Friday, February 5, 2010

Like Father, Like Son, but Peyton's Legacy Ascends Greater than Archie's

His father, Archie, was a hometown icon, espoused as the noble quarterback in a city that never had much luck winning games. Peyton Manning was introduced to the game at a young age, rooting on Archie, who wore a Saints uniform. And so it happens to be the franchise Manning must defeat if he wants to sustain glory and celebrate in a parade no later than Tuesday.

In a neutral site where he has dominated before, winning his first Super Bowl, Manning knows what it tastes like to own another piece of hardware. But suddenly, the team he braced during his childhood is the New Orleans Saints.

Since he plays for the Indianapolis Colts, Manning has to shatter the hearts of enthusiastic sports fans who are prepared to host a block party on Bourbon Street by the end of Sunday night, if the Saints win their first Super Bowl for the first time in a 42-year existence. But he wouldn’t be human if he’s unsympathetic about what a spiritual town has suffered, and instead he would be inhumane to think otherwise.

In his hometown, a city that was ravaged and deprived when Hurricane Katarina was viewed as a devastating tragedy, Manning still cares deeply about a childhood community that has dealt with much affliction. But this week, at Media Day rather, it seems Manning was the center of attention. Unlike his father, his legacy is already being viewed as an ideal one.

Unlike his father, his popularity has the Manning family prouder than the days Archie served as Saints’ quarterback. That’s because Peyton has accomplished more than the average quarterback, breaking historic marks his father never even came close to shattering. He has attained more plateaus, whether it was done individually or as a team. Even greater, he has won a Super Bowl title, a divine moment Archie couldn’t even master.

To some, it’s too bad he’s not quarterbacking the Saints, while for others it’s truly a pleasure that he has become the hallmark of the Indianapolis Colts. Beyond all, though, he’s a symbol of the NFL, channeling the beauty of team effort and popularity among fans. He’s liked much for his positive beliefs on the game and for his shrewd garnering of a positive consciousness on the game. He’s liked much for his humbleness as he is generous of crediting and praising teams.

In comparison, he’s like his father whenever teamwork and diligence plays a role. Never does a day pass without Peyton having grace or a gigantic smile on his face. Those are similarities of Archie, who wore smiles, gracious and appreciative of a famous career. But it turns out Peyton is the famous one, the noticeable specimen.

If you’ve forgotten and been brainwashed of all the unprecedented seasons Peyton has effectuated, there’s his brother, Eli. Remember the Giants' quarterback who drove New York to a Super Bowl victory in Super Bowl XLII? Oh well, the older sibling gets the nod, always.

Nonetheless, the irony is, Peyton plays for a winningest franchise in the smallish town, where the masses worships. He’s justified as a gifted icon, idolized in community where he has nearly delivered and conducted perfection. And in sports, he’s the ultimate megastar orchestrating prowess and sheer understanding of rhythm.

Quite amazingly, it defies logic whenever there’s a single superstar well-liked for his endearing humor and defining the truth of humanity. Believe it or not, he’s the perfectionist of pro football, reaching a climax just about every season. Because of his artistic capabilities, it's not difficult to say he’s a unique quarterback.

Rarely does anyone win multiple MVP awards, or capture noteworthy milestones. Fortunately, he has endured splendor greater than other NFL figures. As we know, winning his second championship in four years will define his legacy. But in the meantime, a legacy is irrelevant as people tend to wander off, debating his legacy. Now is the appropriate time to argue that Peyton’s legacy is more prominent than Archie’s.

On Sunday, the country will either gather around the nearest television or sit in the nosebleed section or front row at Sun Life Stadium to see how it all unfolds. There’s no arguing Peyton is among the elite greats, listed in the same category as Joe Montana, Brett Favre and Dan Marino. To his advantage, now is the perfect time to imprint a legacy everyone is dwelling on. For all the babbling about Peyton’s legacy, winning the Super Bowl is clearly the solution to transcending upon a regal reputation. However, he doesn’t classify himself as a premier quarterback, even though there’s a semblance. But if you know him, he’s a modest man and doesn’t believe in giving himself praise.

See, he took after his father.

Either way, he’s in good position to strengthen his legacy. That starts, of course, by winning a second title, along with the individual accolades. By virtue, he owns almost every NFL passing record. The Colts are favorites to win the big game, simply because of their experience, despite the presence of Jim Caldwell, a rookie head coach, and the presence of Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie, two young receivers. Anything is bound to happen when a quarterback makes a supporting cast better by hurling passes and finding the open receiver. He’ll probably find top target Reggie Wayne for some mind-blowing completions. And if so, they may result in a touchdown.

Take note: Long ago, Peyton became the lovable icon of a franchise that has been loyal to him. Long ago, Peyton was viewed as the brand of a franchise. Maybe that answers the questions on why owner Jim Irsay, addressed the media on Media Day, suggesting that he’s soon expecting to sign Manning to the richest deal in NFL history. Sure enough, it will make him the highest-paid player in league history.

So as it stands, he’s the most dignified athlete, enough to make Archie proud.