It appears the stars are aligning for Denver Broncos’ quarterback Peyton Manning as we begin the Year of the Horse on the same day Super Bowl weekend begins. Think about it—Peyton plays for a team where the mascot is a horse. His last team, the Indianapolis Colts, also boasted an Equus caballus (horse) as its mascot. It’s because of this latter affiliation that my home state of Indiana will be cheering Peyton on. Many of us are still not thrilled with the Jim Irsay decision to let him go. As far as we’re concerned, it’s poetic justice to see him return to the Super Bowl and as this year’s sweetheart of the Super Bowl no less.
I don’t even know the name of the quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks. (Monica tells me it’s Russell Wilson). I do know that one of their players, Richard Sherman (or “Dick” as I like to refer to him) engaged in a particularly rude and crazy rant after the NFC Championship game. Another Seahawk player, Marshawn Lynch, evidently only spoke to the press for about seven minutes yesterday, but he also managed to say something that the Seattle Chamber of Commerce won’t be using as a city slogan anytime soon. So far, the Seahawks don’t appear to have anyone on their roster that can match the class of Peyton Manning.
It would be an absolute injustice for Peyton Manning not to take home a Super Bowl ring this year. This is the year of sheer Manning Mania. That’s not to say there haven’t been other great Manning years. In fact, do you realize that a Manning has played in four of the last seven Super Bowls? Archie Manning, Peyton’s father is a legend in the game. Eli, a two time Super Bowl winning quarterback, is Peyton’s little brother. In fact, it’s kind of fun to think about the fact that Peyton will be playing in little brother’s sandbox this Sunday. How cool will it be to see Peyton win the Lombardi Trophy on the same turf that his brother plays on each season?
Even if Peyton Manning wasn’t one of the greatest quarterbacks in the game, he’s absolutely one of the best sports role models around today. When he played for the Colts, he was well known for his charitable work and for giving back to the community. In the AFC Championship game, he yelled Omaha thirty-one times to raise money for charity. Many other sports figures wouldn’t even consider doing such a thing. They’d worry that it could break their concentration. This act of selflessness should get Peyton some love in the cosmos.
All things considered, how can Peyton possibly lose? Well, he can’t. Whatever happens, Peyton Manning will be a winner. Still, because he deserves this Super Bowl, let’s all say our prayers, get out our lucky charms, and shine up those lucky horse shoes in hopes of a Broncos victory.
Above all, let’s cheer really loud this Sunday for one of the best American ambassadors we’ve seen in a very long time.
Good luck, Peyton! You are the Man(ning) of the Year!