Friday, November 13, 2009
Well, here we go again ...
Sunday night is the BIG GAME! You know, THE big game -- the one we see every year between the New England Patriots (boo, hiss!) and the Indianapolis Colts (yay-rah-sis-boom-bah!). Yes, yes, I'm a Hoosier and a native of Indianapolis, so I can't help cheering for my Colts. However, even better than merely cheering for the Colts is having a front seat to the greatest rivalry in the modern NFL. Holy cow -- win or lose, how I love these matchups!
And I have to laugh -- OH how I have to laugh -- at the "Brady vs. Manning" arguments among fans. I swear, they're worse than "Superman vs. Green Lantern" arguments: "Oh, but Brady has more Superbowl rings!" "Yeah, but look at the stats! Peyton is a WAY better quarterback!" "No way -- BRADY is better!" "Brady needs the entire Patriots team to carry his ass!" "No he doesn't!" Blah, blah, blah, blah ...
(Then you have the "Brady-is-prettier-than-Manning" argument. Well, yeah, I'll admit that Brady perfectly fits the profile of the stereotypical handsome quarterback. I know the man is from Louisiana, but Manning looks and sounds so much like a big ol' Indiana farm boy that it's no wonder he fits in with us Hoosiers so well.)
Well, here are my two cents on the Manning vs. Brady argument -- and I'm not saying all this just because I'm a Hoosier. (Really! I'm not!) Let's face the facts, shall we? Professional American football is a sport -- and as such, ultimately, it's entertainment. Period. Yeah, you have athletes out there, but they're out there, really, to entertain the viewers. What the athletes do beyond that is up to them. Off the field, some of them are little more than high-paid thugs, while others actually do good things with the large amount of cash they earn. Both Manning and Brady are known for their charity work (though I would argue that Manning spends WAY more money and time on charity than Brady does, particularly through his PeyBack Foundation). In this respect, though, professional football players are like any other high-paid entertainers -- some are worthy of our attention and some aren't.
NOW, with that in mind, WHICH is the better Quarterback -- Manning or Brady? I say it's Peyton Manning, simply because, as a professional football player and, ultimately, entertainer, he's DAMN entertaining -- on AND off the field. (Seriously, what other quarterback have you ever seen standing on the field, flapping his arms, and yelling things like, "ICE CREAM ALERT!" during his pre-snap routine?) It helps that the man is a genuinely nice guy and funny as hell -- and deliberately so. There's a reason that Manning, and not Brady, is the NFL's most marketable player. If I gotta sit through a zillion commercials on TV OR online, I'd rather see Manning in them than Brady. At least there's always a good chance of getting a genuine, good-natured belly laugh out of 'em.
"Having a hard time sticking to that new diet?"
Squeaky-clean nice guy Peyton Manning helps the United Way -- sorta:
Actually, the whole Manning family is pretty funny. Gotta love Super Bowl winners Peyton and Eli picking on each other: