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Peyton’s loss runs deeper than Indianapolis

As a football fan, I was anything but disappointed in this year’s Super Bowl (half-time show and commercials excluded.) Football fans everywhere got to watch the New Orleans Saints win an exciting, emotional game over the Indianapolis Colts. There is nothing better than watching your team win the big game. Saints fans, I hope you enjoy riding this high until next season, you’ve earned it.

As a Giants fan, on the other hand, the game sucked. Eli is my quarterback, and Peyton is Eli’s older brother. I’m not exactly sure how I’m related to Peyton, but I am. He’s the second link in the Manning legacy. In fact, you could even say he’s the last link in the Manning legacy, considering the fact that Eli will never live up to the Manning standard - even with a Super Bowl ring (Eli, I love you, but I’m a realist.) I was not just rooting for the Colts this Sunday - I was rooting for my quarterback’s older brother.
No matter how you look at this year’s Super Bowl, the Colts’ loss rests on the shoulders of Peyton Manning. In my opinion, Peyton is one of the greatest quarterback’s of all time, and he deserves a second ring more than anyone that played on Sunday. But now, Peyton’s legacy will be in question until next season. Forget about his incredible season, his AFC title and his general ability to lead a team. It’s a hard fact of life, but Peyton will have to face the task of proving himself once again when next season rolls around.

So for Giants fans, the question now becomes this: how will Sunday’s loss affect Eli Manning’s morale? On the surface, the loss is for his older brother and his older brother alone. But underneath, Eli had just as much at stake as Peyton. Eli knows he won’t be able to surpass Peyton on any level. Now he, along with the rest of the NFL, sees his brother as fallible. And if Peyton is fallible, what does that make Eli? He doesn’t have his brother’s ability to keep his composure on the field. Time and time again I’ve seen Eli fall into quicksand on the field, especially this past season (which I still have trouble talking about.) When you idolize someone for your entire life and then see them fail, it’s devastating. For Eli, his older brother’s failure has the potential to wreck his own ability to play the game. Knowing Eli, it probably will.

Don’t get me wrong, I will not lose my faith in Eli or the Giants. We have a talented team with the ability to make it all the way. But us Giants fans have to keep our finger crossed for next season, because Eli’s insecurities have never had a problem making their way onto the gridiron.

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