FINISH LINE: You can call me Peyton

  • Thu May 6th, 2010 11:23pm
  • Sports

Star-struck

Jacques McClendon spent most of his life following Peyton Manning.

Now, the Indianapolis Colts’ rookie guard from Tennessee is adapting to his new role: lining up in front of his favorite player.

The stark reality hit McClendon like a 350-pound defensive tackle last weekend, hours after Manning spoke with Indy’s new rookie class. Yes, the Colts brought him in to protect Manning, not admire him. But it’s hard not to be a little star-struck.

“I’ve got a Peyton Manning jersey, I’ve got his autographed helmet in my mother’s house, so you know I’m a huge Peyton Manning fan,” McClendon said.

Manning’s used to it. Over the years, Colts rookies have tried to address him as “Mr. Manning” and have sought his autograph.

“The strange thing for me is the autographs. I’m used to signing autographs for kids or friends or whatever, but they’re coming up and asking for my autograph because they’re a fan. I always say (to Colts rookies), ‘You’re not a fan, you’re my teammate, and we need to be equals here.’”

PARTING SHOT

“I don’t want to be like Brett Favre. I don’t want to be like Old Yeller, when they take you behind the barn and shoot you.”

— Hines Ward

The Steelers receiver explaining to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he’ll retire if he wins a third Super Bowl ring.