Who’s it Gonna Be? – The Quarterback Showdown

Standard

Image

Sooo….At 25 years old and in his second season, Russel Wilson is a young, exciting and up and coming quarterback. After a successful college career in both baseball and football he opted to go to the MLB for a few years before leaving baseball and entering the 2012 NFL draft. There was some concern over his height but Seattle picked him in the third round, 75th over all. At this point the Seahawks had three quarterbacks and no clear direction on who they wanted to lead their team. The three men spent training camp competing for the job of starter with Russell eventually coming out on top. This is important because unlike Peyton Manning, Russell was never the obvious choice. He didn’t enter the NFL in the 1st round, his dad isn’t a famous quarterback and he surpassed everyones expectations in getting the job and then surpassed them again when he was so excellent at it.

His rookie season was a success and curiously enough he ended up tying the record for most touchdowns thrown by a rookie….with none other than Peyton Manning.

Russell is a devout christian. He claims that Jesus came to him in a dream when he was 14 and his twitter is filled with biblical verses,

Imagehowever he doesn’t just tweet his values. He goes weekly to the Seattle Children’s hospital and he has a charity called ‘The Power of the Mind’ that gives opportunities to low income youth. In 2010 he lost his father to complications with Diabetes and since has become an advocate for those suffering with the disease. He holds a youth passing academy in the off season with all proceeds going to the Charles Ray III Diabetes Association. For the 2013 season he made an agreement with Russel Investments where they donate $2000 to his charity for every touchdown he throws in the regular and post season.

In 2012 he married his college sweetheart, the lovely Ashton Meem and the two are maybe the cutest couple in football. I have attached a few links to hit this home but this is their reaction to Russell being drafted. russell-wilson-gfAND I will also tell you that when he proposed, he had one of their three adorable dogs help him out, AND If you care about that sort of thing, there are links.

To sum him up, Russell Wilson seems like the lovleliest, most all american boy you could hope to lead your team. It’s not hard to root for his serious look, youthful talent and curly locks.

Now, on to Peyton Manning. I already spoke about him in my post for the NFC championship so I won’t go into tremendous detail but what is important to know about Peyton is that this has been an extraordinary season for him. He has beat numerous records, and if he wins the this game, for a lot of reasons I don’t fully comprehend, he will have had the greatest single season of any quarterback in the history of the NFL.

Image

Now, does this incredible athlete really need another accolade to add to his already impressive list? Probably not, but consider this – This amazing season he’s had, this is happening after some serious surgeries onhis neck. Surgeries that caused the team that he built and led for 14 years to replace him. Peyton Manning was the starting QB with the Indiana Colts for 14 years. After he was dropped, hewasn’t sure if he should tryto continue playing with his arm not recovering like he wanted it to. His rather lovely wife Ashley pushed him into a few training camps where his arm slowlystarted returning. He was picked up by the Bronco’s last year and has been blowing everyones mind with his comeback ever since.

His is a story of redemption. And not only that, but you can’t help but admit that he has a certain charm to him. I can’t say for sure that I think he is particularly funny but it is clear that he has a sense of humour and appreciates comedy. He hosted SNL and didn’t screw it up, in fact, this United Way PSA was really quite good. He did a promo spot with Will Farrell for Anchor Man 2 this year and let’s not forget about hismany classic MasterCard commercials over the years. With his big dumb face and his big dumb smile it’s hard not to like him.

And don’t think he doesn’t do his fair share of charity work either. One of my favourite Peyton-ism’s is his foundation which is aptly named ‘The Peyback Foundation’

Peyton is known for calling out plays to trick the other team. His most recent buzzword is ‘Omaha’ and he seems to shout it out beforenearly every play lately. The city of Omaha is thrilled, they publicly thanked Manning on their twitter feed, hoping that all these mentions on national television are bound to cause some tourism. You can even bet on how many times Peyton will scream Omaha at the super bowl, naturally the links are attached.

So, quarterback wise you have two options – the young, serious, sweet and talented Russell Wilson and his dogs OR the lovable goon thatis Peyton Manning who could prove to the world (and the Colts) that is he still the very best.

