I have gone where angels fear to tread: the Brady/Manning debate. I have now been witness to one of the most vicious and vociferous debates in all of sports and I have commented mightily in a multitudinous manner.
The fans who drive this debate are loyal and spirited. One cannot be a middle-of-the-roader in this debate. Brady fans are incredibly knowledgeable about Brady's record. Manning fans do what most consider to be fool-hardy or impossible: they stick by Manning in the best of times and the worst of times.
Manning has had an abysmal year. My Dallas Cowboys are partially responsible for that, never mind the Cowboys' own abysmal year. Cowboys (interim-my-behind) head coach Jason Garret has said this season that the most important stat is the TD/INT/TO ratio on offense and defense. Manning has had a horrid TD/INT ratio this year and Brady has been flawless. Brady fans, I know you want to flog me for praising your man, but wait, there's more.
Tom Brady has a 105 QB rating this year. Peyton Manning is somewhere in the mid-90s. Peyton Manning DOES NOT deserve the MVP, that qualifier that Brady fans seem to think is so much more meaningful than three Super Bowl (*) rings. Brady fans, the asterisk is tongue in cheek.
But, you'll flog me anyways. I'm sure you get sick and tired—as you so vehemently claim—of hearing commentators praise Manning up and down the wedding aisle (which I'm yet to see, as I watch NFL Network everyday).
Manning fans, you guys are as quiet as church mice and for good reason: Peyton Manning has not given you much to gloat about. Manning is quite the competitor, but as I said in Part One, he gets flustered and once he gets flustered he has a very difficult time being competitive.
What I don't understand about you, Manning fans, is why the heck you people don't get pissed off at Manning for under-performing and at those sports commentators who worship at the altar of Tom Brady EVERY SINGLE DAY! But, then Tom has no interceptions and is at 12 wins.
Does Tom Brady deserve the daily adulation? Well, daily adulation from sports commentators is to be expected when you do what Brady does. Ooops, sorry Patriots fans. Please forgive me for praising Tom Brady. And condemnation from sports commentators is what Manning deserves—and gets—for his 11 INT year.
Worry not, Manning fans: the Patriots fans will have the cat-o'-nine-tails out and swinging at me for talking down about Manning before you do. After all, there is no pleasing that bunch and there is no disappointing you guys.
In case the flippant irony of this article is lost on anyone, I must explain that I think this Brady/Manning debate is the most upside-down, backwards and subjective collection of diatribes I have ever had the displeasure of running across. Not all Brady and Manning fans are twisted: some are downright civil.
And for good measure, there are records that neither Brady nor Manning will ever break. They are:
1. Terry Bradshaw, Joe Montana and Troy Aikman = multiple SB wins with no losses
2. Kurt Warner = 1999 regular season MVP and SB XXXIV MVP
3. Brett Favre = most TD passes (and INTS) and game starts
On that note, have a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year and invest in a little something I like to call "objectivity."