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Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Eli Manning: The silent, confident winner

By Duff McKagan
Special to ESPN.com

Eli Manning
Eli Manning might not have frontman charisma, but his silent confidence impresses our man Duff.

For how goofy and uncomfortable Eli Manning looks to be on the field, that dude has got to win the award for Most Quietly Confident for this entire season.

If Manning were a singer in a rock-'n'-roll band, he'd be the type that would be doing just strictly studio work. There would be no way that an always-image-conscious audience would back a singer as ungainly on stage as Manning telegraphs to us all from the field.

But he doesn't care. That is what I really like about this guy.

He is what punk rock was to mainstream rock in the '70s. What "grunge" was to hair-metal in the '90s. What old-school country is to modern country music. A punch in the gut.

No makeup and no offstage gimmickry. No B.S. and no frills. Just results and elation.

Eli. The "other" Manning. The one without so dang many commercials and way less national coverage. I sense that not having all of that big-time attention, in the end, is just fine and dandy with him.




You're welcome, New York

If you're a lifelong Seattle Mariners fan (as I am), then you too grimaced at the loss of our exceptionally talented young right-handed pitcher, Michael Pineda, in a trade to the New York Yankees. If you are like me too, all thought of logic went out the window as we watched another good one get away.

But after the dust has settled, and our emotions have calmed, this may have been one of the smarter moves this whole offseason. This is a move in which seemingly both teams simply got better. Of course, we Mariners fans only want our team to get better.

I haven't seen or heard much being made of this trade, and wonder aloud, if the fans of the Yankees really know just how good Pineda is? You'd never know from his win-loss record (due to the M's anemic run support), but Yankees fans ... you guys just completely scored. The M's gaunt offense just could not produce much of anything for either Pineda or King Felix.

Pineda is going to win a ton of games this year. Quote me on that.

Now: Who is this 22 year-old catcher Jesus Montero? This player we traded Pineda for. Does he have the offensive upside that the Mariners so direly need? Is Montero really the second-coming of Edgar Martinez?

Yes, yes. That is what they're saying, and that is what we are all waiting for. We've even named a street after old Edgar up here, you know.

The Mariners had to do something this offseason. This does seem drastic and not thoughtout completely, but what the hell do I know about a guy (Montero) that has only played in 61 MLB games? There is a collective expectation and fingers-crossed in the Northwest.

Tell me something good, Yankees fans. Tell me something good.




ROAST: I've been asked to take part in a Revolver Magazine roast of the virtuoso Black Label and Ozzy Osbourne guitarist (and heavily bearded) Zakk Wylde on Thursday night. The thing is, I need some help. I don't have a lot "on" old Zakk. Surely some of you have a story or two that I can use on Thursday? If you do, please reply with said story. Don't be shy.




MUSIC: The Parlor Mob are a great young rock band that hails from New Jersey. Seeing as Zakk Wylde also calls Jersey home, I thought I'd tie the two in, and turn you on, to what I know about The Parlor Mob.

In 2008, it released a record called "And You Were A Crow." This record became my soundtrack of that summer, and I got to see the band live while on tour in UK the following year. These guys could very well be the saviors of rock!

Here are a few of my favorites:

"Hard Times": Lo-fi rock 'n' roll. The way it should be done. Great riffs. Great players.

"Everything You Are Breathing For": Led Zeppelin-esque backbeat, and Plant-like vocal range. The riffs, again, are monstrous.

"Take What's Mine": The Parlor Mob just released a new record, "Dogs," a few weeks ago. I love it when a good new band shows signs of just plain getting better. It is a rare thing. Bands these days seem to break up if they don't have that "hit" on their rookie record. The Parlor Mob, hopefully, is here to stay for a while.


Musician Duff McKagan -- who writes for Seattle Weekly, has written for Playboy.com and now has his autobiography out -- writes a weekly sports column for ESPN.com. To send him a note, click here and fill out the form.