Brady vs. Manning: Who would you rather...

Brady vs. Manning: Who would you rather...
January 15, 2014, 1:15 pm
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Who would you rather have as your starting quarterback: Tom Brady or Peyton Manning?
 
This question has been asked a few hundred times over the last week and a few hundred thousand times over the last decade. And frankly, I’m sick of it. Or maybe just bored. Not to take anything away from all that these guys have accomplished or how fortunate we are to still watch them compete — especially this time, for all them AFC Tostitos — but come on, it’s enough already. We’re not getting anywhere.
 
At this point, Peyton people are Peyton people and will be forever. The Brady Bunch is the Brady Bunch and they’re the Brady Bunch for life. In 2014, arguing over Brady vs. Manning in any forum is about as productive as debating ObamaCare in the comment section of the Herald. There’s so much SCREAMING, so little progress and even less fun. And what’s all this for if we can’t have fun?
 
In that spirit, let’s cut through the BS and get to what really matters. Five Brady/Manning “Would you rathers” that spurn the same old same old and undress the debate down to its stark, naked core.
 
(And then I’ll be back on Friday, to talk about the actual game.)
 
Tom Brady or Peyton Manning . . .
 
1. Your pregnant wife goes into labor in a broken down elevator, who would you rather be there to deliver the baby?
 
This one’s easy.
 
“Omaha! Omaha! We’ve got crowning! Omaha! Omaha! Cervix is the Mike!”
 
Sorry, Peyton. There’s no time for audibles in a situation like this. You need a steady hand. You need a delicate touch. You need the relentless, unconditional compassion that only comes with growing up with three older sisters.
 
You need Tom Brady. And sure, there’s a decent chance that your wife will be immaculately re-impregnated by the time it’s all said and done, but that’s a small price to pay for the guaranteed well being of your child.
 
2. Your best man goes missing the morning of your wedding, who would you rather step in to give the best-man speech?
 
No offense to Brady. He’d be all right. Although probably a little too sentimental. If he wanted to get up with a group of friends and say something at the rehearsal dinner, no one would stand in his way.
 
But Peyton’s the choice here.
 
He’d be funnier. More relatable. He’d disarm the crowd with his every man mentality and self-deprecating shtick. Say what you will, but the man can deliver a punch line.
 
He might not be as aesthetically pleasing for the ladies but you know your grandmother would still find him adorable (even if “he’s no Morley Safer”). And while you’d most likely have to put up with a few unsolicited product placements — something about your bride looking “hotter than an order of Papa John’s chicken poppers” or your jump shot being “crisper than an ice cold bottle of Gatorade" — overall, he wouldn’t disappoint.
 
3. You lose your entire wardrobe in a house fire, and have to wait a year before insurance kicks in to re-stock. In the meantime, whose closet would you rather live out of?
 
I’m more of a jeans and t-shirt guy. I respect a good polo and a simple striped button down. I prefer sneakers to loafers and a baseball hat to a fedora. In general, I think the majority of Americans would be far more comfortable quite literally walking in Peyton’s shoes.
 
But for one year? The answer’s Brady.
 
It would be fun. Every day could be like Halloween.
 
Friend: “Hmm, interesting neon baby blue blazer.”
 
You: “Oh, thanks. It’s Tom Brady’s.”
 
Friend: “And is that an alligator skin belt?”
 
You: “Yeah, it’s Tom Brady’s.”
 
Friend: “Wow, and I’ve never seen you wear your hair in a scrunchie before.”
 
You: “Well, you know.”
 
4. You’re a contestant on The Amazing Race, who would you rather have as a teammate?
 
Score another one for Brady. He’s an international powerhouse with connections all over the planet. He’s tapped into the fashion world of Paris and Milan. You find yourself in Australia? He gets the UGG people on the horn and the continent is your oyster. Not to mention, he’s basically the First Gentleman of Brazil. If the race brings you anywhere near that country, there will be legions at your beckon call.
 
Meanwhile, not sure how Peyton’s neck would hold up over the long haul, and the only place he wields any power is Germany. Why?
 
Because Germans love Peyton Manning.
 
5. Who would you rather have plan your bachelor party?
 
Brady comes from humble(ish) beginnings but it’s fair to say that he’s developed some expensive tastes. That’s life when you’re pulling in nearly $40 million a year and still aren’t the breadwinner in your household. When “Hey, maybe we should build a moat around the house?” is a serious question and not a drunken dream.
 
Anyway, I’m not saying that Brady would plan a boring weekend. Just that it wouldn’t be long before half your friends drop out and the ones that don’t start a separate email chain just to bitch about the price and how much you’ve changed since you started hanging out with Tom.
 
On the flip side, put the party in Peyton’s hands and he’d rent out one suite at Foxwoods, buy five racks of Bud Light, a handle of Jack, a handle of Cuervo, book two of Craigslist’s finest and call it a day. It wouldn’t be extravagant but everyone would be there and everyone would have a blast.
 
Just don’t give him rein over the iPod.
 
BONUS!
 
Two minutes left in the AFC Championship. Your team is down by four. They have the ball on their own 20-yard line. One timeout. Everything is on the line. Whoooooo would you rather . . .
 
. . . be watching the game with?
 
I’ll take Tom. His nacho-making skills are clutch.
 
Follow me on Twitter: @rich_levine