Monday, February 3, 2014

Peyton's legacy, Gallagher gets mugged and other Monday morning musings


Going into last night's football game, Peyton Manning was already a Super Bowl champion, five-time NFL MVP and ten-time All Pro with multiple passing records to his credit, but today his legacy is under siege, based on the flimsy rhetorical premise that one Super Bowl championship doesn't cement his place among the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.  That's like saying Neil Armstrong was unproven as an astronaut because he only went to the moon once.  Super Bowl 48 was about a dominant Seattle defence and a show-stealing Seahawks offence more than it was about Manning's perceived shortcomings.  But haters gonna hate and the media needs talking points, so the meltdown at the Meadowlands will be fodder for fault-finding until the next distraction comes along in 15 or 20 minutes.  By the time Peyton Manning is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, anyone who tries to diminish his legacy on the grounds that he "only" won one Super Bowl will betray their own dubious credibility.

It doesn't get much more high road than African American players, former players and coaches taking part in the traditional pre-game reading of the US Declaration of Independence, considering their forebears were treated worse than cattle when that document was drafted.  Concluding the segment with First Lady Michelle Obama was an appropriate illustration of how far America has come, and its potential to live up to its ideals.

Blaming the referees for the outcome of a game is the ultimate loser's lament, but that doesn't put officials above criticism if it's warranted.  The blatant non-call when Brendan Gallagher was all but kidnapped and transported across state lines wasn't the reason the Canadiens lost to Winnipeg yesterday, but it was an example of the incompetent officiating that all too often casts the NHL in a poor light.

This weekend's PGA Waste Management Open in Phoenix is only my third most favourite tournament name on the pro golf tour, after the Discarded Syringe Invitational and the Chronic Dysentery Pro Am.

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