by Tall Matt

INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The debate remains open as to whether Peyton Williams Manning is the greatest quarterback to ever play American Football. There was voodoo and mojo and Santeria in the air in Miami Sunday night and most of it went the Saints way. A great American city still trying to shake off the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans finally gets a championship for their fans. No need to mention Dwight Freeney’s ankle or the most porous defense this side of the 2009 NY Football Giants; it was all black magic.


Speaking of the Giants, the notion that Peyton Manning might be the best quarterback of all time has enormous implications for Giants fans. Someday soon they might proudly proclaim that the greatest quarterback in history’s brother plays for them. Take THAT NFC East! Conversely, the employees of Howard Weil Inc. in New Orleans, an energy investment firm, still will not give Cooper Manning the time of day.

But pro football is in the past now, without even the prospect of a tightly contested Pro Bowl in Honolulu where the players were always more interested in getting their leis than playing the game. The debate about “the best”, “the greatest” and “immortal” rages on for many fans of most sports; a cherished argument for any hoser with a lap full of nachos and a beer-stained and ill-fitted jersey (us).

Today however, we offer a Peyton Manning laudatory declaration that is hard to argue. Peyton is the undisputed King of Acting Athletes. His timing is perfect. His deadpan is straight out of Jack Benny 101. And he seems to always get the concept. A simple notion that always seems to be over the typical acting athlete’s over-sized head. Sure, O.J. Simpson had his Hertz ads, Naked Gun movies and a host of other guest-starring appearances, but did you ever buy a performance? Way too many athletes dabble in the noble profession: Shaq, Joe Namath, Mean Joe Greene, Joe Montana, Michael Jordan… The list goes on and on.

The easiest format to critique these guys is the basic 30-second TV commercial. It’s the prevalent format and the chance for them to make quick endorsement moolah. And while a select few went on to the world of TV and movies, they all got their starts in spots from Noxema to Aqua Velva to Gatorade. Peyton Manning is still young as far as acting athletes go and as long as he avoids a remake of The Thing With Two Heads, he’ll be awesome.

Let us now present Peyton Manning’s Greatest Hits (to date) No, there are no Oreo Double Stuff Licking League (WTF?) commercials here. But remember folks, even Daniel Day Lewis made Nine.

  • P-Man is not ashamed to poke fun at himself and self-deprecating humor is a stretch for any actors, let alone athletes. The obvious bad wig and misplaced mustache only add to the absurdity. His innuendos about himself are also perfectly delivered. “Maybe you like Peyton Manning’s team, maybe.”
  • We could have picked any number of Mastercard Priceless commercials but this one titled Everyday Fans has particular resonance. Peyton becomes the fan in everyday common situations: grocery boy, grease monkeys, waiters and waitresses. The ad lib, “You’re good, too.” to the other mechanic IS priceless as is the enthusiasm he lets loose after “scoring” a waiter’s used apron. “Nice salad bar.”
  • Again, pick any one of these Priceless pep talks, they’re all funny. Here, Manning debunks the Rub-Some-Dirt-On-It Theory of bouncing back after injury. Oh, and an Insider’s Side Note: Peyton never uses a teleprompter or cue cards. He reads the script a few times on set and then delivers – no matter how long the copy is.

  • Last but not least, Peyton’s turn on Saturday Night Live. He performed well in all of his skits but this short film is most memorable. Give it a minute for the video to load, you won’t regret it. Especially if you like seeing young kids get f’d with.
    1. “Get your head out of your ass. You suck.”
      “I’ll kill a snitch, I’m not saying I have, I’m not saying I haven’t.”

    Okay, the time has come for us to get OUR heads out of Peyton’s ass, we’ve sucked-up enough.

    Grote2DMax and his Grote’s Gripes, tomorrow.

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    About The Matts 375 Articles started out as a NY Mets website and organically grew into an entity covering all professional sports. Our daily contributors, as diverse as they may be, share two important traits: -They toil for the "love of the game..." -They have a sense of humor. This is, after all, sports entertainment.