Manning's University of Tennessee team had a shot at the National Championship his junior and senior seasons but they lost critical games after Manning meltdowns.

Don’t You Love Her Madly?  The Worst Signing in the History of the NFL

Scientists have studied the effects of perception on reality.  At some point, with some people, perception becomes reality.  The perception of Peyton Manning has become reality.  People actually think she’s going to get the Broncos to a Super Bowl.  Every pundit on television can’t stop gushing about what a great move this is for the Broncos.  Some people are calling it the greatest acquisition in NFL history.  It’s a deep blue dream.  The Matriculator says it’s the worst franchise killing move in professional sports history.  If you ask the average Joe (or high paid sportscaster) they will tell the Broncos are now Super Bowl favorites.  A poll on ESPN this morning said that 65% of a million or so fans felt the Broncos would win the Super Bowl.  They won’t.  The odds are strongly against it.  Not that anyone in America seems to pay attention to the odds and the Vegas bookmakers keep rolling around in beds of money.

Peyton Manning has been one of the most successful (you can make the argument she’s the most successful) regular season quarterback in history.  That’s great.  She’s also one of the biggest post-season chokers in the history of professional sports.  Nobody on television has mentioned that this week.  One million hours devoted to the discussion of the Diva and not a word about her legendary post-season collapses. We hate to quote ourselves, but we were correct when we said in Drop Dead, Diva that “If you want to watch the Super Bowl on TV with someone, Peyton’s your gal, but she’ll charge you handsomely for it.”  In 13 seasons she has delivered exactly one championship.  For those who aren’t blessed with great math skills, which is apparently every sportscaster in America, that’s a 7.69% clip.  The odds that Peyton would take her team (which was frequently favored to reach the Super Bowl) to a Super Bowl victory were less than 8%.  And that was when she was in her prime!  You know, 6’5”, laser rocket arm.  Uninjured.  27 years old.  28 years old. 32 years old.  That sort of thing.  Now she’s 36 having been out of football for a year and returning from a major injury to play in the cold (where she’s not been very good), on grass (ditto) with a new team.  And so the Broncos think it would be a good idea to invest about $20 million a year and guarantee a lot of that?  It’s a catastrophically horrendous move unless your sole goal is to generate fanatical interest and a short term spike in revenue.

Manning’s post-season production has been average at best.  In the one year she won it all her passer rating was an abysmal 67.  The average NFL back-up has a passer rating between 70-75.  She got lucky.  Bob Sanders and Dwight Freeney carried that team.  Brady Quinn could have mustered a 67 passing rating.   Manning’s career playoff passer rating is 88.  This year there were 15 starting quarterbacks who had a passer rating of 85 or higher including rookie Cam Newton, Alex Smith and even the Dolphins laughing stock Matt Moore.   In 19 post-season starts Manning has only had a passer rating over 100, 4 times.  Mark Sanchez in 6 starts has already been over 100, 3 times!  And guess who else has a higher post-season passer rating?  The Holy Hand Grenade himself.  We know it’s only two games, but you get the point.  Manning is an average player in the post-season.  Mr. Middle of the Road.  If they put a different name on the back of his jersey in the post-season and told you he was Matt Moore or Chad Henne or Alex Smith, you wouldn’t know the difference.

Don’t go waving your finger after Manning and her Broncos go 11-5 in the regular season.  We think they will.  Just don’t be surprised when they get bounced in the first round of the playoffs.  It happened 7 out of the 11 seasons when she was in her prime.  That’s right.  She was almost twice as likely to lose her first round post-season game than win it. She’s 9-10 in the post-season.  That’s a losing record by the way.  The Holy Hand Grenade, Mark Sanchez and Alex Smith have better post-season winning percentages. 

William Blake said:  “If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.  For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern.”  The Doors named their band after Blake’s thought.  They wanted to open people’s eyes to let them see that life is infinite.  I’m not sure they ever reached their goal, but they did write a prophetic song that Jim Morrison might as well have been singing to the Broncos faithful. “Don’t you love her madly?  Don’t you love her ways?  Tell me what you say?”  The Broncos fans do right now.  They love her madly, but the song ends sadly as will Peyton's story.  “All your love is gone. So sing a lonely song.  Of a deep blue dream.  Seven horses seem to be on the mark.” The Broncos colors feature a deep blue.  And their mascot of course, is a horse.  A horse is a horse, of course of course.

At some point in the not too distant future people will be wondering how Jim Morrison could have been such a prophet.  Here’s to hoping they aren’t fretting over the Broncos demise and are instead searching for the infiniteness of man…and woman.


MARCH 21, 2012