Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC South [Print without images]

Friday, January 7, 2011
Simmons examines Brady-Manning rivalry

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

Bill Simmons doesn’t really need my help drawing extra hits, but hey… if you haven’t seen his Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady piece, here it is.

He does well getting to the heart of the rivalry:
"Even in the sports realm, their rivalry feels … I don't know. Tame? Benevolent? Manufactured? They could never surpass Ali and Frazier; the mutual bitterness isn't there. They could never trump Bird and Magic; those guys practically grew up trying to beat each other. They could never match what happened between Russell and Chamberlain from 1959 to 1969, have a moment as compelling as Borg and McEnroe's Battle of 1816, despise one another as much as Shaq and Kobe, capture a generational shift like Palmer and Nicklaus or resonate like Mays and Mantle during the days when America cared about baseball and little else."

Sounds about right to me. Brady and Manning like and respect each other and there isn’t an ounce of fake to it. Also, there are so many other moving parts in football, it’s hard in today’s NFL to pit two quarterbacks against each other taking nothing else into account.

Would love to see your reactions to the piece.