A star is born.

Peyton Manning, generally guarded about his personal life, brought his baby boy into a media setting Sunday and watched his kid start his own unforgettable two-minute drill. All of 8 months old, Marshall Manning dazzled Indianapolis reporters in his first visit to Lucas Oil Stadium as his father spoke following the latest Colts loss.

While we will have to wait many years to see if the little guy follows in his old man's footsteps into the family business of playing quarterback in the NFL, he's off to a stellar start with the media.

Manning, who hasn't played this season because of off-season neck surgeries, was interviewed about former teammate Marvin Harrison's induction into the Colts Ring of Honor. But he forgot the old Hollywood rule that kids and animals always steal every scene. Marshall, apparently hungry for a post-game spread, attempted to take a bite out of a TV reporter's microphone in this adorable clip from Indianapolis' WTHR-TV.

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Marshall and twin sister Mosley had an important Sunday even before visiting the house their father built. "He got baptized today. He and his sister, so it's a big day today," Peyton told reporters with a smile.

Indianapolis coach Jim Caldwell attended the baptism and according to the Super Bowl XLI MVP, he was looking for some spiritual help for his disgraceful football team. "Coach Caldwell came to the baptism and said if we win, I'm going to have to get them baptized in Baltimore next weekend," Peyton told WISH-TV.

The Manning family won't have to travel to the Charm City after Carolina's 27-19 victory dropped the Colts to 0-11.

Fox's Chris Myers, who broadcast the game on TV, spoke to Peyton and feels there's a strong chance Manning won't play football again. Myers, speaking with myself and Tomm Looney on Fox Sports Radio, said Peyton told him he's hoping to come back and play again next season, but being a father now he's very concerned about his long-term health. Myers said he believes there's a "better than 50 percent chance" that Manning doesn't return to the NFL.

No decision is expected until the off-season.

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Climbing the ladder is the worst part.

I have time to rationalize the whole thing: I have to hang by my knees? On that little bar? Twenty feet off the ground? Why am I doing this again?

This seemed like a good idea back in my college dorm room in Pennsylvania. I heard about a trapeze school not in some suburban tent in middle America, but right in the heart of Manhattan. I saw the photos on the website of regular Joes and Janes streaking across the sky with the New York City skyline in the background. How cool would that be? And hey, it's a good conversation piece. You won your fantasy football game? Well here's what I did this weekend.

But clinging to a ladder on a rooftop, high above Pier 40, with a group of witnesses there to ogle at my trembling knees -- among them, a DeSean Jackson fan and a Sperm Donor Consultant -- I realize these lessons will probably cripple my self-confidence for years.

The brainchild of Jonathon Conant, Trapeze School New York has been around since the late 1990s, giving New Yorkers a chance to fly through the air with the greatest of ease for more than a decade. A "Sex and the City" episode was based around TSNY's Manhattan location, and from then on, trapeze has become a lot more popular. But still, a lot of New Yorkers don't even know about it.

TSNY's slogan reads, "Don't worry about fear. Worry about the addiction." While bold, who’s to say it's not true? Certainly, there are worse addictions to be found in New York City.

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So that's how I ended up here, on this ladder, clad in snug-fitting clothing, $70 poorer and a good deal sweatier. Gulp.

Minutes before, I was given a quick tutorial from the chipper, shirtless instructor. Matt, I think. He explained the steps of folding one’s legs over the bar and swinging from one’s knees like it’s as sensible as brushing one’s teeth. Now Matt straps me into a harness tight enough to make me very consciously aware of how much Sam Adams I drank the night before.

He asks me if I understand the process. I nod resolutely, as if I hunt bears for a living. What else am I going do?

Now I climb the ladder with the coordination of your strange uncle, higher and higher, until my hair feels like it's going to be singed by the strangely bright October sun. I reach the top. A quick glance down and I realize I’m screwed. It’s happening.

A girl wearing black meets me at the top and almost giggles. She’s apparently unimpressed by my keen sense of danger. Perhaps because I look like I'm melting. She tells me to chalk my hands up. Look, lady -- I'm not LeBron. I don’t need that karma.

If it weren't for my impending doom, it would be quite nice up here. Downtown Manhattan is right in front of me, and from this height, you feel one with the skyscrapers. Perhaps after this I'll take my girlfriend here...

Back to reality. I toe the edge -- literally -- while the girl holds onto my harness. If only she knew the effort it took to get to this point.

Is this how it’s going to end? Surrounded by strangers wearing spandex on a roof in Manhattan? The girl behind me calls, "Ready!" -- signaling my trembling knees to bend and mock a confident athletic stance. Taken out of context, I look like I’m afraid of toilet seats.

Please, don’t let my story be told in hushed voices around the Barnum and Bailey’s liquor tent. I await the inevitable call with shameless trepidation.

I glance down one more time at the park below. There’s a baseball game down there. Kids toting oversized mitts and popping pink bubblegum are blissfully unaware of my current problems. Stay innocent, little ones.
"Hep" -- meaning "go" in circus speak -- and I jump off the platform. The Manhattan skyline stands still as I’m at the peak of my hop. Then the world very suddenly drops out from under me.

As I swing downward, gravity grabs onto my ankles and tugs. I reach the bottom of the swing and start to swoop upward, all too visible to those driving on West 30th street below.

An instructor standing on the sweet ground below shouts, "Knees up!" Now I have to somehow muster my gangly legs up and over the bar. It looked so easy for the petite women who went before me; but then again, they make fire hydrants stand proud.

Turns out, for those plagued with irreversible chicken legs, it’s much harder.

I try. Then like Edison, I try again. It’s ugly, like watching Tim Tebow throw an out-route. But like Tebow, then end result is all that matters. I get the legs over and lock onto the bar. Like a monkey, I hang. If only my ex-girlfriends could see me now.

I swing down again while my body flails under my knees. I must look like an awful, sweaty attempt at Poe’s pendulum. The instructor on the ground tells me I’ve had enough; I painfully untuck my legs, kick forward, let go of the bar and do a somersault in the air. The safety net gobbles me up. I breathe; I did it. Sort of. At the very least, I avoided years of therapy.

Once off the net, basking in the post-traumatic stress, a middle-aged female classmate says to me, "You looked nervous as me up there." I glibly assure her that I was merely putting on a show. I don’t think she bought it.

Insensible as it may be, I climbed that ladder three more times. On the last one, Matt caught my hands and I swung off the bar like a trapeze savant. At least that's what I'm telling people.

Climbing your first ladder is the worst part.

Don't look down. Or up. Or out.

But when it's done, you'll want to look back.

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Dads are many things to many people. When they're at their best, they can seem like superheroes to their young children. Heck, sometimes even their adult children can be wowed.

But this dad at least gets Father of the Day honors for his vigilance and quick reactions when his tyke took a tumble toward the pavement, and he did his best Jerry Rice impersonation.

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That's a fingertip grab of small, yet epic proportions. And it's a save that will pay off for years down the road. The father avoids having to live with the YouTube shame of letting his child hit the pavement on his watch, and the child avoids the embarrassment of becoming the "baby that face-planted on YouTube." Everybody wins. Until dad starts looking for endorsement deals and won't give the kid a cut.

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