10:55 PM EST, February 7, 2012
Just before you reach County Line Road on Interstate 65 North into Indianapolis, a digital billboard paid for by Tennessee fans offers a plea to Peyton Manning.
The sign bears to messages: "Hey Petyon, You're going the wrong way" and "Peyton, the citizens of Tennessee want you back! Please Peyton... Pretty Please?" Both messages also mention the website ComeHomePeyton.com.
It's a sign one Colts fan missed until we showed him.
"No, no, no," said Colts fan Mikail Almalik after seeing the billboard. "Peyton is home. He can't come home because he's still in Indy."
"That takes some major cajones," said Colts fan Mike Reynolds. "It's going to catch some attention but it's a lost cause. Peyton Manning is going to retire a Colt. Titans fans, you've got Matt Hasselbeck. Get over it."
The man behind the billboard and ComeHomePeyton.com admits he is looking for laughs with help from several musical Peyton parodies. The site features several music videos including "Gotta Have Peyton" to the tune of "Faith" by George Michael, and alternate lyrics to the tune of "Lose Yourself" by Eminem.
Though Manning didn't grow up in Tennessee, Todd Mayo said he and his brother came up with the idea because of what Manning did for the Tennessee Volunteer football program.
Despite the tongue-in-cheek nature of the website, Mayo said his sales pitch is real and so is the advertising money. Fans have donated nearly $2,000 through the website.
"We felt like it made sense from a football standpoint," Mayo said. "It was just something that we've termed fanvertising."
And that "fanvertising" isn't limited to the billboard in Indianapolis. Other donations have paid for two TV ads on ESPN 2 in the Nashville area.
"One of them is a message to Tennessee Titans management directly," Mayo said. "The other one is a message to Tennessee Titans fans."
Todd said the billboard isn't meant to make Colts fans mad. In fact, he said he's cheered for the team since Manning was drafted. He also said he'd tell Jim Irsay to keep Manning.
"If I was the owner of the Colts I'd say, 'Peyton, we're going to use this pick and we're going to get an offensive lineman or a wide receiver. You've got several more years of football,'" Mayo said. "But if he's going to go somewhere let it be Tennessee."
"Man, the Titans? No. That can't happen," Reynolds said. "We need to put some billboards down in Nashville, Tennessee. Peyton is not coming home. He already is home."
"I would hate to see what would happen to Irsay if he would let him go," Almalik said.
Colts fans won't have to look at the billboard much longer. It will go away on Thursday and Mayo said they aren't looking to do any more advertising in Indianapolis right now.
Mayo said they plan to focus on Houston next, which is where Titans owner Bud Adams lives.