Tag: PEYTON MANNING

How do we measure the legacy of an NFL player?

Peyton Manning announced his retirement from the NFL this week and while there’s no doubting his impact on the sport, it got me thinking. How do we measure a player’s legacy or even a person’s legacy?

The easiest way to measure someone’s legacy is by their accomplishments. But that is pretty subjective because everyone has different standards. For example, Manning won two Super Bowls but the number of Pro Bowls he was elected to could matter to someone else. Accomplishments are as subjective as the person wishes them to be.

Having money could be a legacy too. With all the money Manning received from the NFL, he wouldn’t have to work another day in his life. That’s not including endorsement earnings or appearance fees. Once again, measuring Manning’s possessions is subjective because money can only take you so far.

The real legacy I believe Manning and should be measured is how much they impact the people around them.

When Manning’s gone, what will we all say about him?

We’ll talk about his long and extensive knowledge and his career, but what else will we talk about?

We’ll talk about how much Manning impacted each one of us. We’ll remember what we were doing when the Broncos won Super Bowl 50 or when Manning broke Brett Farve’s career passing yards record. It won’t matter how much money Manning had, what he did after football or how many touchdowns he threw for.

We’ll measure Manning for the person that he was or whoever we imagined he was. Dealing with the passing of my grandfather last week cemented that idea for me.

Measuring someone’s legacy is not about what they have or don’t have, it’s all about who they were and how they made you better.

Featured image via Fake SportsCenter

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Every team cheats and athletes are not your role models

For the second year in a row, the offseason story line following the Super Bowl isn’t focused on the winning team’s performance but rather the credibility, or lack there of, with another future Hall of Fame quarterback.

Which begs the question: Should we stop looking at athletes and sports franchises as our moral compass in society?

If your answer is no, then I now ask “Why do you think professional athletes and franchises owe you anything?”

You’ve likely heard about the 20-year-old story that surfaced over the weekend involving soon-to-be retired Peyton Manning in which he “mooned” a female member of the training staff during his time at the University of Tennessee. The case was settled, twice, and though social media wasn’t at the peak it is now, the story never gained any real traction outside of a handful of articles.

Though the Manning story was a simple Google search away, NY Daily News writer Shaun King brought it up in a piece comparing the favorable media coverage of Peyton Manning vs. the seemingly negative coverage Cam Newton has received post Super Bowl.

While the low hanging fruit for King was to compare the two Super Bowl QB’s, he made no mention that there are instances of questionable behavior by your favorite athlete and sports franchise in every sport.

NBA’s Kobe Bryant settled a rape case in Colorado and was just honored over the weekend at the All Star Game. MLB’s Barry Bonds has a job with the Miami Marlins as a hitting coach after the San Francisco Giants all but erased any mention of his homerun records during his time with the team and steroid-fueled milestones. Hope Solo drunkenly beat up her nephew and was still invited to meet the President post World Cup win.

There are countless others in virtually every sport. Cycling’s Lance Armstrong with doping and vicious lies. Michael Jordan with gambling and infidelity. Kentucky’s John Calipari with vacated wins at Memphis. The 1919 Black Sox throwing the World Series. NHL great Wayne Gretzy’s wife involved in a gambling ring. Tiger Woods. FIFA. The Olympics. Hell, even the Little League World Series. Get my point?

It goes on everywhere. It always has and will never stop.

In fact, only a few players who have played professionally for more than 10 years in our social media fake-outrage world have somewhat of a squeaky clean reputation with guys like Derek Jeter and LeBron James.

And don’t get me started on franchises who cheat to win. When there’s a website dedicated to tracking which teams cheat and how often, when do we stop pretending like we’re surprised?

At its core, sports franchises are run by highly competitive people who want to win. Winning means more success and likely, more money and fame. Therefore, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to athletes.

Competition and a winning at all costs mentality can bring out the worst in us. So we shouldn’t act surprised when athletes and franchises go above and beyond to reach the grand stage. I’m not condoning Manning’s behavior, or any other athlete mentioned and I have a deep sense of appreciation towards professionals who do things “the right way.” But in our ‘if you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying’ society,”  once we start looking at athletes as humans with flaws who occasionally mess up, maybe then we can appreciate athletic ability separate from off the field transgressions.

Avoiding the noise around professional athletes in our capture-every-second-on-social-media world is easier said than done but sometimes, myself along with many others just want to enjoy an athletic performance without having to worry if a player cheated on wife or didn’t pay his taxes.

But if you’re someone who wants to put athletes and sports franchises up on a pedestal as role models, don’t be surprised when they let you down. Because if you’re looking for a moral compass, all you need to do is put down the pitch fork, grab a mirror and be the change you wish to see. And at the end of the day, that’s all you can control.

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NFL Week 4 random thoughts!

