I just can't believe all the things people say...controversy.  Prince

Quarterback Controversy

            Some people just can’t let go of the past.  They fear change.   Maybe it’s because they realize that their place in society is in jeopardy.   In a few years we will be that old guy who tells our grandkids about the golden era of pocket passers and they will look at us the same way we looked at our grandfather when he told us about leather helmets and bobby socks and dinosaurs. 

           When we introduced the quarterback Eggdicator this year, the Matriculator Nation[1] was up in arms. How could Tom Brady and Peyton Manning not be in the Golden Goose category?  Well now everyone understands.  It’s time to say goodbye to Peyton Manning and Tom Brady.   And Donovan McNabb has already left the building.

           One of ESPN’s writers (via Grantland), Bill Barnwell, wrote a piece that we saw coming from a mile away.  It was the Peyton Manning apologist piece that every writer in America started penning last week, but really they’ve been working on it for a decade or so.  It’s just that last week Peyton Manning confirmed what we’ve been saying for a decade, that she is the biggest choker in professional sports and the most overrated player in the league’s glorious history.  That is unless you view guys that perform at the top of their game in the regular season and melt down when it matters as great players.   By that rationale, the Atlanta Braves are the greatest team in baseball history.  Forget that they only won one World Series.  Forget that they were favored to be the champions for about a decade.  Forget that they had the greatest sustained pitching staff in baseball history by a mile, and still lost year after year.  They won their division for 14 straight seasons.  That’s the all-time record.   The Yankees are a joke compared to that.  They never won 14 division championships.  Not even close.

          When you are making a ridiculous argument, you say some very odd things.  For example, Barnwell argues that Peyton had “bad luck” because of the Rahim Moore miscue.  That’s true, but without special teams carrying her (two Trindon Holliday return touchdowns) it’s a blowout loss for the heavily favored Broncos.  But great players don’t fret on the “bad luck”, they make their own luck.  Manning had the ball in her hands with a chance to win the game.  What did she do?  What she always does.  She wet her panties and got picked. Balls and panties don’t mix, I suppose.  What did Joe Flacco do?  He made big throws when it mattered.  And we aren’t even referring to the Jacoby Jones bomb.  The big throw, the one that Peyton doesn’t make under pressure, was the late game completion over the middle to Dennis Pitta on third and long, on the road, with his feet in his own end zone.  And then he did it again against the Patriots while Tom Brady was busy with another meltdown. 

          Barnwell also appeals to our sense of intelligence, or maybe his lack thereof,  by saying we need to look at the numbers.   The facts.  Peyton Manning, in the 12 seasons she has been to the playoffs,  has only had 4 seasons where she has won a playoff game.  4 out of 12.    You learn in 2nd grade math that that’s bad.  Joe Flacco, he’s 5 out of 5.  That’s good.   He’s 9-4 in the post-season.  Flacco's won as many post-season games in his first 5 years in the league as Peyton has won in her entire career!  Put that in your crack pipe and smoke it. Well he’s got a better team, we hear.   Well his team’s winning percentage has been 5 points lower than Peyton’s teams during the regular season. If Barnwell wants to talk about numbers, let’s talk about Peyton’s 73% regular season winning percentage since her rookie year.  And let’s compare that to her 45% winning percentage in the post-season.   It’s called choking.  Remember how good Donovan McNabb was in the regular season?  Remember him losing his Manhattan Clam Chowder in the post-season?   Some players shine under the bright lights and some melt.  It’s the it factor.  It’s what Tim Tebow, who led the same Broncos team that Manning lost with to a playoff victory, has in spades.  Manning is devoid of it.  It’s what the brave new world has.  Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin and Colin Kaepernick have it

         And then there’s Tom Brady.  Since the Patriots were caught cheating their post-season record has been abysmal.  Of course when you go from knowing the others team’s offensive and defensive plays before they happen to having to make educated guesses, you see Brady and Belicheck probably weren’t  very good to start with.  Since the Patriots stopped cheating they lost the 2008 Super Bowl and only mustered 14 points.  That was the same season that Brady and the Patriots broke a number of single season scoring and passing records.  When it mattered, without cheating…14 points.  We said at that point that Team Cheater would never win a Super Bowl again.  They had a fuku on their head.  In 2009 Team Cheater made the post-season again.  They lost in the first round to a 9-7 Ravens team.  In 2010 Team Cheater was 14-2 and yet they lost in the first round to Mark Sanchez and the Jets.  In 2011 a 13-3 Team Cheater lost to the 9-7 Giants and only scratched together 17 points.  This year, as a prohibitive favorite, they got rolled by the Ravens.  They are now the Lance Armstrong of professional football.

          We are privileged to be a part of the beginning of a brave new world.  It’s not the dystopian world that Aldous Huxley chronicled in his book.  It’s awesome. The Mayans never believed that December 2012 was supposed to be the end of the world.  It was simply the dawning of a new era.   The end of one cycle and the beginning of another.   Russell Wilson was 5-1 in the Mayan Era of the NFL quarterback.  Robert Griffin was 5-1.  Colin Kaepernick is 5-2 and is still playing.    As for writers and critics like Bill Barnwell who prophesize with their pen.  They should keep their eyes wide, the chance won’t come again.  And don’t speak too soon for the wheel’s still in spin.   For the times they are a changing.

[1] It is a tiny independent country south of Kokomo, which is off the Florida Keys.  It’s where we want to go, to get away from it all.