No regrets for Manning on Brady comparison

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No regrets for Manning on Brady comparison

FOXBORO -- He had to know it was coming.

When Eli Manning was scheduled for a conference call with New England media, he must have expected a question about this summer's quarterback comments. You remember -- the Brady stuff.

"The question was if I thought I was an elite quarterback and basically I was just saying that I did," Manning said Wednesday. "I'm usually not in to the business of ranking and rating quarterbacks, or comparing myself to the other guys, but I just . . . Looking back, I thought I gave an honest answer and I don't regret anything."

Why should he? In Manning's August interview on the Michael Kay Show, he was effusively complimentary of Brady. The point was, New England's quarterback has only gotten better since he won three Super Bowls and Manning thinks he has the same potential. Hardly scandalous.

But Manning grouping himself with elite QB's inspired a frenzy of indignation. Yes, he beat the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Yes, that performance earned him MVP honors. Yes, his current 102.1 passer rating is the best of his career. But, Brady? Many football writers and fans scoffed at the idea.

Manning didn't listen.

"I just didn't worry about it," he said. "It caught a lot of attention. After doing the interview, you kind of think back to see if you said anything that might cause attention. I didn't think that would be a big deal. I think there were circumstances where not a whole lot was going on in sports at the time, just some training camps and no games yet. So I think sometimes it's just depending on the timing of things that they have to have something to talk about in the sports world."

Fair point.

And a smart strategy. Want to make a statement? Do it on the field. Manning ignored those trying to put a ceiling on his ambition and look at him now: The NFL's No. 3 passer rating, a career-best 64.7-percent completion rate, and better control on interceptions (just five so far). He's not better than Brady, but he's not trying to crowd in on the same pedestal. Manning wants his own pedestal on the same level.

It's only natural.

"I think, as any player in the league, you always feel confident in your ability. Whether you just played a great game or you just played a poor game, you feel the next week you're going to go out and play great and make every throw and win games -- put your team in situations to win games. So I think that's the attitude that most athletes have."

Figuratively, he can put his money where his mouth is Sunday at Gillette. Brady versus Manning. Shootout starts at 4:15.

Affleck offers passionate Brady defense when asked about Deflategate

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Affleck offers passionate Brady defense when asked about Deflategate

When the topic of Deflategate was broached on HBO's Any Given Wednesday with Bill Simmons, which debuted this week, Ben Affleck became all kinds of fired up.

"What they did was suspend Tom Brady for four days for not giving them his [expletive] cellphone," Affleck said. "I would never give an organization as leak-prone as the NFL my [expletive] cellphone . . . so you can just look through my emails and listen to my voicemails?"

Affleck grew up in Cambridge, Mass. and is a passionate Patriots fan. He made no attempts to hide his fandom, and his appreciation for Brady, as he and Simmons (also a Patriots fan) discussed the football-deflation controversy that has now lasted well over a year. 

Affleck, who said he would want to cast himself as Brady if ever a Deflategate movie was made, harped on the fact that the league wanted Brady to turn over his phone. 

"Maybe Tom Brady is so [expletive] classy and such a [expletive] gentleman," Affleck said, "that he doesn’t want people to know that he may have reflected on his real opinion on some of his co-workers."

Brady is waiting for the Second Circuit to make a decision as to whether or not it will rehear his case against the NFL. Earlier this offseason, the Second Circuit reinstated Brady's four-game suspension issued by the league when a three-judge panel ruled in favor of the NFL, 2-1. 

Pro Football Talk wrote on Thursday that a decision from the Second Circuit could come at any time. If the rehearding request is denied, Brady could then take the case to the Supreme Court. Should the Second Circuit grant Brady a rehearing, his suspension would be delaed until the court reached a decision. In that case, Brady could potentially play the entire 2016 season before a decision came to pass. 

Brady posts high school essay to Facebook on living in his sisters' shadow

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Brady posts high school essay to Facebook on living in his sisters' shadow

Tom Brady wasn't always the most famous person in his family. Growing up, his sisters were the accomplished athletes in the household. 

For his latest Throwback Thursday style Facebook post, Brady published a pair of photos of an old high school essay that he wrote in the fall of his senior year in 1994. It was titled "The way my sisters influenced me."

I found an essay I wrote in 1994... I love my big sisters! #tbt. Thanks for the good grade Mr Stark!

Posted by Tom Brady on Thursday, June 23, 2016

In it, he discusses some of the difficulties of growing up with three older sisters and no brothers. Because Maureen, Julie and Nancy Brady had achieved so much in softball, basketball and soccer, Brady -- or "Tommy," as he signed his paper -- had trouble getting noticed. 

Of course, it wouldn't be long before Brady was headed from San Mateo, California to Ann Arbor, Michigan in order to play football for the Wolverines. He probably had no trouble garnering attention by then. Still, it's funny to read about how he felt overlooked in his youth. 

He closed the essay explaining that he knew his sisters would always provide him support throughout his life, adding, "hopefully, just maybe, one day people will walk up to them and say, 'Aren't you Tommy's sister?' or 'Hey where is your brother?' Maybe . . . "

If the Brady sisters didn't get those kinds of comments by the time the baby of the family was given an 'A' for his English assignment, it probably didn't take long before they did. About seven years later, he took over as the starting quarterback of the Patriots.