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Opinion

March filled with madness in college basketball, free agency in NFL

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March 23, 2012

It is NCAA Tournament season, one of the biggest sporting events of the year. The tournament has not failed in providing that “March Madness” we all love as two No. 15 seed Cinderella stories, Norfolk State and Leigh both won first round games.

Despite this, Peyton Manning and the NFL free agency frenzy have taken over the headlines providing the real “March Madness” and showing why the NFL continues to dominate every other sport in terms of popularity.

This could be in part that as I and everyone else who loves a good upset story started to pack our bags for one of the No. 15 seed’s bandwagon as they lost just two days later, but that is beside the point.

Now let’s get down to why everyone is so wrapped up in free agency this year.

It all started when the Indianapolis Colts cut ties with Peyton Manning, one of the greatest to play the game, at the beginning of the month. It was the Miami Dolphins who were supposedly going to make a “splash,” this free agency and go all-in for Manning. They scared off Manning, however, when they traded their star receiver Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears.

When it was apparent that Manning was not going to be a Dolphin, they thought they could still easily pick up former back-up Packer quarterback Matt Flynn who was the next best avaible. They offered Flynn an embarrassingly low offer and Flynn signed with Seattle instead.

The Dolphins turned themselves into the laughing stock of free agency so far and have only ended up with washed up quarterback David Garrard who was not even on a team last year.

The 49ers turned into an instant front-runner for Peyton Manning when they signed a motivated Randy Moss and Mario Manningham at wide receiver to go along with Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis and Frank Gore.

This was to make a powerful offense on a team that is stacked on defense as well. If the 49ers could have landed Manning, they would have instantly been the Super Bowl favorite.

After losing in the Manning sweepstakes, they might not have anyone to manage this powerhouse of a team.

The Broncos came swooping in and landed Peyton Manning. The Broncos have invested big time into the quarterback who no one knows is healthy for sure or not. They gave the 36-year-old Manning a five-year deal worth $96 million. If Manning is only 50 percent of what he used to be though, it will still be an upgrade from Tim Tebow.

Manning is like having an offensive coordinator on the field and the Denver Broncos are instantly a contender in the AFC.

Unfortunately, with all this “Tebow Mania” has started right back up after he was traded to the New York Jets.

While all this was happening the biggest defensive signing since Reggie White also occurred. Former Houston Texan, Mario Williams, signed with the Buffalo Bills. If their quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick can play at the level he was two years ago than the Williams signing will surely spark the Bills to possibly being able to compete with their tough division foes, the New England Patriots.

This NFL offseason has been a wild ride so far and has left fans in excitement, speculation, and anticipation for next year. Sorry college hoops and every other sport, but there is just no beating the NFL.

Ryan Tibbitts is a freshman majoring in journalism. He loves all sports but obsesses over his Packers.