Stranger Bedfellow: Peyton Manning

DATELINE:  Super Bowl Hay Woven into Political Gold

At one point during the heyday of Tom Brady, way back when he was young, everyone thought that the future for Tom Brady, Donald Trump’s quondam friend would be a career in politics. He had the red hat and he had the swagger.

Trump even lobbied him as a husband for Ivanka a dozen years ago. Tom’s certainly a better catch than Jared Kushner.

There was inevitable talk he would seek a role in political office in Massachusetts, though the state is probably a tad more liberal for him than his actual politics. Tom doesn’t need deodorant because avocado ice cream smells better than it looks.

However, the Trump people may be more delighted with that pizza-slinging huckster-cum-politician Peyton Manning.

The man who plays more golf with Trump than Brady is a rank conservative icon. Yes, word is out that Tennessee may be needing a new senator next year–and Peyton Manning has a “Hail Mary” chance and pass in his future.

Considered highly popular among those who never kneel except in church, and well-known not just for his on-field antics, but his off-field commercials, he knows something about sound bites.

Jingles and jingoism are not alien to Peyton. Nationwide Insurance and health care are up his passer rating. Just ask him to hum a bar or two.

We wait to discover whether his conservative ultra-right positions will sit well with the American public in general.  We know they will likely sit quite well in Tennessee, where the Beverly Hillbillies originally hailed—and where bluegrass is unusually red around the neck.

Politics makes strange bedfellows, and nothing could be stranger than to find Tom Brady still playing in the NFL– and Peyton Manning in the United States Senate.

Manning Versus Brady, Like a Rerun of the Brady Bunch

 DATELINE: Here We Go Again

There are people who have seen Star Wars movies dozens of times. They will watch and watch again for every nuance, no matter how trivial or mundane. They think there is some glorious message of importance between the lines.

The same could be said of football games played between Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.

The twin stars of the NFL have been alive for combined total of nearly a century. Though neither was alive when Star Wars first began its endless cycle, nor were they around when Star Trek first began its mission to explore the universe, they have been in the NFL for the entire 21st century.

And, now, according to soothsayers and prognosticators, they are coming to a milestone: they will face each other, head to head, for the seventeenth time. We cannot find any anniversary memento associated with 17. We think it is the Kumquat commemoration.

So, now Brady and Manning will face each other again in Denver during an important, winner take all, playoff game. This will be the real Super Bowl—and Cam Newton will be an afterthought, a postscript, and likely the Most Valuable Player.

In the meantime, we will be watching old re-treads, sort of like seeing Sylvester Stallone play Rocky one more time in Rocky XVII or as the NFL calls it, Rocky 17—and being given an Oscar nomination.

One great QB hates to play in the cold, and one great QB loves to play in snow.

One will have the secret support of Roger Goodell, and one will be on his list for indictment, drawing, and quartering.

As we come to next Saturday when the Apocalypse of pigskin will dawn, we are to see the Clash of the Titans. It is Thor versus Lokey.

And the game will be hyped like nevermore. There will be nothing low key in this matchup, even though the combatants will not be on the field together except at the start to say hello, and at the end to shake the hand of the better man—er, god.

Worst Super Bowl: Brian Hoyer v. Kirk Cousins

 DATELINE: Send in the Seconds

 

No Gropes in the Backfield

As the world of NFL prepares for a bunch of playoff games starring the costars, the real stars of the game are home resting.

Yes, everyone wants to see Cam Newton, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning—and, hunh?, Carson Palmer.  It almost seems like among the superstars, Palmer is the Ralph Bellamy of the group. For those of you too young to recall the heyday of Hollywood, Ralph Bellamy always played the star’s best friend, but was never really a star in his own right.

For this first weekend, we have to watch the midget version of titans now populated by Rothlisberger, Rodgers, and the hopefuls like Russell Wilson, Kirk Cousins, and good grief, Tom Brady’s former waterboy, what’s-his-name.

If you want to sense who the biggest stars are, you had only to hear Donald Trump predict Brady was better than anyone else, even with an ankle injury, at a recent campaign rally.

For some fans, Tom Brady is Darth Vader in a zoot suit and Peyton Manning is aging Han HGH Solo without Botox backup.

Many are hoping for a rematch of Brady and Manning in the real Super Bowl, before the actual #50.  For the oldsters of the game, it would rival something akin to the Star Wars sequels and prequels. Are we up to seven big games with that dynamic duo?

Of course, the young stud of the group—and probably Roger Goodell’s choice to represent his billionaires’ club is Cam Newton. You couldn’t ask for a more blended version of Manning and Brady.

