Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Peyton Manning Sucks

I struggled for a long time trying to decide whether or not to write sports columns to intersperse on my website along with my borderline asinine blogs about Willow action figures and overpriced meat-flavored sodas.  And while it’s been a tough mental struggle, the utter and complete anger forcing me to choke down vomitous bile every time I have to hear about Luck vs. Manning has finally forced my hand.  Should I wait any longer to express my contempt towards the talking heads stoking a non-issue with such vim and vigor, I believe my head will explode.  You know, David Cronenberg style

Seems so familiar……

Anyway, this issue has started to drive me insane.  It seems like every sports writer/broadcaster wants to make this in to the issue, “CAN ANDREW LUCK AND PEYTON MANNING COEXIST?!”  Which would be fine, except every sports writer/broadcaster SINCE THE BEGINNING OF TIME has always made the argument you should never draft a quarterback then just throw him to the wolves.  Meaning you let him ride the pines a few years, learn the game, then start him when the time is right.

Which would make picking Luck about as perfect as one could reasonably deem possible, especially if it happens Manning can’t come back.  But even if he can, why do I have to listen to all these tools talk about how “complicated” an issue it is?  Why is it complicated?  Why, in God’s name, wouldn’t you take Andrew Luck, sign him to a four-year contract, and then make your decision? 

I am sitting here listening to this inane prattle every day about how they might trade Peyton Manning or let him go or some such nonsense.  They just signed the guy to a five year contract, he is the face of the franchise, the ONLY face the franchise has EVER had, and, for that matter, arguably the face of the NFL for some years.  And I think maybe he owns a record or two…oh, yup, found a couple:

Regular season records:
§  Most seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards: 11 (1999–2004, 2006–2010)[219]
§  Most consecutive seasons with at least 4,000 passing yards: 6 (1999–2004; tied with Drew Brees)[3]
§  Most games with 40+ pass attempts in a season: 10 (2010)[220]
§  Most consecutive seasons with at least 20 touchdown passes: 13 (1998–2010) [45]
§  Most consecutive seasons with at least 25 touchdown passes: 13 (1998–2010)[219]
§  Most games with a perfect passer rating, career: 4 (includes 1 playoff game)[96]
§  Most consecutive games started to open a career: 208 [45][221]
§  Most games with at least 4 touchdown passes, season: 6 (2004; tied with 1984 Marino)[223]
§  Most games with at least 4 touchdown passes, career: 24 (includes 2 playoff games; tied with Brett Favre)[224]
§  Most games with at least 5 touchdown passes, career: 7 (includes 1 playoff game)[225]
§  Most games with at least 5 touchdown passes and no interceptions, career: 4 (tied with Tom Brady)
§  One of only seven QBs with at least 6 touchdown passes in two games (tied with Sammy Baugh, Y.A. Tittle, Daryle Lamonica, Tom Brady, Charley Johnson and George Blanda)[226]
§  One of only two QBs with at least 6 touchdown passes and no interceptions in two games (tied with Tom Brady)
§  Most regular games with at least 300 passing yards: 63 (tied with Dan Marino)
§  Most regular and postseason games with at least 300 passing yards: 71
§  Most games with at least 400 yards passing and no interceptions: 4
§  Most career touchdown passes in Thursday games: 25[227]
§  Most touchdown passes on a Thursday game: 6 (tied with Bob Griese)
§  Largest career TD-INT differential: 201
§  Highest career passing TDs/game average (min. 150 TD passes): 1.91 TDs/game[45]
§  Highest career passing yards/game average: 263.6[228]
§  Second-Highest career completions/game average (min. 100 games played): 22.5[229]
§  Most consecutive games with a passer rating over 100: 9 (games 5–13 of 2004 season; record tied by Carson Palmer, 2004–05 and Tom Brady, 2006–07; surpassed by Aaron Rodgers in 2011)[230]
§  Highest completion percentage by a QB in one month in NFL history (min. 75 attempts): 81.8% (December 2008) [45]
§  Most career games with a completion percentage of 70% or higher (min. 10 attempts): 66[231]
§  Most consecutive regular season wins as a starter: 23 (2008–2009)
§  Most seasons with 10+ wins as a starter (regular season only): 11 (1999–2000, 2002–2010)
§  Most seasons with 12+ wins as a starter (regular season only): 8 (1999, 2003–2009)
§  Only QB with at least 12 wins as a starter in 7 consecutive seasons (2003–2009)[232]
§  Only QB with nine straight seasons of 10+ wins as a starter (2002–2010)[45]
§  Only QB to lead five consecutive 4th quarter comeback wins (games 7–11, 2009)[233]
§  Most fourth quarter comeback wins in one season: 7 (2009)[234]
§  First QB to defeat the other 31 teams in the regular season (Tom Brady did this later the same day, and Brett Favre did it the following week)[235]
§  Most wins as a starting QB in a decade, regular season only: 115 (2000s)[163]
§  Most wins as a starting QB in a decade, regular & postseason: 124 (2000s)
§  Most AP NFL MVP Awards: 4 (2003, 2004, 2008, 2009)[1]
§  Most Touchdown Passes in a decade: 314 (2000–2009)
§  Most Passing Yards in a decade: 42,254 (2000–2009)
§  Most Completions in a decade: 3,575 (2000–2009)