I know I said by Week 4 you know what teams are and what they’re not, but some teams tend to defy the logic and, accordingly, are more difficult to figure out.

The Buffalo Bills certainly fit that description, and to an extent so do the Oakland Raiders, but no team is more enigmatic than the St. Louis Rams.  They started the season by knocking off the defending NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks, and in the process put up 34 points against one of the most ferocious and feared defenses in the NFL in the last decade.

They followed that up with a loss to a Washington team that is shooting blanks on offense, and then only managed to put up 6 points in a loss to a Steelers team with a dreadful defense.  At that point, the Rams looked like a team that won one game by fluke and was headed for the second tier of the NFC, right up until they were able to out-duel an Arizona Cardinals team that was one of the three hottest teams in the NFL 24-22.

I’m not sure what to make of the Rams, but if I base it on their season so far, they’ll win next week at Green Bay before losing consecutive home games to the Browns and 49ers.  Here are my NFL Week 4 random thoughts!

Ai yi yi!

This Week’s Sucked And Won

Peyton Manning:  Who’d have thought the Broncos could win a game where Manning threw two picks and had a passer rating of just 68.9?  Let this be a lesson, however.  Denver’s defense is among the best in the league, and at the end of the game, Peyton did lead his team on a nine-play scoring drive.  Don’t look past the Broncos, who have discovered multiple ways to win.

Once again, thank goodness for NFL Redzone.  For its afternoon game of the week, Fox inexplicably decided to show a blowout waiting to happen in the Packers vs. 49ers instead of the much more interesting matchup of Vikings vs. Broncos.

I get that Aaron Rodgers is the best player in the NFL and therefore a big draw, but watching him pick apart a crap defense that’s come close to giving up 100 points in two weeks is definitely not a better draw than the rising Vikings led by second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater vs. perennial playoff bound Denver led by the game’s senior grand master Peyton Manning.  And while these games may not have unfolded the way you might have expected, it is clear that the Minnesota/Denver game was the better contest.

Luckily NFL Redzone gave me a better option than sitting through a game I had no interest in.

Shocking realization of the week:

Kansas City scored 21 points this week on nothing but field goals.  Kicker Cairo Santos went 7 for 7, one shy of the NFL record.  This happened on a week when most NFL kickers were struggling with misses right and left (the other exception:  Arizona’s Chandler Catanzaro who went 5 for 5).

If there’s a play I hate more than the douchey time out right before a field goal attempt I don’t know what it is.  Consequently, there’s nothing I love more than seeing a kicker miss the field goal only to see him get another shot at it because of that idiotic time out play.  This week’s dumb-ass award goes to the Colts’ Chuck Pagano.  I only wish Jaguars kicker Jason Myers could have made the second try to send the Colts home losers.

Are the Panthers aiming to get the best highlight every single week?  Surely there was none better this week than TE Ed Dickson’s recovery of a Jonathan Stewart fumble that got tipped into the air and into Dickson’s waiting arms, resulting in a 57 yard “fumble return” for a touchdown in the third quarter of the Panthers win over Tampa Bay.

Detroit Lions

Good thing this is on TV or nobody’d believe me

This Week’s Great But Lost

Josh McCown, QB (CLE):  32 for 41 (a 78% completion percentage) for 356 yards, 2 TDs and a passer rating of 119.1.  Possibly the best day of McCown’s career, and he did it despite getting sacked 4 times and getting hit a bunch more by a determined San Diego pass rush.

There’s good news and bad news for Eagles fans.  Sam Bradford had a truly great game, leading to the conclusion that trading for him was not as incredibly idiotic as the rest of the Eagles’ offseason moves.  The bad news?  There’s plenty, but how about starting with the fact that Philadelphia’s offense is predicated on the run, and the Eagles can’t run to save their lives.   As an aside, officiating in this game was absolutely awful and even though it favored the Eagles, I hate seeing bad and especially inconsistent refereeing.  Bad calls are bad calls.  Even if they help your team, you shouldn’t want to see them.

Thursday Pick:   Indianapolis (+2) @Houston (William Hill)

The Colts have looked like garbage this season, and you might be tempted to think that Indianapolis’ terrible offensive line will be in big trouble facing Houston’s supposedly great defensive line.  Well, think again.  Houston has looked worse than garbage this season, and I’m actually wondering how they even managed to win one game.  Historically, the Colts have only lost to the Texans four times ever.  You think THIS Texans team is going to reverse that trend.  I hate this game because I hate both of these teams this year, but I’m not taking Houston for all the tea in China.

Indianapolis 27 Houston 24

N-F-Yell:

“This has been the most awesome period of my life.  I’m a Dallas Cowboy.  Dream come true.” – Cowboys DE Greg Hardy.  Hardy will play his first game as a Cowboy next week after serving a four game suspension to start the season.

