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Peyton Manning, The Man With the Platinum Arm

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Peyton Manning Charcoal Drawing
by Artist John Robertson

Peyton Manning is taking his game back to the future in Miami for Super Bowl XLIV. He's the All-American quarterback (and four-time NFL MVP) with the whole shebang. The Sporting News named Peyton in 2009 the number one player in football. Fox Sports also named him the best player of the last decade. He could not be anything else but the best. He radiates leadership and mythic appearance.

In college Manning won the Johnny Unitas Award. And where did Peyton end up playing? With the Indianapolis Colts, who had a notable history with that great quarterback. If Unitas was "the man with the golden arm" than Peyton is "the man with the platinum arm." In the future there will be a "Peyton Manning Award" for quarterbacks.

If you wanted a quarterback for a commercial, let alone a football team, your first choice would still be Peyton. Most athletes are stiff as AstroTurf on camera and unsuitable for anything other than sponsoring used cars. But Manning is perfect for the role of an athlete. Both on and off the field he has great, deadpan timing. His expressionless, cat-like manner gives him control of the line of scrimmage, he reads the defense like a lion on a hunt, and his pass release devours the opposition.

If the technology industry were building a football robot, they would use Peyton Manning as the model. The passing machine would be six feet, five inches high and weigh 230 pounds. The right arm would be a shotgun and the brain would be run by G10 technology — the all-pro model.

Can the great Peyton Manning take his team to another Super Bowl win? His Colts last did so in 2007, while the New Orleans Saints have never been there. So what happens depends on the Saints and who decides to show up for the game. Peyton will be there with his shotgun arm and the All-Pro G10 brain. With Manning there are no odds to defy. They are always in his favor. Every game he plays in he expects to win.

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About Sports Artist

  • Manning may not be the most gifted athlete to ever play the position, but he may be the smartest ever to do so. He has great instincts and rarely gets surprised by much of anything on the field.

    Oft times great players do not make good coaches. Only a few have succeeded to make the transition. I don’t know what Manning’s post playing days plans are – it’s very possible he’s not given it much thought – but he has such a good mind for the game, it just seems that he could, perhaps, break the mold, as it were, and follow a stellar playing career as an equally stellar coach.

    I thought perhaps his peak years were behind him prior to this season, but that is hardly the case. He could remain at or near the top of his game, assuming he stays healthy, for 3 or 4 more years – maybe longer.