It’s official, folks! Peyton Manning is the most popular football player around, according to a recent Harris Interactive poll to determine “America’s Favorite Sports Star.” Number one on the list overall was Derek Jeter, who was marching toward his 3000th hit when the survey was conducted from June 13-20. Peyton didn’t need any tricks, mirrors or impending milestones to lock down the second spot, and he was able to beat out Kobe Bryant and Michael Jordan in the process. Manning has been steadily climbing the list, moving from eighth to seventh to fifth to second over the last four years, and he was arguably hampered by his union frontman duties this spring. After the Colts win the Super Bowl at home next February, he should take that last step in popularity, and the top ten will undoubtedly be rendered in Blue and White.
The most gratifying part of this poll is that Tom Brady landed way back in the sixth slot, although I’m not even sure how his name made it to the ballot in the first place. No matter, though. It seems that the American public is finally coming to their senses when it comes to recognizing true greatness on the gridiron.