Readers feel praising Manning slights Brady, Favre
Posted: Friday November 16, 2007 11:00AM; Updated: Friday November 16, 2007 1:18PM
Got a bit of response about my Peyton Manning column, but it didn't amount to much, so I want to get right into a very important question that was raised about the league rules on proper equipment. It seems that when they ... OK, OK, juuuusst kidding.
I got nailed to the wall for my poor little innocent acknowledgment of Peyton's struggles Sunday night. Rest assured, every one of the "waddya nuts?" letters will be dealt with, plus the few that sympathized with the point I was trying to make.
Matt of Milwaukee, after setting me up with some moderate praise, drops the big right cross on my poor head. He points out that I laud Manning for soldiering through with jayvee receivers, even praise him for spending a game throwing off his back foot when faced with intense pressure, when I've come down hard on Brett Favre and Tom Brady for exactly the same thing. And please don't forget all the subpar receivers they had to struggle with in previous years.
You're half right. I have never been critical of Brady, and I sympathized with his cause last year, when they cut his quality receives loose. Favre? You're right. It has been pointed out to me many times that I've been overly critical. I think it's the typical reaction of a contrarian who cannot stand the mass of similar praise, endlessly repeated, the same excuses, the same eagerness to blame everyone but him.
It's like watching a B movie and hoping that the blond, blue-eyed hero will slip on the banana peel. But I've been making a definite attempt to be more fair regarding Favre this year, which, of course, is easy, since he's having a sensational season. If you've been reading my stuff, you'd agree with that, wouldn't you, Matt? WOULDN'T YOU? Would someone wake him up, please?
There was just something very human that struck me about Peyton's ordeal Sunday night. Yeah, some of the picks were pretty bad. But he got himself together and brought them back, didn't he? I couldn't get the game out of my mind, and when the analogy of the ants and the beetle popped into my head, I was off and running.
From F.J.R. of Groveton, N.H. -- "You don't need to be a Manning apologist. There's enough of them already." Sorry. Just trying to present a picture of something that reached me on an emotional level, even though the effort proved futile.
More heat from New England. Matt of Canton, Conn., sees "no reason to slight Tom Brady ... who came within a minute of the Super Bowl with Reche Caldwell and Jabar Gaffney." The slight he mentions refers to the following line from my piece: "The quarterback who stands tall in the pocket, facing a minimal rush, throwing to an all-star cast of receivers is a pretty picture, but there's nothing about it that reaches me on an emotional level." Oh, it would reach me emotionally if I had a bet down on the game or if I grew up a diehard fan, but otherwise I don't think this is any slight of Brady, about whom I've never written a single negative word. It was just an attempt to present a situation in which failure sometimes might move you more than success would.
Gurman of San Ramon, Calif., which I happen to know is redhot Patriot country, lands a pretty good one when he points out that the Chargers were also missing starters, and "Cromartie's three interceptions were against Reggie Wayne, not some scrub." Absent from the Chargers' defense -- Castillo and Jammer. From the Colts' offense -- Harrison, Clark, Ugoh, Gonzalez. I'll take that pot. You're right about Cromartie. He turned in a magnificent performance, but I was doing a quirky kind of piece about the nobility of failure, not success.