My 21 year old self can not believe what am I writing. My 21 year old self is slightly horrified, maybe laughing a little incredulously, but now, 26 year old me, is slightly amused and is really looking forward to the SuperBowl on Sunday. And really truly, I’d like to be there.
No, I’m not a major football fan, I understand the basic premise and know that “special teams” aren’t the nebach players that my friends thought they were when she first heard the term. I don’t have a favorite team, I root for the Chigaco Bears, well, root is the wrong word. I pray for them, because if they win, I have a happy a husband, and if they lose….a not so happy husband.
But beyond my husband, I’ve become a really big Peyton Manning fan. And I will be devastated if he doesn’t win on Sunday.
I feel for him really, not in a sympathetic way, but I find him inspirational. So often, if there is a role model athlete it is for their actions off the field, their charitable work and the like, not for how they conduct themselves professionally, and how they face adversity. It’s very easy to donate money, and give a few hours for underprivileged children, but to live a life, every moment, with a code of honor and core of steel is where it is really reflective of the essence of a man. And that man, is Peyton Manning.
Peyton, or Reb Pinchas as we affectionately refer to him, he has transcended all his challenges, and winning the SuperBowl would be the passionate kiss to a happily ever after.
He’s the guy in fabled sotry that made it big, and then lost it all. By his strength, determination, and perseverance, he is back, and better, really better, just look at his stats than ever.
Not just losing his skill, but he lost his team. The owner abandoned him. Did you see his press conference when he announced that he was parting way with the Colts? The man was crying; hear his voice. Not only did he lose what made him a success, he lost his family, his support, the only professional team he ever knew. Once he wasn’t a guaranteed success and they had the first draft pick, they unceremoniously dumped him. No loyalty, just money. I was indignant for him then.
But he had no bitterness, just a point to make, and he has made it over and over again this season- THE RECORD for touchdown passes. He will overcome. He has overcome.
I read an article that storied Peyton’s recovery. As a kid and young man he had his father, Archie, receive his passes, and now in recovery he asked his father, now in his 70’s to be there for him again, to train with him. His father didn’t think he was up to it, his son was Peyton Manning after all. But at that first practice Peyton threw and father Archie received – Peyton’s arm was that weak. It wasn’t just “oh he recovered” or “the nerve healed”. He practically had to start from scratch, and he did it, and went further than he did before.
His determination to succeed, his attitude, and class in face of adversity and public betrayal is admirable.
And even though I still have trouble sometimes following the ball, and wonder if there ever was a successful on-side kick, I really really really want Peyton to win.
Everyone loves a comeback story, and this one could be for the books.
(And I can’t stand that cocky Sherman guy on the Seahawks)