Thursday, February 1, 2007

Peyton and Rex: A Different Take

Rex Grossman has been asked a couple hundred times a day what it feels like to be the worst QB ever to reach the Super Bowl.

We know about all that. I've gone over the national and media doggie-piling on Grossman. The only thing that surprised me about it is the degree and the hostility.

Ironically, Grossman won an award this season from the local football writers for his cooperation and decorum.

Everyone's in agreement that the QB matchup in Super Bowl XLI is no match at all. It's a mismatch. Beyond the obvious statistics, Manning's a crusty veteran and Grossman's started fewer NFL games than perhaps anyone except Tom Brady in his first Super Bowl.

On Sunday night, America may watch a quarterback shouting at his teammates and making a point of dressing them down on camera when a play goes awry, Marino or Favre style. We may watch a quarterback beg the officials for penalties, hang his head and slump his shoulders like a child if things aren't going his way.

And that quarterback would be Peyton Manning, not Rex Grossman. You can look it up. Make a prop bet on it if you can, you'll probably get good odds. Though we're hearing over and over what a class act Peyton Manning is, Grossman is a classier competitor and teammate, hands-down.

I've read a lot of Super Bowl coverage this week and you'd think I'd have read at least once about how Peyton Manning's season ended a year ago.

Manning was famously bailed out by the officials when the interception he threw to Troy Polamalu was mysteriously overturned, giving the Colts another chance in the game they trailed 21-10. In the end, the Colts would fall short and the Steelers went to the Super Bowl.

Manning's take afterward?

"I'm trying to be a good teammate here... Let's just say we had some problems in protection."

What a terrific competitor and stand-up guy to blame it all on the offensive line. That's some gratitude for the guys who make him the least touched QB in the NFL, year in and year out.

Even in victory 3 weeks ago, Manning made purely selfish, woe-is-me comments: "Either give me all the credit when we win or give the team the blame when we lose."

Rex Grossman has a lot of faults, but accountability and conducting himself with class on the field aren't among them. Even when he made the idiotic and unacceptable comments about not being prepared for a game because he was thinking about his New Year's Eve party, he said HE wasn't prepared.

Impossible as it is to fathom, Manning can watch and learn plenty from his counterpart on Sunday. Study the film, Peyton.


azibuck said...

I'll give you woe-is-me, but he's been piled on for not winning anything important since he was in college.

And in the innerest of full disclosure, the full quote is:

"Either give me all the credit when we win or give the team the blame when we lose. The way it should be is Colts win or Colts lose. That's the way I always thought it was."

He was saying the first part is what YOU GUYS do, not what he wants.

And and and, they did have problems with protection against the Steeler. Clearly. I'm not going to hang him for saying that 10 MINUTES AFTER LOSING, AGAIN.

Why don't you dig up how supportive God's Gift To His Teammates was of Kyle Orton last year?

dhort said...

You'd have to jog my memory about what you're referring to with Rex and Kyle Orton.

No one's asking you to hang Manning for throwing his offensive line under the bus. It's a fact. If you think he was justified and support that, that's fine.

I was simply noting it because I haven't seen it mentioned once in the run-up and I found that an interesting omission.

dhort said...

All right, Zibuck, I searched my e-mail and found when we talked about Grossman-Orton last year.

I don't have quotes but Grossman said, at the very least, backhanded things like "Orton's done the best he can trying to do my job, but it's tough to watch the offense right now."

Not defending that at all, but in a way, he was showing some support for Muhsin Muhammad, who routinely tore the ass out of Orton, both on the sidelines and in the press. Unfortunately, Muhammad created a rift there while talking about how HE played great every week but Orton wasn't good enough to do anything with it.