I see what you're saying here, but here's a lesson I learned a long time ago: if someone is offering something you want, don't be bashful. Have you ever been to someone's house for the first time and you're super hungry and they offer you food and you decline just based on the fact that you'd find it a little weird? Then they ask again and you still say no, but then you get the feeling like you're kind of offending them by saying no? Maybe I'm the only one who has ever felt this way, but I truly feel like I'm offending people when I decline so many times. If Mr. Trip insisted, why must Manning refuse? Does it make Manning a horrific person for accepting? I don't think so. I truly do understand your position that retired means retired, but on the other hand, people come out of retirement too. Retired does not mean forbidden.
"I'm going to honor Mr. Trip's retired #18 by keeping it retired and playing under my old college #16 (or whatever) and looking forward to bringing another Lombardi to Denver in this new era. Please join me in this new quest for hope, looking forward, I'm so grateful ... blah, blah .... Let's play ball!"?
Part owner of the 13-time world champion Green Bay Packers