Looking over the possible fixes the NFL can make to the proceedings, it is nearly impossible to figure out what teams will receive the blessings of the referees during the game. It would look like a box office disaster if we end up with Brian Hoyer and Kirk Cousins in the Super Bowl. So, that’s where we put our two-bits for FanDooDoo, or DraftyThings.

That’s our favorite pick for poetic justice for Roger Goodell this year.

Sly Accusation Becomes Peyton’s Pain in Neck

DATELINE:  Pizza Pie in the Face

 

A rock from outer space just landed on Peyton Manning.

After having besmirched Tom Brady at every corner of the universe, the NFL suddenly had been caught in the outhouse with its premiere star. Some pharmacist named Sly has accused Manning of using human growth hormone to recover from his neck surgery in 2011.

This verboten substance may be miraculous for anyone with a medical problem, but the NFL has made a point of banning it.

Now they are facing the love of their league in a situation where Manning voided the banning.

We suspect that, if this vile story is true, Roger Goodell will hit Manning with a one-game suspension because he has pity on a suffering human being, desperate to cure his pain.

Tom Brady, on the other hand, in the alternate universe of Goodell, has merely caused pain to 31 billionaire owners.

Manning, of course, denies that he ever heard of someone named Sly and never had any illegal substance delivered to his wife at their various addresses.

We tend to agree that Manning is too smart for such a plan of action. If he had the substance sent to his various addresses, it would go to the butler. Yes, the butler did it.

No, Patriot fans, we don’t mean Malcolm Butler.

Peyton’s places are sundry. He has homes all over the country and his wife remains a woman more private than Greta Garbo. So, any investigation will simply cause anguish to people wanting to stay above or below the fray in elite zipcodes.

We refuse to believe the story is true, just as Patriot fans refused to believe ugly stories about Brady are true. Does this put the shoe on the other foot?

It likely means that sticky dirt has to be scrubbed off, whether Peyton is innocent or guilty. This is worse than a pizza pie in the face.

 

 

Peyton’s Place For Sale

DATELINE: In Absentia

 

How the mighty hath fallen. Especially his arches. With plantar fasciitis, Peyton Manning has trouble playing footsie, let alone football. Is this the end of Peyton’s ownership of the NFL?

Like another great quarterback that Manning just passed in the stats game, the redoubtable Brett Favre, Peyton may have overstayed his welcome at the Big Show.

Now with NFL network at odds over its marquee game of the week in the proverbial hopper, they no longer have their hero—Peyton—to dispatch the evil Brady.

Well, the NFL is not known for its moral choices.

We are happy that the Goodell bush league will lose a ton of money on this game—and they don’t even play BoyKings or FanDrool. The cash cow is now chopped liver. A Manning-Brady matchup is about as much fun as watching Republican non-entities Huckabee debate Jindal.

Brady is the last of the greats still standing. The NFL’s best laid plans of having Louise Brees, Duck Rodgers, and Kit Carson, considered the best in QB ranks is now a dead fish.

The man the NFL wants to most destroy is the last QB standing in the pocket, leaving Goodell likely to put a bountygate out on the Patriots.

The Commissioner tried to spygate and deflategate, but his gates are off hinges and croaking like the Tin Man.

And the youngsters like Luck, Kaepernick, and Manziel, are catastrophes of inconsistencies. What can a Commissioner do when his profit plans go awry? We recommend he resign—and fire the underlings.

Remember Whistle-gate!

 

Death of QB Salesmen: Manning, Rodgers, & Brady

DATELINE: Inadvertent Advert Humor

Aaron's stalker

Tom Brady’s opponents make terrible TV commercials.

You know the entire story of Peyton Manning who for years now has moonlighted as a Papa John’s pizza waitress.

Peyton & pizza

If he isn’t selling pizza, Manning is hawking cheap auto insurance in case you are hit by a bus or refrigerator, likely scenarios in the NFL.

Manning also sells cars. Sometimes we have a hard time figuring out what product he has placed in his self-promoting commercials.

This week’s bad TV huckster is Aaron Rodgers.

BradyPullsRabbit

We all know Aaron from rumors about his peccadilloes off the field. It didn’t help that for years he did commercials in which an androgynous Packer fan with cheese on his head chased Rogers all over the countryside.

If you are going to have a stalker, make sure you double-check your rear view mirror because your rear may be in view.

puny rodgers

Nowadays the stalking stalk of cheese stalker has been retired in favor of two musclemen with Schwarzenegger accents. These guys in fat suits want to remake Aaron in the form of a male pinup model.

