There are many great moments in the NFL that stick in my mind. Mind blowing plays, unfathomable feats performed by the wonders of the sport like Favre, Brady, Manning, Breeze, the other Manning, Moss, Hester, Polamalu, Harris, Sproles, Wayne, Ward, Clark, and on and on and on. Last Sunday's Patriots/Colts game was a beauty unto itself - ah, thanks for the memories.
I was nervous days in advance. The Colts were undefeated and the Patriots are the Patriots. They live for games like this - the two Super Powers of the NFL - but one of them has to lose. What a match up - there was something very Roman about it all. The two best quarterbacks in the league head to head - I was dying.
To me, Brady is like an army general leading his troops to war - an all out soldier, competitive, driven, merciless. He marches into the face of the enemy - unflinching and his troops respond to his lead. In that zone, he can and will annihilate the opponent. The tougher the competition the better Tom Brady is. And he proved it up until the last few plays of that brilliant Sunday night game against the Colts. But I never, for one second, doubted that the Colts were going to win that game. All the braun in the world cannot match a wizard's magic.
Peyton Manning is a wizard, a sorcerer, a magician - other worldly - a sage. It may sound over-the-top - so be it, call a spade a spade and all the other cliches. But there is noone else who can watch his team unravel before him, even allow it, want it to happen to expose the weakness, to learn the weakness, then fix it there and then, completely sew the team back up again, make it stronger and better while playing one of the best and toughest teams in the NFL. Then predetermine the exact time he is going take the game back and win it. With 13 seconds left on the play clock, Manning throws an unbelievable pass through the solid coverage into the waiting hands of Reggie Wayne.
How Reggie Wayne made that catch was mind blowing but that's Reggie Wayne and that's Peyton Manning - After the game, with the Wizard proudly towering over him, Wayne matter-of-factly said,"when Peyton called my number, I knew I had to make that catch." I don't know if I would ever want to be in that position, if I would ever want Peyton Manning calling my number on the last play of a supremely important game with a mere 13 seconds left on the clock.
On the sidelines, The General's face said it all. And the experts and the fans can blame the Patriot's loss on a great and risky call by Belichick, but no matter what the Patriots did in those last few moments of that monumental game - the Colts weren't going to lose. They were never going to lose. They knew it. Peyton knew it and I think Belichick new it too. How can a mortal, even great ones at that, ever beat a Wizard?