It’s not easy rooting against Peyton Manning. By all accounts, he’s one of the best quarterbacks of all time and a great guy. But I’ve been doing just that for 17 years now. Here’s why.
In 1997, even though Manning could have been the first pick in the draft after his junior year, he decided to come back to Tennessee for his senior year to graduate, win a National championship and the Heisman trophy. I started rooting against him then, as a freshman at Michigan when, that year, we won the National championship and Charles Woodson of UM won the Heisman.
It continued into the NFL when Manning and Tom Brady became rivals. Brady also went to Michigan and was the starting quarterback my junior year. I’ve never been a New England Patriots fan, but I always had to root for Brady against Manning.
It then continued when the Giants drafted Eli Manning. Clearly, Peyton was the better quarterback. But after Eli won his second Superbowl, it became fun to always brag that Eli had one more than his older brother.
So here I was, last night finding myself rooting for the Seahawks so that Peyton would not win another Superbowl to tie his younger brother and get some more ammo in the ‘Manning vs. Brady’ comparison. The thing is, I kind of felt bad for him last night. To lose like that, after having such a great year and coming back from 4 neck surgeries must have been so tough. I hope he comes back next year. But I will still be rooting for Eli, Brady or someone else to beat him.