On this one, although I love the Seahawks and Russell Wilson, I think I’m going Peyton. I mean, look at this faceImage

Links

Here is the betting information on Omaha

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-23/peyton-manning-s-omaha-audibles-become-super-bowl-prop-bet.html

To add to my argument of the cutest couple in football

Here is Russell Wilson’s proposal details….which I understand is not a very sporty link

http://www.timesdispatch.com/entertainment-life/weddings-celebrations/i-do-i-do-ashton-meem-russell-wilson/article_169dd71c-d7b9-5781-aba4-2db570e5550b.html

And in case you missed it this time, here is Peyton’s United Way commercial

http://ilovefootballseason.com/funny-peyton-manning-united-way-snl-digital-short/

Advertisements

The AFC Championship – The Sith and the Jedi

Standard

The question of who has more heart is not an easy one to answer, This coming Sunday we have two terribly exciting games to watch. The first will be an all star match up between The New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos at the Sports Authority Field at Mile High. This game is all about the intense Quarterback rivalry. Our second game is the Seattle Seahawks vs. The San Francisco 49er’s. I hope I don’t give my bias too much away when I elect to save my blurb on these two teams until after the games completion when Pete Carroll’s brilliant Seahawks will slaughter Jim Harbaugh’s snot nosed 49er’s. But back to game 1

The Question of the Underdog – Bronco’s

Of the two teams the Bronco’s are the underdog….but not by a long shot. The Patriots have been to the Superbowl 7 times, 5 of which were under their current Coach/QB combo. Out of these 5 trips, they have won 3 in the last ten years, setting innumerable records in the process. If the Patriots win this game they will be tied for the title of most Superbowl appearances by a team in the history of the NFL. The Bronco’s have been to the Superbowl 6 times but only won twice, in 1997 and 1998. If they win this Sunday, it will be their first Superbowl appearance since 1998 – 15 years! Meanwhile the Broncos have an operating budget of $31.7 million while the Patriots have an operating budget of $139.2 million. That is a difference of over $100 million that goes towards things like training facilities, player salaries and coach salaries. And speaking of coaches The Patriots have had the same coach for 13 years; a polarizing but undoubtedly brilliant man by the name of Bill Belichick.  In November the Bronco’s lost their Head Coach, Jim Fox to a valve replacement surgery. His role was being filled by their defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio but that’s a lot of change ups for a team in the post season.  On the other side of the gate, the game is being played at the Bronco’s home stadium. Lucky for them, they have one of the best home game advantages in the league, having never been shut out at home in over 400 games. Some say this can be credited to their altitude which is indeed a mile high above sea level.

Team Charisma – Tie game

In this category we certainly have reason to root for both teams. The Patriots have a fairly adorable touchdown ritual where ten men dressed as minute men fire a round of blanks from flintlock muskets in the end zone. It’s an oddly classy affair with the surely un-intended effect of sending the sulphur scented fumes over to the visiting teams bench. Whether or not you find this a flattering comparison. Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin has said that the Patriots are the Lannister’s of the NFL and Drew Karyshyn, a Star Wars video game writer has named Bill Belichick as most likely to become the Sith. While you may point out that both of these comparisons are to what some might call ‘evil’ characters, I would point out that in both cases they have a certain charm, and a definite ability to get what they want.

Oh…and their defensive coordinators name is Pepper Johnson…Great name.

The Broncos do some cute stuff too. They take great pride in selling out their stadium. Each game they read out the number of no shows in the stadium, who are subsequently booed. Also, their former stadium was unique by having steel floors. This caused a thunder sound to echo down from the top seats when fans would stomp their feet, possibly because of their enthusiasm and possibly because they were cold. In any case, when their new stadium was built the upper decks were built with steel floors to continue the tradition.

Oh…and their General Manager is a Hall of Fame quarterback who took the team to their only two Superbowl wins: a Mr. John Elway, who when he was drafted in the 1st round by the Colts in 1983, threatened to leave football and join the MLB unless he was traded to a short list of teams, one of which was the Bronco’s. He’s been with the team ever since.

Coaches Corner – Go Pats Go

After careful study of Bill Belichick I have come to think that ‘saucy’ is perhaps the best word him. Not in anything he says because public speaking is really not his forte but in his actions. For those of you who don’t know him I’ll do a quick review of some of his more brazen achievements. In 2000 he was given a head coaching position for the New York Jets. He accepted the position and the next day, moments before he was supposed to be introduced to the press, he quickly wrote out a sentence. “I resign as the Head Coach of the New York Jets.” He spent the next 30 minutes justifying his decision to a stunned press corp. He had held the position for 24 hours. Shortly afterwards it was announced that he would be the head coach of the Patriots where he would also act as General manager giving him near complete control over the team. The Patriots had to give up their first round draft pick to get him out of his contract with the Jets but it was probably worth it. 