“I think it’s crap that people are giving him crap.” – Browns LB Craig Robertson, defending CB Joe Haden, who sat out Sunday’s game against the Chargers because of a broken finger.

“Why do I like blitzing?  Because I am good at it.” – Broncos safety TJ Ward.   Ward is fourth on the team in tackles, and has two sacks and a forced fumble from the safety position through four games.

“It’s a bad feeling.  I wish I had been able to come through.” – Steeler K Josh Scobee, who missed two field goals in Thursday’s loss to the Ravens, including the potential game winner.  Scobee has since been cut by Pittsburgh.

“His world is based on hype and that one catch.” – Bills CB Stephon Gillmore, referring to Giants WR Odell Beckham, Jr.  Various Bills players complained that Beckham was a prima donna and a cheap shot artist after their game on Sunday.

“I hate it.  They’re the only team in the league that does it that way, and the reason they’re the only team in the league that does it that way is because they’re stupid.” ESPN analyst and former offensive lineman Mark Schlereth, on the Eagles run blocking schemes.

“It was a fun plane ride back for the guys who were able to stay awake.” – Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, on the flight back from London after the Jets defeated the Dolphins.

“I don’t care what the Cubs fan say, this is more painful.” – Actor (and Detroit Lions fan) Jeff Daniels, after the Lions loss to the Bears dropping Detroit to 0-4.

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Peter King’s Power Rankings: Are the Baltimore Ravens the best in the NFL? (No.)

With the 2015 NFL Draft a little more than a month ago, and training camp not that far away, most would call this current phase a dead zone.

That’s not to say that it isn’t important. For coaches, now is their first chance to see what the front office has given them to work with for the new season. It’s like Christmas morning… their first chance to get an up close and personal view of their brand new toys.

For Peter King, it’s the perfect time to rank all 32 teams based on their offseason.

peter-king-mmqb

 

I can’t really say I think it’s a bad time to do a power ranking. Most teams have had a good deal of OTA practices finish anyway.

What I’d really like to know, however, is what Peter King was drinking when he did these rankings.

 

First, you think the Baltimore Ravens are the best team in the National Football League? C’mon Peter, you’re better than that… or are you?

“Why? I trust John Harbaugh to find answers in a league devoid of a truly great tream. I trust the running game to take pressure off Joe Flacco until he develops with new receivers, and I trust Dean Pees to replace Haloti Ngata with a combination platter of front-seven changeups. This is a battle-tested team that had two 14-point playoff leads in Foxboro last January. I just think the Ravens will find a way.” – Peter King, MMQB.com

Are you kidding me?! Dean Pees’ defense has more holes than a slice of swiss cheese! Seriously, you expect him to just replace Haloti Ngata? Terrance Cody ain’t walking through that door anytime soon. Your top defensive ends are Chris Canty and Brent Urban, which isn’t saying much and Urban is almost always hurt. Sure, there’s a reason you drafted Timmy Jernigan in the first-round last year, but he’s no Haloti Ngata, not even close.

As for the rest of your defense, your linebackers are okay, but they’re aging by the minutes. Ed Reed sure isn’t walking on that field anytime soon. Who else do you have in your secondary again?

Ed-Reed-Retirement

I really don’t think anymore needs to be said, Peter. You might as well pour yourself another cold one because it isn’t looking so great my friend, I’m just getting started.

The Seattle Seahawks, who you have at No. 2, should’ve been at the top. You’re writing an article about the offseason and you have the Super Bowl runner-up adding the league’s best tight end and they’re behind the Ravens? C’mon!

Listing the Tennessee Titans as the worst in the NFL may have been the only thing you did right. Putting the Kansas City Chiefs at No. 4 and Minnesota Vikings at No. 6 surely wasn’t the right thing to do. I’ve got more faith in Chip Kelly than I do in the Chiefs’ group of receivers.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos should be behind the Arizona Cardinals. You said it yourself: The Cardinals are “the most intriguing team in football” right now. Pittsburgh has a huge hurdle in their way in losing to Dick LeBeau to who? Oh, that’s right… the Arizona Cardinals.

As for Denver, well, in the words of one Peter King himself…

“When your quarterback is 39 and cannot roll out and escape the rush, it’s (losing left tackle Ryan Clady) triply important.” – Peter King, MMQB

It’s Peyton Manning, Peter… Peyton. Manning.

BIO_Mini-Bios_0_Peyton-Manning_0_FIX_SF_HD_768x432-16x9

As far as the bottom of the list, I like the Oakland Raiders at No. 31, but the Jacksonville Jaguars are surely better than No. 30. The Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans don’t have a clue as to who will be throwing behind their mediocre-at-best offensive lines come September, unlike Gus Bradley’s crew.

Peter King, what on earth are we going to do with you?

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