continue to happen to many more franchises, Peyton is okay on this one.

  19. If Tripucka said he can have it, he can have it.

    Also, if Dez Bryant can wear Mike Irvin’s #88. Peyton Can do it.

  20. bozosforall | Mar 20, 2012, 1:00 PM CDT
    cakemixa says:
    Mar 20, 2012 1:56 PM
    He’s the great Peyton Manning. The greatest QB in the history of the NFL (with a career postseason QB rating of 88.6 – higher than Tom Brady’s 86.0 and his brother’s 88.0). He takes what he wants!

    Fixed it for you (since everyone with half a brain knows that postseason W-L records are a TEAM stat).

    Wow. Had no idea Tom Brady’s brother was so good in the playoffs.

    Let he who is without grammatical sin cast the first stone.

  21. Really, this is all that needs to be said:

    Career history
    NFL Philadelphia Eagles (1949)
    NFL Detroit Lions (1949)
    NFL Chicago Cardinals (1950-1952)
    NFL Dallas Texans (1952)
    CFL Saskatchewan Roughriders (1953-1958)
    CFL Ottawa Rough Riders (1959)
    CFL Saskatchewan Roughriders (1959)
    AFL Denver Broncos (1960-1963)
    CFL Saskatchewan Roughriders (1963)

  22. I disagree.
    Three things, and my personal opinion, sway me to believe it’s not a big deal and I don’t see why people who don’t have a jersey (or even the disconnected “my dad’s jersey” for HoF’s kids) in the rafters are getting all up at arms about it.

    Tripucka said on his own he’d be honored if Manning wore his #18 jersey in Denver, before Manning joined Denver. Manning reportedly will still ask Tripucka if he can wear the #18 jersey. It’s not your jersey, you don’t play, and even if you did it’s not your jersey, why frustrate or anger yourself over a jersey, especially after considering the first two reasons I think it’s ok to wear it.

    Side Note: If Manning doesn’t wear the #18 jersey, are you going to be satisfied? How about vindicated? Feel like it was because of you and your outrage? Good job, you set us back another few years.

  23. Wasn’t Brett Favre retired? Like, 3 times? If he wasn’t going to stay retired, he shouldn’t have retired.

  24. Like 16, the number he wore in college.

    ___________________

    I think Broncos fans will have flashbacks of Jake Plummer. Especially, if stays with the long sleeve jersey.

  25. He would have to ask jake plumber about using 16, he was the next elway. But it’s only the phins who have that next great one problem

  26. “Tripucka shouldn’t have even been asked. No player with a retired jersey ever should face that request. That’s the whole purpose of the retired jersey. It’s retired. If a jersey isn’t going to stay retired, then don’t retire it”

    Bang, outa the park! 100% correct! If PM goes along with this he goes down a notch on the class meter. Take a page out of Montana’s book Peyton, No one will ever have hard time remembering Manning, this jersey is why some might remember Tripucka in the future. They retired his number for a reason, just because the current owner, GM and coach aren’t seeing why doesn’t make it right. BAD move. Honor your history, don’t erase it.

    FYI to those wondering, Tripucka was the Broncos first QB.

  27. The Len Dawson/Frank Tripucka comparison is ridiculous. One of these players is Len Dawson and one isn’t. Frank’s said he’s cool with it (I imagine he lives everyday with the guilt of having his number retired simply for being at the right place at the right time). Anyway, Peyton hasn’t said whether or not he even intends to wear #18 in Denver, regardless of Tripucka’s blessing.

  28. Tripucka said he was honored to unretire his number for Manning though. It’s not like some diva wide receiver or hot-shot rookie signed with the team and demanded the number as part of the contract. The Broncos respected and honored Tripucka by retiring it and Tripucka respects and honors the current generation through Manning by (temporarily) unretiring it. It’s totally up to the number’s “owner,” for lack of a better term; however in the case of retired numbers of players who have passed on the number should permanently stayed retired.

  29. Why is this is a surprise? Manning has always been selfish, it’s just how he is. Remember when he made a big show about wearing black hi tops when Unitas died, claiming he couldn’t wear them because the league would fine him? If he really wanted to he would have worn them and paid the fine, but that wasn’t even an option for him.

  30. Not a Broncos fan, never even heard of Tripucka, but you don’t just “unretire” a number. There is a reason no Jets WR has worn number 80 since Chrebet, even though his number isn’t officially retired, it’s about respect.

  31. When the Steelers realized at the end of their phenomenal run through the 70’s that there would be so many jersey’s that would have to be retired, Joe Greene, Terry Bradshaw, Franco Harris, Mike Webster, Jack Ham, Jack Lambert, Mel Blount, etc. That they actually asked all those who had their jersey’s retired, (who were alive), Bill Dudley, Jack Butler, Ernie Stautner, Johnny Blood McNally, to unretire their numbers. All but Ernie Stautner agreed to do so. Must have been a result of coaching in Dallas all those years in the 70’s & getting their butt kicked by the Steelers. So even though there is every effort made not to give out 75, 58,59,12, 52,57,32, the only official retired number is Stautner’s 70. So it’s not unpresidented for a team to ask a player to unretire his number in the NFL.

