Peyton Manning’s résumé says he should be getting a little more respect around here as we prepare for the AFC Championship Joust and the 17th playing of the 18-12 Overture.Or maybe he's just being contrarian!
He gets none.
Manning should be Jeter.
Instead, he is A-Rod.
Patriot fans have already moved past Manning and the Denver Broncos (is that what the callers were saying on 98.5 the past few days? - ed.). It’s all about plane reservations to San Francisco (remember little Tommy Brady cheering for Joe Montana back in the day?) and what do you think of the Patriots’ chances against the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50? Even the wiseguys in Vegas have established the road-tripping Patriots as favorites. All the smart money is on New England.
The Patriots themselves aren’t silly enough to do this. Folks in Foxborough know they still have to Do Their Job, and that is what the Patriots are preparing to do.Right here, douchebag! Naturally, Shank needs to resort to hyperbole or oversell his argument to make this contrarian point.
But has any superstar ever generated less fear and respect than Manning in New England in 2016 as the Patriots and Broncos prepare for a conference championship?
Have you found a single Patriot fan who is worried about this game? Just one?
Wait - do I see a rational point or two in this column?
Now all the confidence and mockery of the opposition is back. No one seems to be the least bit concerned that Brady has never won a playoff game in Denver (0-2), or that he is 2-6 lifetime in the Mile High City.Well, that didn't last long - Shank then goes and contradicts the premise of the column and piles on Peyton. And what Shank article is complete without a bunch of non-football references?
So now this once-great Bill Russell-Wilt Chamberlain duel is viewed here in New England as an homage to Brady as Greatest Of All Time (GOAT), while Manning is pitied and mocked as if he’s Brian Hoyer or Brandon Weeden.Throw in Brady's 11-5 record head to head against Peyton, and there are your counterarguments.
Poor Peyton. Nine touchdown passes, 17 interceptions this season. Smart guys are calling for Denver coach Gary Kubiak to go with Brock Osweiler. Manning can’t break a pane of glass with his jelly arm. We clock the hang time of his passes. He’s throwing better knucklers than R.A. Dickey.
Manning is a 39-year-old Tiger Woods, stripped of dignity and health, unable to make the cut. He is Pedro Martinez, struggling to make his final start with the Phillies in the 2009 World Series. He is a damaged Muhammad Ali enduring a beating from Larry Holmes in Vegas in 1980. He is 41-year-old Bob Cousy making a seven-game comeback with the Cincinnati Royals in 1969.
The Sons of Archie were not raised to be game managers. They grew up as gunslingers.
And the near-finsh:
Despite those somewhat respectable numbers, Manning is universally mocked in New England. Maybe it’s his propensity for choking in the postseason. Maybe it’s the sing-song insurance ads. Maybe it’s the way the HGH story rolled off his back while Deflategate stuck to Brady like a freshwater leech.I wonder how that perception ever came to be?
UPDATE, 1/20/16, 2:20 PM - Link to original story added; my apologies.