This list came straight from Wikipedia, so please excuse the footnote reference numbers. I know some of these are filler records but which ones are “important” is pretty subjective.  I mean, besides most consecutive game with at least 2TD passes, or most career touchdown passes in Thursday games.  Those are pretty bullshit records.  But I’m too lazy to pick through the whole list.  You do it.

Anyway, yeah, that’s probably a guy you let go or trade for an unknown commodity.  No really.  Oh, right, I know, I know, Luck is going to be the best quarterback since Joe Montana.  The problem is at this point, it is the “job” of the sportscaster to speak in complete hyperbole about everything.  What else is going to keep you listening TWENTY-FOUR HOURS A DAY?  So I've come to understand to listen to almost nothing they say.

Let’s take a look at the 1st QB taken in the NFL draft for ~ the last twenty years, and you tell me which ones you would trade for Peyton Manning:

1990 – Jeff George (1st)
1991 – Dan McGwire (16th)
1992 – David Klingler (6th)
1993 – Drew Bledsoe/Rick Mirer (1st/2nd)
1994 – Heath Shuler (3rd)
1995 – Steve McNair (1st)
1996 – Tony Banks (42nd)
1997 – Jim Druckenmiller (26th)
1998 – Manning/Leaf (1st/2nd)
1999 – Tim Couch/Donovan Mcnabb/Akili Smith (1st/2nd/3rd)
2000 – Chad Pennington (18th)
2001 – Michael Vick (1st)
2002 – David Carr (1st), Joey Harrington (3rd)
2003 – Carson Palmer (1st)
2004 – Eli Manning (1st)
2005 – Alex Smith (1st)
2006 – Vince Young (3rd)
2007 – Jamarcus Russell (1st)
2008 – Matt Ryan (3rd)
2009 – Matthew Stafford (1st)
2010 – Sam Bradford (1st)
2011 – Cam Newton (1st)

You might say I’m not playing fair, might say you don’t use a FIRST PICK unless you KNOW he’s going to be good.  Right.  Like Jeff George or Ryan Leaf or Tim Couch , David Carr, Alex Smith, Vince Young, JAMARCUS RUSSELL!  Etcetera, etcetera, I say.  I guess those teams used first picks on QBs thinking "Man, this guy is a real turd, I'll go ahead and just throw away my first pick."

I know some of the QBs here have indeed panned out, but just as many haven’t, and this list doesn’t even contain a number of QBs you might consider elite, because they were such late picks: Roethlisberger (11th pick)  Rodgers (24th pick), Brees (32nd pick), Schaub (90th pick), Brady (199th pick), Romo (undrafted).  And that’s just ACTIVE QBs. 

I mean, Tom Brady was taken after such stalwarts as Giovanni Carmazzi, Chris Redman and Tee Martin, respectively the 2nd, 3rd and 4th QBs taken that year.  I’ve heard of exactly one of these guys, and that’s only because he is the backup on the Falcons, my favorite team.

So this is the ideal situation for the Colts franchise.  You draft Luck, Manning plays for three more years, THEN you have a decision to make.  And that’s exactly how it will pan out.  There is no decision to be made now.  You take Luck, you keep Manning.  Manning  will be 39 going in to the 2015 season.  He will have one more year left on his contract.  At that point, the Colt’s franchise will be able to spin it as a decision Manning has to make, more or less. 

As a professional sports owner you don’t force Manning out at this point.  You know that, I know that, the talking heads know that.  He’s a rare athlete, tied to the Indianapolis community as well as the Colts fan base.  Forcing him out would only create a tenuous situation with the very people you are trying to sell tickets to…..especially if Luck turns out a bust.

But they gotta keep the spin going, gotta cram 24 hours worth of TV, internet and radio content every day.  You can only talk about the inability of the Cowboys to win the big games for so long.  And the rest of the time has to be filled with actual “big” stories, or, at least, stories constructed to be big.  Like Peyton Manning’s future, or Tim Tebow’s inability to throw a pass.  Those topics, they’re indefatigable.  Just like Tebow’s heart.