We half expect his next costar will be a gecko or a gerbil.

Tom&Peyton

All we can add about Tom and his high-toned salespitches is Uggh. Tom’s commercials generally run the gamut from film noir to artsy museum piece.

If the style of Manning and Rodgers is a hot tub time machine, then Tom’s approach is more in the line of last year at Marienbad, or a bad perfume commercial. We must blame Giselle’s friends at the New York agencies.

Flea Admits Super Bowl was Faked

BradyPullsRabbit

NFL Fakery At Work?

 DATELINE: HUMOR!

 

It’s official. One hundred million viewers of the Super Bowl were Flea bitten.

Yes, the bass player of the Red Hot Chili Peppers now reveals that they did not really play their instruments, but simply went through the motions.

The singing was live, but the music was canned, like the exuberance shown by the audience. We actually never saw the spectators, only the paid extras who surrounded the stage with Bruno Mars and his Hooligans. They jumped up and down with gay abandon, but were high-octane fakes.

Yes, the NFL pulled a fast one on fans. We have also learned in a related situation that the Bronco quarterback was a simulated version of Peyton Manning.

Richard Sherman was actually replaced by one of the Stepford Wives—but John Fox was left standing there dripping in a wax copy.

We may want to extrapolate the entire NFL season as part of an elaborate ruse to fool most of the people all of the time.

You can’t be sure if those zebras at the game were the old replacement referees.

What is always certain is that the broadcast announcers have been windblown, airbrushed, and photoshopped.

No wonder PED Pete was allowed to let his boys look like crackerjack players.

Like the 1969 Moon landing, the Groundhog Day game left some fans thinking the entire Super Bowl did not take place in East Rutherford, New Jersey, but was shot on a sound stage near Belize with M. Night Shyamalan directing the game like it was a Twilight Zone remake.

It makes us yearn for the old days when wardrobe malfunctions were the worst script idea of the NFL.

 jayne Can We Believe It’s Real?

Early Retirees in Sports

DATELINE: HUMOR!affluenza sufferer

Few athletes nowadays would ever think to take the Joe DiMaggio route of retiring at 36 years because he was starting to lose his edge as a superstar.

Good grief! Today they will play till 50 if the millions of dollars hold out. Take A-Rod who might retire if he were not looking at $25million per year in forfeit.

They will fight to stay on the field to the bitterest end, like Brett Favre, because diminished skills and embarrassing lack of ability does not compute when the paycheck is automatically put into the checking account.

Peyton Manning had his greatest season, but looked old and feeble in the championship game. Some fans are speculating that he will hang it up rather than face another season ender like this.

Baloney! Manning knows where the dollar signs are buried in the Money Pit. He sees his pizza endorsements and car driving down the commercial highway as something he won’t give up till he has to.

Tom Brady has frequently said he loves the game and the competition and will play till he is 50. Well, Tom, even Clint had to retire Dirty Harry when the character was well past the age when cops are allowed to gum their food.

Retirement is a dirty word when big bucks are at stake, or an ego is on the line. We found colleagues making the largest paydays in their lives refusing to step aside, despite diminished skills and waning interest.

The only factor for retirement is when no one wants you and no one will pay you. In sports, that day seems far away and leaving at your best is a lost art.

Town Without Pity or Town Too Tough To Die?

DATELINE: HUMOR!

Omaha!

The word is part of the Peyton Manning lexicon.

No one apparently wants to reveal why he yells it repeatedly before the ball is snapped. Not even Edward Snowden has been able to leak this secret information.

A few veterans of the Big One, WW2, think it is Peyton’s homage to the turning point battle at Omaha Beach.

Fans of Animal Planet think it is his way of honoring the late Marlin Perkins of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.

There is a small contingent that the cry of Manning is for his long-lost favorite city, sort of a combination of Brigadoon and Bali Hai, a place where you win as many Super Bowls as Tom Brady.

The Nebraska Chamber of Commerce may want to stick Manning’s face on every highway leading into the big city of the Midwest.

The Native language translation for Omaha is “Dwellers on the Bluff,” and perhaps that bluff is Manning’s game. He has them guessing constantly about his passes.

A few historians have pointed out that, as one of the oldest quarterbacks to go to the Super Bowl, Peyton Manning actually knew Lewis and Clark, the first American explorers to Omaha.

Whatever the logic behind crying, “Omaha,” Manning has created a good business environment in Nebraska, making many others cry out that the next Super Bowl ought to be held, you guessed it, in Omaha, Nebraska.

We Know the Winner of the Broncos-Patriots Game!

DATELINE: HUMOR!

