Or is it, I wish I were a Colts fan?
Anyway, if loyalty to a hometown team weren’t the overriding factor, Peyton Manning would be the favorite player of more fans than just about anyone else in the league. (Others in contention: Tom Brady, LaDainian Tomlinson and Chad Johnson. Yes, Chad Johnson.)
Manning knows what he’s doing out there. He’s THE guy. Reading defenses, calling his own plays at the line, getting in his O-linemen’s faces when they screw up because he just wants to win the f’ing game. That’s it.
A quick look at the progression of his numbers this season proves just how much this guy wants to win. Early in the season, he wasn’t delivering the 300-yard, 4-TD performances as regularly as he did last year. Manning even went two-straight games — against Jacksonville week two and Cleveland week three — without recording a single touchdown throw.
But the Colts won.
And now, heading into tonight’s match-up with Pittsburgh, Manning had tossed three TDs in each of his last three games, 18 in his last seven.
And the Colts keep winning.
Screw the stats. Manning doesn’t care if he’s handing the ball off to Edgerrin James 30 times a game or chucking it 40; just put more points on the board than the guys on the other side of the field. That’s all that matters.
Remember when Shaun Alexander, one yard shy of his first league rushing title, threw a tantrum last year because Mike Holmgren chose to throw at the goaline late in the game? If Manning sat one TD away from Marino last year on the final play of the regular season, Colts on the goaline needing to score to win, he’d call Edge’s number without hesitation if the defense gave him the run.
He knows he can throw 50 touchdowns every year if he wanted to, but he also knows he wouldn’t win as many games doing it. That’s gotta be the kind of guy you root for.
Whether you’re a Colts fan or, as in my unfortunate case, a Browns fan.