Friday, February 01, 2008

Winning Quarterback = Nicer Quarterback?

(From my weekly column at The Love Of Sports. This time I discuss the most important sports match-up of the week: Eli Manning vs. Tom Brady. Who's the cuter QB? Er....I mean who should win the Super Bowl. As you'll see, I go to great lengths to determine who's most likely to win. I'll give you a hint: It's not Tom Brady. Was that too big of a hint? Sorry.)

This week isn’t about fantasy basketball. It can’t be about fantasy basketball. There’s so much else going on.

Sure, my team, “The Centerfolds”, has been tearing up the league since I dumped Stephon Marbury from the roster. He was certainly the worst possible influence in the fantasy lockerroom. We’re all glad to see him go.

And with this departure, we’ve routed our opponents to the tune of a 14-5 record over the last two weeks. Not too shabby for a group of sweet, kind, gentle NBA stars and up-and-comers.

But for now, my team is on autopilot. I have other things to focus on.

Hmmm. What could I possibly mean? Something more important than my fantasy basketball team?

Global warming? Nope. I’ve got that covered. I made sure the oven was off before I left the house this morning.

The Presidential race? Sorry, not today. I’ll focus on that again at a later date. RATHMILL in 2016!! You heard it here first.

Heath Ledger’s untimely, and, as of yet, unsolved death? Well, that is an incredibly intriguing story, but not exactly appropriate fodder for this particular column.

What else could it be?

That’s right. It’s Super Bowl time!

This weekly column was originally created to explore a very important, and elegantly simple fantasy sports question. That being, “Can nice athletes out perform the jerks?”

We won’t really know the answer for another few months – until the end of the fantasy basketball season.

But in the same vein, let me ask this: Who’s the nicer Super Bowl quarterback, and does he deserve to win?

Unfortunately, cute is different from nice. Otherwise, this contest would be over in the skip of a young lady’s heartbeat. Tom Brady would be the clear cut winner. His chin dimple is dreamy. No contest. Not even close. Sorry Eli.

But seriously, let’s run through the competitors’ “niceness” statistics.

Eli Manning:
# Mama’s boy
# Recently learned how to read

# Shy and reserved

# Loves his mama’s macaroni ‘n cheese

# Barely fights back when Peyton gives him a wicked dead arm or wedgie

# Kind to animals

# Doesn’t get along with Jeremy Shockey (this is a big plus)

# Hasn’t sold himself out to every imaginable commercial interest on the planet (have you seen his brother’s new ad campaign for North Korean long-range missiles?)

# Not known to frequent strip clubs or have sex with groupies, cheerleaders or summer interns

# Puppy dog eyes

Tom Brady:
# Supermodel girlfriend

# Long line of former girlfriends who are supermodels/actresses

# Strong jaw

# Deeply-dimpled chin

# Calm and poised under pressure

# Gets along well with teammates

# Gets along well with the devil/ head coach (I’ve always suspected Belichick of making a pact with Satan. How else do you explain this past season?)

# Looks great in Armani

# And, and …..

So, you see, Brady’s niceness credentials generally focus around his looks - and his harem. I think if we can all get past Brady’s soul-shattering good looks (and I mean ALL of us – including all those with man-crushes out there), we’ll see there’s not much left to like about him. I mean, aside from his record-breaking play at quarterback, what can you say?

He seems cocky and a little too self-assured. I wouldn’t mind seeing him throw an interception and then get flattened by an Osi Umenyiora block during the return. Come on people. Who’s with me?

On the other hand, there’s Eli Manning. He genuinely seems like a nice guy, if a little bit dull and vapid. He’s modest, soft-spoken and (as mentioned above) doesn’t get along with Shockey. You can’t help but like the guy. And in some strange way, his gentle style of leadership has resulted in a trip to the Super Bowl. That is indisputable.

But who deserves to win the big game?

I, myself, am an Eagles fan. I wouldn’t say I bleed green (which would be serious cause to go straight to the emergency room), but I HAVE peed green on a few occasions – usually after eating too much asparagus or accidentally ingesting some Scope.

Anyway, the Giants are our arch-rivals in the NFC East, and it’s so difficult for me to root for them. However, after completing the above niceness analysis, the barrier to cheering for the Giants has been lessened. I’m ever so slightly inclined to support them in their quest for the championship.

Donovan McNabb would literally tear me limb from limb if he read this, but here it goes: I think Eli Manning and the Giants deserve to win the Super Bowl, more so than Tom Brady and his Patriots.

There, I said it.

Simply put, Eli’s the much nicer guy. I want to see him win it. The more I think about it, the stronger my conviction.

Eli MUST win this game. Everyone who is less handsome than Tom Brady is counting on him - a.k.a., the world is counting on him.

So, Eli, from one nice guy to another, good luck to you and the Giants in Super Bowl XLII. May the nicer guy win.

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