[picapp align=”center” wrap=”false” link=”term=Bill+Polian&iid=7837753″ src=”0/8/2/8/Super_Bowl_XLIV_f041.jpg?adImageId=10260090&imageId=7837753″ width=”380″ height=”290″ /]
Earlier this week, Jason Whitlock of FoxSports.com wrote a piece about the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. While he might be a bit off about who ranks as the G.O.A.T. at quarterback, his placement of Manning at 8 is clearly within reason.
Whitlock also used the platform to question the almost insane CIA level of protection Manning receives from the media and how people continuously make excuses for him. He referred to Manning’s supporters as “MIPS”, Men In Peyton’s Crack. I prefer the Manning Protection Agency. It’s just a better visual image but I digress.
Whitlock is dead on about his assessment of Manning backers. Unfortunately, it starts from the top. For example, Bill Polian, Colts team president, made it a point to convey the following feelings to the media:
- The offensive line underachieved in the Super Bowl.
- The special teams underachieved in the Super Bowl.
- The Super Bowl itself is in the past (well, yes…technically, yes it is?)
Polian’s lack of answers regarding last Sunday’s loss are interesting for one big reason. He, nor anyone else closely related to play, is offering an explanation or concise analysis regarding the game’s ultimate play, the Tracy Porter interception. All we can really rely on is Mike Mayock’s explanation of matters.
However, Polian’s protection of Manning is justifiable; he’s going to support him and that is his guy. What is everyone else’s excuse?
Throughout the season and the better part of this decade, we’ve been led to believe that Peyton Manning is the smartest player in the NFL, period. We are supposed to get an explanation as to how and why little old Tracy Porter out of Indiana University intercepted him on the game’s most crucial play, right?
Does this now mean that Tracy Porter is the NFL’s smartest man after intercepting two first ballot Hall of Famers in championship games? If not, why? What happened?
Maybe I’m a blind optimist. Here’s what I do know though. If the quarterback who threw the interception had a last name that rhymed with Romo, Rivers, or McNabb, he would be made out to be the biggest villian since Hester Prynne in The Scarlet Letter.
At least Peter King put some blame on Manning’s shoulders for firing that ill-timed pass but it seems that this will be a mystery for quite some time.
[picapp align=”right” wrap=”true” link=”term=Hester+Prynne&iid=4813927″ src=”2/2/b/e/Hester_Prynne_b897.jpg?adImageId=10261059&imageId=4813927″ width=”234″ height=”322″ /]
After all, when Brett Favre made the same mistake two weeks later, we were told that he and his beaten up, 40-year-old body could have easily run for 10 yards. Sure. Right.
Manning’s playoff losses for some reason typically come with the requisite shift in attention from Manning’s play. After losing to New England in the ’03 AFC title game, it was because the Patriots’ defensive backs were too dirty.
One year later, after the rules were reinforced and the Patriots won in the playoffs again, the defense was not good enough.
Fast-forwarding to the ’08 playoffs, Jim Nantz wanted the overtime rules changed because Manning did not touch the ball in overtime during a playoff loss to San Diego.
All Peyton Manning supporters need to take a nap and stop trying to will him towards this “greatest quarterback of all-time” status. If he is the “greatest quarterback of all-time”, let him earn it on the field. Until we get to that point, stop with the excuse making.
He is a great quarterback but regardless of how one spins it, he made a poor choice that led to his team to losing Super Bowl XLIV.