There hasn't been a phrase I've loved to hear more over the past 10 years than the sweet, sweet sound of "Manning to Harrison for the reception". And boy have we heard it over and over again through-out those years.
But, we've learned this week that Harrison and the Colts, confined by a strict salary cap, were unable to reach an agreement on his contract. The result? The organization granted his request for free agency. To be honest, it's the right call to make. Because, at the end of the day, a sports team is a business. And businesses have bottom lines. As the last two years have shown us, Harrison is past his prime. From a numbers perspective, he's not worth it. But that doesn't quite make it any easier to see him go. To imagine him not in the blue and white. Not quietly sitting on the sidelines or just as quietly receiving passes from Manning.
It's unique to find a duo like Peyton and Marvin. A twosome so in-sync, so methodical, so consistent that you can't seem to picture it working any other way. A pair that passed and surpassed many greats before them. And, what's more, they did it without batting an eyelash. While we, the fans, celebrated and cheered and screamed our lungs out, for these two, it was all in a days work. There's something respectable about that. Especially in today's society. While other players in the game are arrogant, flashy and self-promoting, Marvin has spent his 13 years in the NFL rather subtly, behind a veil of privacy. During the Colts last regular season home game against the Titans back in December, Harrison made his 1,102nd career catch, moving him into second place on the all-time list. While a packed Lucas Oil Stadium erupted cheers, Marvin simply made his way back to the sideline and over to the bench, with the ball tucked neatly under his arm.
And that has made him all the more intriguing to me. It's like the less he shared, the more I could fill in with my ideas about what qualities the all-pro possessed. Despite his recent attempted homicide suit, I still look at him as the same hard-working, respectful receiver I've grown so fond of watching on the field. I've transferred his game time persona to my reality. A reality that I hate to see leave the team. Even if I know it's for the better.
So this week and especially now, with the deadline to free agency just moments away, we've said goodbye to Marvin Harrison. Said goodbye to half of the greatest duo in Colts history. But I wish him the best of luck outside of the blue and white. No matter where he ends up in the end, he'll always be part of the Indianapolis Colts to me.