Things change really fast in the NFL, especially after the regular season ends. Everyone is scrambling for an edge. Something you have never seems to be as good as something you don’t. I’ve been around football for a really long time. I think it’s the best game on planet earth. I think it takes a special kind of a person to coach it, play it, live and breathe it. Unfortunately, any moron can be a sports writer.
I find all the talk about the Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck and Peyton Manning completely ridiculous. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Luck could prove to walk on NFL water. And for him and his family’s sake, I sincerely hope he does. He could eventually be in the same league as players like Manning, Brees, and Brady. But, let’s put it all in perspective for a second.
If you take all the number one draft picks in the NFL over the past 12 years, do you know what player has the most Pro Bowls? Peyton Manning with 9. Did you know that half the number one picks in the past 20 years were never selected to even 1 Pro Bowl? Bruce Smith (DE-Buffalo-1983) is the only other player in nearly 25 years to have more Pro Bowl appearances than Manning with 11. John Elway, ironically selected as first overall by the Baltimore Colts in 1983 is next with 10. And I might add that if Manning was healthy this year and remained healthy for the next 5 years, he would surely move up the ladder.
Let’s take a look at the history of elite QBs in the league. I like win percentage as a statistic. If you look at pure win percentage for quarterbacks in the history of the NFL, taken from NFL.com , here is how the top 5 shakes down:
1. Tom Brady 78% (Picked 199th)
2. Roger Staubach 73.9% (picked 122nd )
3. Joe Montana 71.3% (Picked 82nd)
4. Ben Roethlisberger 70.8% (Picked 11th)
5. Peyton Manning 67.8% (Picked 1st)
Hmm, seems a little fishy huh? Only one out of the top 5 was a number one pick. Still don’t believe me? Not a fan of history? Let’s look at this year’s playoffs.
Out of all twelve teams to make the playoffs guess how many have number 1 picks starting at the quarterback position? Give up? Three, Eli Manning for the New York Giants, Matthew Stafford for the Detroit Lions, and Alex Smith for the San Francisco 49ers.
Peyton Manning’s legacy in the NFL doesn’t need to be defended by me or by anyone else. It speaks for itself. It should however be respected. I drive 3 hours one way to watch the Colts play on Sundays. And in all my 10 years of attending games and watching the Colts do what they do, I have never seen Peyton Manning quit. Not even once. Not when he struggled his rookie year, not when down 21-3 to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game, and never in the fourth quarter when his team needed him the most. He defines consistency, hard work, dedication, and preparedness. I will always cheer for him and all true blue fans should do the same. I think there should be less talk about potential “trades” and “comparisons” and more talk about him doing what he needs to do as a human being. I hope he plays as long as he wants to and as long as he is able. I hope that he makes the best choice for himself and his family because that’s what really matters the most. He has always been there for us as a competitor and we should be there for him as fans doing what we always do, pulling for him. You want to know why? Because one day he will be gone and as fans we can say we did it the right way and cheered for him until the very end.
I respect and welcome all opinions and here is mine. I think it is ridiculous to compare Andrew Luck to Peyton Manning. NFL history simply won’t allow for it. It makes no sense and it’s disrespectful to the Colt superstar to do so and it puts undue pressure on the current “Star of Stanford”. Want to compare Brady to Manning? Fine. Peyton to Big Ben? Fine. But comparing a future Hall of Fame quarterback to a kid who hasn’t played one down in the NFL is the most assinine, foolish, dim-witted, pointless thing I can think of in recent memory to even talk about. Face it, sports writers, you are just scrambling for material. Get a sense of humor, some perspective, and go buy yourselves a creative thought and write about something else for a while.
So the next time you read another Andrew Luck/Peyton Manning article, don’t throw up. Just turn the page, click the mouse and move on because there’s nothing to see. Until then, I’ll be right here, rooting for one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history.
Enough is enough.