  32. yelix says:
    Mar 20, 2012 2:00 PM
    I don’t think it’s that big of a deal, but I agree that retired numbers should stay retired. When Joe Montana came to KC, Len Dawson offered to let him wear 16, but Joe declined. That’s the classy thing to do.
    ————–
    Totally agree. I was going to say that but you beat me to the punch.
    Montana (perhaps the greatest QB ever) was too classy to take Dawson’s #.
    In any case, he’d always be remembered as a 49er.

  33. I concur Mike, First of all if Frank Tripuka wasn’t alive would they have just said yeah sure you can have #18 Peyton, he won’t mind. Very low class move Denver what do you think the man is going to say? Stay classy Elway, why didn’t you just offer up old number 7? Same difference your number shouldn’t matter either.

  34. I find it ridiculous and hypocritical that the reporter, doing his JOB, is being scolded by the author. What a joke!!

  35. Hey look, Im a football purist….

    But my goodness… Tripuka’s stats are as follows:

    51 TDs 85 INTs 51.8% Comp%

    His jersey was ONLY retired becuase he happen to be the first QB of the organization?

    Using that logic, the Texans should be retiring David Carr’s jersey any day now…

    Tripuka’s probably enjoying gettign his name back in the news… (50 years later…)

  36. scoops1 wrote: It’s sad that jerry rice couldn’t learn from joe when jerey went to Seattle and begged largent to wear 80
    _________________________________

    Sorry Scoops1 but you are wrong about Rice. He wasn’t begging, permission was given……..

    News Tribune, The (Tacoma, WA) – October 20, 2004

    NFL legend’s No. 1 job: Help Hawks win, With Steve Largent’s blessing, Jerry Rice is eager to put on No. 80 and help take Seattle to the next level.
    KIRKLAND – Jerry Rice’s first route as a Seattle Seahawk took him directly to the telephone. Steve Largent, the only Seattle player enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was on the line with a message for the most prolific receiver in NFL history. “Jerry, if you want to wear No. 80, you have my blessing,” Largent told him.

  37. With Eddie Royal gone Peyton could wear #19 in honor of Unitas, similar to when he wore the all black high top cleats.

    Or he could wear #8 in honor of his father Archie.

  38. rhinosinsider says:
    Mar 20, 2012 1:58 PM
    My question is why did a guy who only played 37 games for the Broncos get his number retired?

    51 TDs 85 INTs 51.8% Comp%

    Those are certainly the numbers worthy of retiring a jersey.

    I’m left to wonder why Tripucka isn’t in Canton….
    ______________________________

    Why is it so difficult for the majority on here to do a little Googling before yapping?!

  39. It’s pretty hilarious to me how little anyone in Denver seems to care about THE GREAT TIM TEBOW anymore. Thank GOD that is over.

  40. The number is retired because he was the first ever QB of the franchise that is the one and only reason its not because he was great or anything so in my opinion and I am a life long Bronco fan the number shouldn’t even have ever been retired in the first place its not like Elway or Little guys who were real franchise players and in the HOF so really it doesn’t matter and that’s why the guy doesn’t give two craps if its un retired so get over it people

  41. If Frank Tripucka can get his jersey retired than Jamarcus Russell should get his retired. No disrespect Mr. Tripucka but your stats are garbage.

  42. Peyton should pass, because if the shoe was on the other foot, he wouldn’t let no one wear his number from Indy, where he was unwilling to change his contact or take less money. If he does wear 18, Indy should put his number back on the board. What fair is what fair!

  43. yelix says:Mar 20, 2012 2:03 PM

    Just because Frank Tripucka isn’t a household name doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be recognized as a Bronco legend. He was the first quarterback in team history.
    ———————————————————
    So did the Donks retire the numbers of the 21 other starters that year?

    It’s ridiculous that this guy’s number was retired in the first place. That said, retired means “retired; never to be worn again”

  44. I just looked Tripucka up on PFR and his numbers are horrible. Aside from having a 3000 yard season back when it actually meant something, he had a completion percentage comparable to Tim Tebow and in INT/TD ratio of far too close to 2:1.

    How did this man get his number retired again?

  45. One wonders if they will be showing the new Nike jersey a week and a half before being officially released, or the old Reebok style?
    Denver-tonians will want to be buying these things with #18, #81 or #69 on them starting 1 minute after the press conference, so its best to have some readily available…selling the old one for 10 days and then changing them would be quite funny.

