The League

Jason Maloni
Crisis Communications Expert

Jason Maloni

Senior Vice President with
Levick Strategic Communications
and Chair of the firm's Sports & Entertainment Practice.

Legacy secure

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Peyton Manning's legacy is secure despite not winning a second Super Bowl on Sunday.

Manning has several years left in this league and it's too early for anyone to declare him a choker. John Elway heard much of the same criticism until his back to back Super Bowl wins in the late 1990s. Several quarterbacks, Dan Marino, Warren Moon and Fran Tarkenton, are in Hall of Fame despite not having ever won a Superbowl. Manning will be in the HOF too one day and I'm willing to bet in the first year he is eligible.

Is the problem really Peyton, or is it us? Peyton's personal story is made for NFL Films and his career begs for a storybook ending. When an athlete falls short, we're disappointed and lay the blame at his feet. Quarterbacks are the centerpiece of the game but failure has many fathers. Ultimately, we are as much to blame for the Expectation Factor than anything. Let's wait for that arc to complete before we pass judgment.

The Colts were favorites this past weekend but, the fact is, the Saints were far more of a complete package than the Colts. Putting the quarterback aside for a second, the Saints had a three-headed monster at running back and a defense that shocked and surprised all season and came up big when needed. Let's not forget coaching: the Saints' Sean Payton and Gregg Williams were crafty and bold and rookie Jim Caldwell has been only a supporting actor in this movie all season.

Many fans like to say "Brady's better than Manning," or "Manning will never touch Favre." But even if Peyton places second to those players, his legacy is already secure by being in the conversation.

By Jason Maloni  |  February 8, 2010; 10:48 AM ET  | Category:  Peyton Manning , Super Bowl Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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To be honest, the Colts wouldn't even be in the SB without Manning. They have talent, but not great talent. 31st in the league in running. No more Marvin Harrison, an injured Gonzales, leaving Reggie Wayne, and then two kids that Manning got to produce - Garcon & Collie.

I think one of the advantages Brady has had is Belichek, whereas Peyton got stuck now with Caldwell who seems like a gutless wimp on auto-pilot (e.g. his game plan in the SB, and his not playing for the perfect season - Belichek wouldn't have done either).

Posted by: publius88 | February 8, 2010 10:59 PM

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