ImageTaylor Knows the Score

The big questions are seldom answered satisfactorily.

Is it the chicken, or the egg, that came first?

Do you know if there is a parallel universe at the tip of your nose?

How many dimensions are there beyond the three we know?

Is there intelligent life in the universe?

Will Downton Abbey end with the Crash of ’29?

Will Taylor Lautner learn how to act before he needs to put a shirt on?

Will the Patriots or Broncos win the Legacy Bowl?

Is Peyton Manning a better quarterback than Tom Brady?

Why do NFL players dislike Brady so much?

Is Bill Belichick really a genius at football?

Will the AFC Championship game of 2014 be decided by the laws of string theory?

Was the result of the big game foretold by the Biblical Code in Genesis?

How many quatrains by Nostradamus give the number of touchdowns Manning will throw against the Patriots on Sunday?

Will Tom Brady find the treasure at Oak Island after he wins another Super Bowl?

We suspect that only Moses knows the winner of the AFC Championship game, and he wrote it on the back of the Ten Commandments in stone. Alas, we can’t find the tablets.

So many ridiculous questions, and only a few will be answered by the time the new season of Sherlock hits PBS. Holmes would say the solution is elementary, like the dog that didn’t bark in the night.

We don’t hear any yapping from Broncos.

Wes Welker Gets Arty

DATELINE: HUMOR

 ImageHello, Dali?

There you go again with Wes Welker stealing the humorist’s prerogative.

Welker compared the incomparable.

He said comparing Peyton Manning and Tom Brady is like comparing Pablo Picasso and Michelangelo.

We know our artists almost as much as our quarterbacks, and Welker is playing footsie again with the two most important men in his life.

We aren’t sure if one artist spent most of his professional life flat on his backside, but it could be a case of quarterbacks imitating art.

Of course, while Pope Julius II tackled Michelangelo, we expect Brady and Manning to keep their wits about them and stand up in the pocket like David naked to the world.

As far as a Blue Period, we suspect that will be reserved for the QB who loses the game. Only then will we be able to tell the Agony from the Ecstasy.

Let’s face it: Michelangelo and Picasso are not apples and oranges. Neither are Brady and Manning. There is no still life among this bunch of fig leaves.

Perhaps Welker sees the Bronco-Patriots game as a version of Guernica. The tragedy of this war may be that one great quarterback will be dubbed a loser.

We suspect the outcome of the AFC championship game on Sunday may be more like something Salvatore Dali might have given us. In fact, we feel confident that the game will challenge The Persistence of Memory when it comes to great moments in NFL history.

You can tell we are in the playoffs. Art is imitating football.

Clash of the Titans: Brady, Manning, & Belichick

DATELINE: HUMOR!

 Tom&Peyton

You may not see Peyton Manning as Medusa with a head full of squirming snakes, but Bill Belichick definitely knows a Gorgon when he sees one.

Zeus Belichick has been sending his son the half-mortal Perseus Brady into the breach now for a dozen years. You’d think they would have run out of tricks by now on how to behead the Medusa.

And mind you: the ability to defeat Peyton Medusa annually has something to do with smoke and mirrors. No wonder the Super Bowl always looks like a mighty small anticlimax every year.

There is more hype and campfire tall tales about Brady and Manning than there ever will be about Russell Wilson, Seattle’s Mr. Peabody and his hired assassin boy Richard Sherman.

You simply cannot compare simple animation to the big picture of mythology in the best CGI techniques of Tom Terrific.

Only humble Tom Brady will work as a backup punter’s holder. When rookie Ryan Allen went down with a shoulder injury, Tom Brady stepped up and bent over to hold the ball for Stephen Gostkowski (also doing his first career punt).

Yet, Brady is the Franchise, a valuable commodity, and we have not seen any other superstar quarterback holding his pinky out politely as he holds the football pigskin.

We doubt that Peyton Manning would do it. And, surely, not of the prima donna QBs of the new generation would sully their tattoos with such menial work. Colin Kaepernick is too busy kissing his bicep, and Andrew Luck is too busy ripping open his bodice in the endzone.

Only Tom Brady plays it like a humble mortal instead of a demigod.

 

 Literate Patriot fans will read Ossurworld’s two books on the Patriots in 2011 and 2012 in anticipation for this year’s edition. All books by William Russo are available on Amazon.com.

 

 

Peyton Manning Stands in the Doorway

Tom& WesTom & Wes

DATELINE: HUMOR!

 

Peyton Manning will host the Patriots in a championship game that will either open the gateway to the Super Bowl or send the Patriots directly to the gate to hell.

