By Brian Redmer
There was a lot of press given to Tom Brady and Peyton Manning in the AFC Title game. Many spoke of the rivalry between the two, and the many epic games the two have had against each other over the years. The press spoke of their legacies, their records and more importantly, their rings.
Brady has three of them, while Peyton has only one.
There was a lot said about Manning and the rivalry if he got another ring this season. Perhaps it would move himself alongside Brady, since it is Manning who broke Brady’s single season passing touchdown record this past year.
They would be equals; Both defining the other; Both pushing the other on the field to be the best.
That’s what the media wants you to see, because it is juicier than what I think is really driving Manning to win another Super Bowl.
It has nothing to do with Tom Brady.
It has everything to do with Eli Manning, Peyton’s younger brother.
See, Eli has two Super Bowl rings. Peyton still has one.
There is a definite bond between these two that all of us without a brother cannot understand. Which is what makes the rivalry between these two all the more fierce.
Nobody denies that Peyton is a better quarterback than Eli. Yet, there is always an ‘Eli has more rings’ conversation at the annual family gatherings… “Peyton, when will you win another ring for the family? Eli has his two. Don’t you want to be like your younger brother?”
Peyton masks this from the media. He is a master at deception. He does it every Sunday with his ‘Omaha’ audibles tricking defenses into thinking he is changing the play when he really doesn’t.
Peyton does the same thing tricking the media into thinking the rivalry is with Brady, not Eli. He wants all of us to believe there is a real rivalry between him and Brady, yet his comments prove otherwise.
“They are a great team with a great quarterback and a great coach.”
He doesn’t specifically say Tom Brady, because he doesn’t have to. He really doesn’t care. Fifteen years from now, there will be no rivalry between him and Brady in his mind.
Yet, Eli will still be there, wearing two Super Bowl rings, maybe more.
Until Peyton Manning wins his second and settles the score with Eli, all the records in the NFL won’t be enough for him.
Not when little brother can point at the rings on his finger.