Clearing Up Misconceptions from the Manning/Brady Debate: Fact vs. Fiction

Ryan MichaelSenior Writer IIIApril 6, 2009

In the wake of countless misconceptions and wild accusations, I figured that it was about time that I come out and clear up all of the confusion. There have been a great many inaccurate statements made about myself and fellow Colts fans.

For the purpose of this article however, I'm going to limit the discussion to myself in particular. In an effort to separate fact from fiction, I'm going to detail certain misconceptions that have been formed and provide the accurate depiction of both my feelings and actions.

Let's begin:

FICTION: Peyton Manning is the greatest quarterback of all-time and has performed better than any other quarterback in each and every conceivable category.

FACT: This dramatization of my actual expressed opinions was likely fabricated in an obvious attempt to destroy my credibility. After all, it would be pretty hard to take anyone seriously who felt that any one player was so vastly superior.

The reality of my actual opinion, as well as the views that I have expressed, is the fact that I do not feel that Peyton Manning is the greatest quarterback in NFL history. Obviously, nobody would think that any quarterback is the best in every single way.

Michael Vick was a greater scrambler, Dan Marino had a stronger arm, and Joe Montana was better in the two-minute drill. These are but a few of various categories for which Peyton Manning is not the undisputed greatest.

As a matter of fact, I would declare that Dan Marino is the greatest quarterback in NFL history as of this point in time. Will Manning surpass him someday? I'd say that the chances are likely, but I can not credit Manning for a great number of seasons that he has yet to play.

FICTION: Anyone who feels that Tom Brady is better than Peyton Manning is wrong.

FACT: Everything in sports is subjective. Therefore, the simple statement that one player is better than another is a matter of opinion. Nobody can be right or wrong in this regard.

There are some people who are able to substantiate better support for Tom Brady than others. Various aspects of statistical analyzation can be debated because we actually have numbers in which we can work with.

Circumstantial scenarios such as team-support, weather conditions, and quality of opposition are aspects of comparison that can be interpreted through individual analysis. Although logical conclusions can be formed, such aspects of comparison can also be dismissed with the "you just never know" label attached.

The point being that certain aspects of analyzation can contribute to the formation of an opinion which is something that can not be right or wrong. Never have I once stated to a person who favored Brady, that he or she was "wrong".

FICTION: I give Peyton Manning all of the credit when the Colts win but none of the blame when the Colts lose.

FACT: Any individual player (including Peyton Manning) can contribute to a team's chances of winning or losing. The fact that I have analyzed various circumstances in which Manning has lost football games is something critical to any form of comparison.

It's easy to see that a player lost and let that be that, but a wiser student of the game seeks to better understand the circumstances surrounding the end result. Often times, Peyton Manning has lost football games that he has played well in.

He has also performed at a higher level than other quarterbacks who were faced with similar difficult scenarios.

Over the course of one conversation, I explained to another writer that the Colts would have lost the 2006 Wild Card game and the 2006 Divisional round game after Peyton Manning's performance, but actually managed to win those games thanks to the performance of players on the team who were not named Peyton Manning.

After making this clear, I was told by the same writer that Colts fans feel that it is "never" Peyton Manning's fault when they lose.

This to me was another clear attempt to ignore the actual statements I made in favor of a much more dramatic and inaccurate point of view which was not reflective of any opinion I have ever expressed.

The biggest issue I have with these football discussions is the fact that they begin to mutate into intense debates when there was never a need for such a transformation to occur in the first place.

Very often (although certainly not in all cases), I've noticed that these misconceptions are stated when someone gives up on discussing the content of the article.

The majority of my Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady articles are founded on extensive statistical and circumstantial analyzation. Yet when some people (again not all) disagree with an article that favors Manning, they attack the writer instead of discussing the plethora of statistical and informative content provided.

While there might be some people who do decide to carry themselves in some of the above mentioned ways, there are also people who decide to participate in healthy football discussions.

I'd like to go out of my way to mention Pete McKeown for a moment.

Pete is a dedicated and loyal Patriots fan. Despite the fact that he is a passionate fan of my rival team, I'd be hard-pressed to find anyone more classy than Pete.

We both disagree with one another in regards to the Manning/Brady debate, but we always manage to create a healthy and enjoyable conversation. Although I might disagree with Pete's conclusion, he creates solid and credible points in his quarterback's favor and he expresses those views in a very humble and classy way.

Never does a conversation between Pete and I transform into a war of personal attacks. We both discuss the content provided and exchange our own personal opinions.

In the end, it is the value each of us places on different aspects of the game which separates our personal conclusions.

Ken Howes is another such Patriots fan who carries himself with the same dignity and pride as Pete.

He also expresses his point of view in a respectful and classy manner. He's also always up to analyzing the topics of discussion and it's refreshing to be able to discuss the information provided instead of attacking one's character.

We all could stand to learn a thing or two from these two gentleman. Even I am humble enough to realize that I could learn a thing or two from people like this.

Anyone who has ever taken the time to actually speak to me usually ends up with a much clearer perception of my views and opinions. My bulletin board is always open for discussion and anyone who is courteous will always receive the same class in return.

I'd be happy to clear up any other misconceptions that I didn't include in this article. I feel that if we can all learn to focus on putting a greater emphasis on sports discussion as opposed to personal attacks, we can better improve both the quality and content of this great website.


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