By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — Peyton Manning will be interviewed as part of the NFL’s investigation into an explosive report regarding several NFL players with alleged ties to performance-enhancing drug use. The report by the now-defunct Al-Jazeera America accused Manning – via comments by Charlie Sly, a former employee of the Guyer Institute in Indiana – of receiving shipments of human growth hormone in his wife Ashley’s name, with the implication that the drugs were meant for him.
The league could not force any kind of interview out of Manning, who is retired and no longer a member of the NFL Players Association, but an email to Pro Football Talk confirmed that they will interview Manning in addition to the active players named in the report, including the Packers’ Clay Matthews and the Steelers’ James Harrison – who is only kind of cooperating with the investigation.
Regardless of whether the league changed its mind or outside forces influenced them to ultimately interview Manning, they are doing the right thing. They may get nothing new out of it and the whole reaction from the Manning apologists probably wouldn’t budge either way, but it’s a far better look to include him in the investigation than to outright ignore the most explosive part of the whole report. They may be questioning Manning just as a formality and they may take no for an answer faster than Chris Farley in Tommy Boy…
…but it’s still better than ignoring Manning entirely.
I’m resigned to the fact that the Manning Media Minions will defend No. 18 ’til the day he dies. I’m also accepting that even if Manning did do HGH, it’s over and done-with and won’t have any effect on his legacy, nor should it. I just wanted him to face the same kind of scrutiny that other players of his caliber have endured in recent years from the Goodell Mafia, because it’s only fair. He deserved it this time, and the league knows it.
The NFL will likely pull nothing useful from the Manning interview, nor will they even try – but it’s better than doing nothing at all.
Matt Dolloff is a writer for CBSBostonSports.com. His opinions do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.