Once in 2001 after a bad game against The Miami Dolphins, he held a funeral for the game ball in order to get the team to move forward. And in his pre-game speech before the 2005 Superbowl against the Eagles he made his team listen to the entire parade route that the Eagles would take should they win – street by street. He is the only NFL head coach that is not part of the NFL coaches association. Union camaraderie does not appear to be his thing. Spying is more his style, in 2007 he was fined $500,00o for taping a defensive practice of the New York Jets. 

Now, this is Bill Belichick’s final year on his contract, which would normally create an interesting tension but I don’t think he’s even remotely near the chopping block. His contract is sure to be extended.

 The Broncos coach is named John Fox and doesn’t strike me as a particularly interesting man. He and Belichick have faced off once before in the Superbowl, with Belichick taking the crown in 2003 when Fox was briefly the coach of the Panthers. He has had to leave the game this season after a cardiac valve replacement surgery. His defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio has been filling in and he is a slightly more interesting man. He has held the position of head coach before for the Jaguars and set an NFL record as longest tenured head coach without winning a division championship. Not the best record to have, but a record is a record I suppose. These playoffs have been a real chance for him to shine.

My favourite story about Jack is when he introduced a new coaching mantra to the Jaguars locker room in 2003. The mantra was ‘Keep Chopping Wood’ and he brought in a large stump and an axe so the players could really hammer in this metaphor. This was all going pretty well until the teams  punter seriously injured his non kicking foot, badly enough to keep him out the rest of the 2003 season. If that’s not pure blind, stupid heart, I don’t know what is.

 Interestingly enough all three coaches involved in this game were fined in 2012 for ‘berating replacement officials’ or grabbing a replacement officials arm in Bill’s case. So in the very least, it should be a passionate game on the sidelines

Quarterback – I heart Peyton

In the Quarterback department, I think the way is clear. These two incredibly successful men have faced off 14 times, with Tom Brady winning 10 of these. While Brady tends to soar under in the intense playoff pressure, Peyton seems to sink. Among his other career records Peyton Manning is tied with Brett Farve for most post season losses.

Tom Brady was largely ignored in college. Not recognized as the talent that he is now, he was a 6th round draft pick by the Patriots. This is the narrative that we have come to know; A young, determined, hard working boy defeats all mediocre expectations and becomes the worlds best known quarterback. Peyton Manning on the other hand was a star in college and a first round draft pick for the Colts. In fact everything was looking pretty wonderful for him until 2011. He even started a charity for disadvantaged youth called the ‘Peyback Foundation”. Get it? Anyway in 2011 he went in for a run of the mill surgery to alleviate some pain he was feeling in his neck and shoulder. The pain did not subside and shortly after he had to have another, much more serious surgery that led to him sitting out the rest of 2011 season. Previously he had never missed a game in the NFL. When the 2012 draft pick came around the Colts used their first pick to choose Andrew Luck as their new quarterback. Peyton Manning was let go from the team that he had led for 14 years. He was even gracious about it, saying that the Colts made the right decision. Lucky for him, the Bronco’s picked him up 13 days later so the sob story ends here.

In fact, there’s very little for either of them to sob about. They are both married to incredibly beautiful woman with lovely little families. They both make over 90 million a year and they both have hosted Saturday Night Live, which I think you’ll agree is the pinnacle of celebrity success. (Links are attached, but I think Peyton wins the funny award)

Also it should be said that while Star Wars writer Drew Karyshyn compared Bill Belichick to the Sith, he has named Peyton Manning as most likely to be a Jedi Knight. And it may have taken a while, but we all saw what happened there. Go Peyton Go.

So, who has more heart? While neither team is soul-less. I would strongly suggest for you to root for the Broncos. They need it more and if they pull it together, they have the skill to overthrow the comfortable Patriots. I’m going to ride this orange wave as long as it goes…or until they face the Seahawks.

Other Links E-online did a great explanation of the Brady/Manning Rivalry as explained by the ladies of ‘The Hill’s http://ca.eonline.com/news/500643/tom-brady-and-peyton-manning-s-rivalry-as-explained-by-the-hills-lauren-conrad-and-heidi-montag This is Bill Belichick dressed as a pirate and giving us a rare smile http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/30/bill-belichick-pirate-halloween-costume_n_4177824.html Here is Peyton’s United Way SNL video http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/80542965/ Here is (a rather bad quality video of) Tom Brady’s opening SNL monologue – You decide https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8vye8TFP0k