  46. ahs2, I guarantee you Denver didn’t retire his jersey # for work he did with other teams in the league. It’s SOLELY because he was the organization’s first qb. I agree with annoyingknowitall: “Using that logic, the Texans should be retiring David Carr’s jersey any day now…”

  47. Don’t cheapen the honor…..keep it retired. For the record, Frank also sired a pretty good basketball player…..Kelly Tripucka.

  48. Ah…let Manning wear #18! Besides, it’s fashionable to “unretire,” just ask Manny Ramirez or Brett Favre!

  49. He should wear 17, the average of his college number and his Pro number. And then get a neck vertebrae transplant and retire.

  50. I actually agree with Mike on this one. Damn, that’s like twice in the last week. I think I’m going to be sick.

  51. devinmr711 says:
    Mar 20, 2012 2:29 PM
    If Frank Tripucka can get his jersey retired than Jamarcus Russell should get his retired. No disrespect Mr. Tripucka but your stats are garbage.

    ——————

    Child…please. Perhaps if you read the linked story, you would have noted that an appreciative owner who started a new team in a new league wanted the number retired because Tripuka agreed to QB the team during those initial formative years. The world was a different place 50 years ago. Next thing you will be saying that Norm Van Brocklin doesn’t belong in the HOF because he threw more INTs than TDS!

  52. Some of you people are complete idiots! I think ol Frank knows why his jersey is retired and he happens to be a fan of one of the best quarterbacks to ever throw a pass. He said he would be honored if Manning would wear 18. The Broncos never asked Tripucka. The jealousy fest is still alive and well over Manning wanting to sign with the snowed in cow town that just happens to be the best place to live in the country!

  53. Just because Largent and Tripucka had the class to give their blessings doesn’t mean it’s right of Rice & Manning to take them up on it. I think Andrew Luck should ask PM for #18 in Indy and see what HE says. Bet that would be a different story.

    Not a fan of retiring #s but for a guy like PM who always trumpets his respect for the “history of the game” for him to take that number is selfish, shameful and a “DO YOU KNOW WHO I AM???” moment. Ugh.

  54. Is Tripuka is at getting half of the Peyton’s % of the revenue of sales of all Denver Number 18 jerseys and NFL authorized souvenirs?

  55. When a player goes to another team, and wants a number already issued to another, usually some money changes hands, or a donation to a charity. How about it, PM…..slip Frank some $$$$$$!

  56. Giving Steve Largent’s #80 to Jerry Rice was the most amateur, despicable thing that has ever happened to the Seahawks organization.

    And yes, I still consider it more painful and embarassing than the XL fiasco.

  57. devinmr711 says:Mar 20, 2012 2:29 PM

    If Frank Tripucka can get his jersey retired than Jamarcus Russell should get his retired. No disrespect Mr. Tripucka but your stats are garbage.

    ___________

    He played in a different era that’s why. QB’s in the 50s, 60s, and 70s were more game managers than aerial threats.

    That’s why you look up guys like Namath and Griese and find that they have 30 more INTs than TDs.

  58. I’m not sure why everyone cares so much about this. Tripucka said multiple times publicly that he would be honored for Peyton to wear his number before Peyton had even made up his mind. I’m not sure how you can take this and make into some sort of negative about Peyton as a person. Not too long ago when Peyton was released by the Colts, the Governor of Indiana wrote about all the great things that Peyton has done for that entire state behind the scenes and how he was always there to help with anything they needed, including getting a children’s hospital built, but you morons take shots at his person because he’s wearing #18 for the Broncos. That’s stupid. If you don’t like it, then fine, but don’t use it to take shots at Manning’s character. That’s just ridiculous.

  59. This whole discussion is really pointless. It’s not a big deal unless someone asks/demands for it.
    If it is offered by the original player, I’m sure it’s a mark of respect for the new guy.
    It’s up to the new guy to take up that offer (like Rice did when Largent offered) or decline it in honor of the old guy (like Montana did when Dawson offered him his number).

    In either case, I don’t think it was ask/demanded. It’s up to the original guy whether he wants that jersey to stay retired or offer it as a sign of respect.

  60. He played in a different era that’s why

    Understanding historical context may be a little above most of this crew.

  61. First of all, you retire a jersey just because he was the first qb in franchise history, not because he is/was great! Who, including Bronco fans even knew who this guy was? Probably his only claim to fame was that he was in the NFLs funniest bloopers reel!

    .

  62. I think he should have been 16 as well. I think once a number is retired it should never be worn again…wether the guy is ok with his number being worn again or not

  63. Retiring numbers is a foreign concept to Raider fans. Can’t you all just have a ring of honor or something? Stadiums are fairly large. There are only two numbers you won’t see on a Raider jersey. 00 and 2.

  64. Ralph Cindrich just said on Twitter this morning that Tripucka has Alzheimers. Now I’m 10 clicks PAST revolted that PM took the guy’s offer.

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