Few guys put across a more wholesome, white-bread image than Peyton Manning.
He’s the perfect pitchman, having hawked seemingly every product on the market that an upstanding citizen should own. So it’s a pretty damning indictment of how bad Denver’s gang problem must be when kids are banned from wearing Manning’s No. 18 jersey to school.
The Greeley, Colo. school district made headlines across the country this week when it sent home a third grader for flouting its already established ban on wearing the No. 18 to school. Seems there is a crew called the 18th Street Gang which has caused enough problems for the number to be eradicated from the school district. Other jersey numbers which have been banned because of gang ties include 13, 14, 31, 41 and 81. (No news account I read indicates whether these numbers are also banned for kids playing on the school’s teams).
There are many levels of ridiculous working here. As stupid as gang members are, you’d think they would recognize that a third grader is not one of their rivals. But even that absurd image pales in comparison to the thought of Peyton Manning having gang-banger street cred. I mean, look at the picture on top of this page. Which part of it screams “thug life?”
I suppose it’s just a sign of how troubling the times are that we live in. We’ve got so many gangs out there these days that not all of them can use Raiders jerseys.