Manning plans on dressing up like the ticket-taker on the boat to Hades—and we think he will claim that Tom Brady does not have the correct fare to cross the river Styx.

Manning will let the Red Sea part for the Patriots—only to leave Denver in defeat.

If you ever saw a smarmy maître d’ in a fancy restaurant, you know that Peyton gives a good accounting as one at Papa Gino’s. His by-play with the owner of the pizza franchise is one of the worst performances of the year for money. He ought to win a Golden Globe for his acting, not a Super Bowl ring.

Peyton is like the conductor on the famous Emperor of the North train, ready to knock heads and throw the baggage off the caboose. In this case, the hobo band stowing away in the boxcars is the New England Patriots.

We know that St. Peter is likely to be standing at the Pearly Gates of Eternity with his blue book, but Peyton may be his bouncer to send Bill Belichick’s unworthy carcass back to where it belongs.

The horn blows at midnight, and Peyton is preparing to blow it.

If there was a giant elf in Santa’s Village ready to put Tom Brady’s name on the list of boys who’ve been naughty, his name would be Peyton.

The TSA agent at the Denver Airport ready to confiscate Julian Edelman’s cleats goes by the name of Manning.

After trudging through snow covered mountain passes in the Himalayas, the Patriots are facing a man at the tiny bridge to Shangri-La, barring their entrance into paradise where eternal youth and happiness awaits. He is none other than Peyton.

There is no mistaking it. The impediment on the Yellow Brick Road to Emerald City doesn’t need a broom to chase Toto Wes Welker. The Wicked Witch’s name is Manning, and he already has Welker trapped in the basket.

We want to ignore the man behind the curtain, but he has an uncanny resemblance to Peyton Manning. And, he stands between the New England Patriots and the Super Bowl.

Patriots Miss the First Nor’easter of the Season

DATELINE: HUMOR!

That hoary old whatever, Destiny, has raised its ugly head again. Cockeyed optimists among New England fans see the bowl half full. Cynics like us see the bowl half empty.

Now that Peyote Manning has been smoked by San Diego, the Patriots are masters of their own destiny. So, say the prognosticators and Nostradamus whelps.

Sports radio talk hosts are moonlighting as cheerleaders again.

If the Denver and New England are tied at season’s end, the Patriots will receive home field advantage all the way to elimination, or New York, whichever comes first.

The thinking on this suggests that the Pats can beat Miami and Baltimore on the road to show their mettle.

Unfortunately, the only metal we have seen on the Patriots this season is aluminum foil.

We think the Patriots are far more likely to be foiled again.

Being an optimistic sort, we believe it is far more likely that Denver will lose the next two games.

If the Pats win the next three games in a row, they will have tic tac toe and home field advantage in the playoffs.

We are not quite convinced that a team that plays its best ball when they are two touchdowns behind with two minutes to go is a surefire Super Bowl winner.  New England is going to Miami for a mid-summer weather game when snow is more preferable to Tom Brady.

They look much more like the Boston Celtics of this season than the Boston Red Sox. You have to love them to death—and sudden death indeed will do us part.

Since the Patriots will be in Miami this Sunday, they will miss the big snowstorm in Boston that would have guaranteed another win.

 

 

 

 

Brady and Manning Fall Short of Tandems

Tom&Peyton

 DATELINE: TOM FOOLERY

Boston media once again are indulging in their wastrel pastime of asinine speculation.

You know there is a desperate need to fill the empty airwaves with bluster and drollery when so-called insiders begin their perennial debate about who’s the better quarterback matchup:  Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.

The tomfoolery has gone on through Sanchez and Romo unto Kaepernick and Griffin III. Yet, the experts continue to spin their moneymakers like stuck tires in a snowdrift.

We cannot think of a less worthwhile discussion than to compare these athletes.

Did we ask the same ad nauseum of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson? Oh, it was another sport and apples/oranges: or was it? Those two ended up spawning movies and Broadway plays with their even-steven rivalry.

Somehow we doubt that Broadway will entertain the Tom & Peyton show. It may not even make the level of the Gronk cartoons like Tom and Jerry.

Brady and Manning fall far behind the debate about Ted Williams and Stan Musial. They are nowhere near as exciting as Juan Marichal and Sandy Koufax. Hell, they don’t even scrape the bronze off Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain.

So, when we hear the caterwauling over Brady and Manning, we turn off our ear trumpet and bury our nose in history books about real athletic rivals like Mantle and Maris, Ruth and Gehrig, or Fisk and Munson.

Let’s just enjoy their ying and matching yang while we have it.