Does the Praise of an Individual Mean That You Appreciate the Team Less?

Ryan MichaelSenior Writer IIIMay 16, 2009

As a fan, when you show appreciation for any one individual player, there can be a tendency for fans of other teams to bash your level of team appreciation. After all, the politically correct concept usually tends to focus on the appreciation of an entire team as opposed to an individual's contributions alone.

As many of you already know, I'm about as big a fan of Peyton Manning as most fans would be of any one player. I've written countless articles about him, bought more No. 18 jerseys than I'd care to admit, and have always been the first person to jump to my quarterback's defense in the event that someone where to throw some unfounded criticism in his direction.

Now, does that mean that I don't appreciate the rest of the Indianapolis Colts as much as other fans value their teams?

In short, no.

You see, depending on what team you happen to be a fan of, there is bound to be a different way in which you appreciate the organization as a whole.

For instance, if you were a fan of the St. Louis Rams, are you to appreciate and value your receiving corps as much as I would value the likes of Reggie Wayne, Anthony Gonzalez, and Dallas Clark?

Of course not, but does that makes you less of a devoted fan?

Not by that criteria alone.

What I mean is this: Depending on the coaching staff, roster, and past performance, fans of each team are going to value their parts in different ways.

In my case, our quarterback happens to be the most productive player in the history of the sport. Naturally, it would become quite obvious that I might value and appreciate Peyton Manning (as well as everything he has done for the Colts organization) more than most fans would value their quarterbacks.

A key component beyond the astronomical production is the other things Peyton brings to the table.

The extent in which he practices, prepares, and manages our offense put him above any other quarterback in the league in my view because to us, he's not just the guy throwing the ball.

Peyton is the guy who spends the extra time in practice, Peyton is the guy spending the additional hours studying film, Peyton is the guy calling his own plays (and/or selecting from various options on the fly), and it is Peyton who studies longer to be able to instruct to our other players through signal, what their route is or what their blocking assignment is.

When you combine the production with the extra responsibilities he has held and performed effectively, what you have is something far beyond your typical NFL quarterback.

So wouldn't it be reasonable to expect that the level of appreciation he receives might be greater than what other quarterbacks might receive?

The bottom line is, I'm proud to give that to Peyton because he's earned it.

Yet what many people fail to realize is that despite the fact that I've written a plethora of "Peyton Manning articles," I have also written more non-Peyton Colts articles than most writers devote to other members of their team.

What I do is write more than most B/R writers.

So for instance, if the average B/R writer wrote 30 articles, 10 of them being about their favorite player and the remaining 20 being about the rest of their team, I am the guy who might write 70 articles about Peyton but also write 30 about the rest of my team.

Don't let the many Colts articles for which I've tagged with "Peyton Manning" lead you to believe that all of them are about Peyton specifically.

This is not something that needs to be defended but is certainly a point worthy of being made because the way I see it, take away the many Manning articles I've written and you still have a guy who write more about the rest of his team than most B/R writers do for their teams.

While I can certainly relate to the topic of this article, it's not intended for myself alone.

There has been a great misconception that has been adopted by some and that is the belief that continuous praise or appreciation directed toward an individual member of a team somehow means that there is less appreciation for the rest of the team.

It's only natural to be inclined to appreciate a certain sports figure whom you most admire; however, if you're dedicating enough time as a whole, the rest of your team does not receive any less appreciation.