Peyton Manning: The General Takes It All Back

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Peyton Manning: The General Takes It All Back

I sat down to watch the Super Bowl last night in pieces.  We started at a restaurant for my birthday, and then again in the comfort of our home.  I didn’t make it to the final whistle because the game was over before then.  I didn’t care for the Saints and I don’t now, but I am very upset with Peyton Manning AND myself.

I should have known better than to praise someone who had lost so many big games.  I should have known to look past the Colts’ Super Bowl win over the Bears in 2006.


I stupidly joined the “rat race” of people heaping praise on Peyton Manning and he stabbed my in the chest.  Peyton Manning is more Fran Tarkenton than Tom Brady.  It pains me to say it but it’s true.

The “IT” Factor

Peyton Manning doesn’t have “it”.  I knew he didn’t have “it” when I picked the Colts to lose the AFC Title Game.  Then I figured I was right in picking the Colts to win the Super Bowl.  Hindsight is 20/20 I guess.

The fact remains that Peyton Manning will finish his career one day as the greatest statistical Quarterback of all time, but he won’t have a magical moment.  At the end of the Super Bowl with game on the line he couldn’t do something that his brother, Eli, HAS done:  Force his team to win.

Eli Manning was part of the greatest play in Super Bowl history when he had Patriots defenders grabbing his jersey only to get away and make the miracle pass to David Tyree.

Peyton Manning made me change the station when he threw a Brett Favre-like interception that went back for a touchdown and effectively ended the game.

Peyton doesn’t have “IT”.  He couldn’t pull his team together when it really counted.  He’s lost “big game” after “big game” and we forgave him all that.

Look at Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw, Tom Brady or even Steve Young.  What happened in their 12 collective Super Bowl wins?  They MADE their teams win.

Joe Montana to John Taylor against the Bengals STILL makes “Top 10 Super Bowl Plays” lists.  Steve Young painted a masterpiece in scoring 49 points on a good Chargers team in the Super Bowl.

Terry Bradshaw was NEVER questioned in his greatness as the Steelers won 4 Super Bowls in 6 seasons.  Tom Brady drove the Patriots to all 3 of their Super Bowl wins.

Nobody was surprised when the Colts lost, because that’s what Peyton does.  He loses “the big one”.

What This Means For New Orleans

As much as this hurts me:  Congratulations to the Saints.  You earned it, but what does this mean for your city?

Can you repeat this glory over and over?  Have you ignited a fan-base that will now have unreasonable expectations of you?

Let me list some things I believe:

  1. Sean Payton has that job for LIFE (and he should).
  2. ALL fan-bases should have their expectations up because their team is playing well.
  3. Drew Brees gets thrown into Peyton Manning’s class immediately.  He TRULY won a “big one”.
  4. I’m surprised that New Orleans isn’t burning to the ground from the explosion of joy that occurred when the Saints won the game.

In their division the Saints are going to break the prevailing wisdom that says, “Last year’s loser is this year’s winner”.  The Saints made a much larger statement than the Bucs did in 2002, or the Panthers in 2003.

As of right now, the Falcons look pathetic in comparison to every other team in the NFC South.  Since the Falcons lucked into the Super Bowl in 1999 2 teams in their division have won it and the other has played in it.  WOW!

The Saints turned Atlanta back into “Loserville” faster than you can say “Steve Bartowski”.  New Orleans just became a much cooler place to play than Atlanta.

Arthur Blank used to take players to Bones (a VERY nice steakhouse in Buckhead) and tell them they’re signing with the Falcons.  That won’t work anymore.

Who the hell would come to Atlanta when you can play in New Orleans:  Especially after what they just did to the Colts in the Super Bowl?

This also means that the Saints have brought expectations to the Hornets.  Now that the Saints have won the Super Bowl how long do you think it will be before everyone in New Orleans is losing their mind that the Hornets are in 10th place in the West?  About 4 seconds.

If the Saints keep this up we might have a baseball team threatening to move to New Orleans.  They’ve got a nice new shine, and their fans care.

What This Means For Future Seasons

From now on I’m taking everything Peyton does with a grain of salt.  I have to or I’ll get burned again.   From now on I’m assuming that, even though I dislike him, that Sean Payton can do this with any Quarterback, and…From now on I’m thinking twice before I put my faith in the coach that is supposed to “hold the team together”.

Look at the coaches who are actively designing for their teams:  Nick Saban, Sean Payton, you get the idea.  Those guys win.  Dudes who are supposed to “be a calming influence” can never be so.

If you’re not REALLY doing anything your team is going to get nervous because they need you to be “ON FIRE”.  I think any competitive person would much rather play for a hot-blooded dude who creates results than a “calm” dude who “manages” the team.

Who’s the last “calm” guy that did nothing?  Bobby Bowden.  Case closed.

What Am I Supposed To Say?

I know, I know.  I was wrong.  Wrong, wrong, wrong!  I admit it.  I was SO wrong about the Saints.  However, you can see that I have made some rules for myself that will prevent this embarrassment in the future.

I’m not a betting man, but I would have bet the house that the Colts would have won.  THANK GOODNESS I don’t handicap!

I don’t think this will turn into a “stink” that gets on every pick I ever make.  Some columnists like to joke about how they “jinx” teams, etc.  I LOVE being right and I will continue to be in the future.

This NFL season I was .  Tell me that don’t count for something!

So, as I said, I was wrong, and it won’t happen again.  It’s time to turn me lose on the NBA and I will use my new-found “street smarts’ to perform better during the second half of the NBA season.

Tune in tomorrow for some NBA picks.  It’s time to get it on!

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