Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Peyton Who?

Last night I had the responsibility of taking three that's right three of the juvenile delinquents that I work with to "Peyton Payback". This event for kids involved with St. Vincent. There were all sorts of activities for the kids; like Santa, face painting, games, pizza, free Colts gear, etc. While I was trying to keep track of my three kids and holding all of their stuff, I was hoping they didn't beat anyone up and steal anything. So about half way through Peyton Manning walks into the place and everyone sort of walks towards him. All of my three came running up to me and asked if they could go say hi and I said yes. He spoke to all of them, but was not giving autographs. Now, having sat next to him at a Pacer game I was prepared for how tall he was, but not for how "Indiana farm boy" he sounded!

He got up to the microphone after being introduced by a very small boy and said with some sort of twang..."I don't have much to say, this is about the kids, have fun" Wow inspiring. Then I got to thinking...if he didn't have this football talent and happen to be living in the US would he be famous? I think not. Maybe he is intelligent, but he sure didn't put forth any effort in his speech. I am not bashing him at all, because he gives a lot to people who are in need (each kid who was there gets a winter coat and a new pair of shoes!), but seriously it really makes me wonder if he didn't play football or we didn't worship professional athletes the way we do, when we heard the name Peyton Manning would we say "Peyton Who?"
yeah, peyton is pretty low key.....i waited on him and his wifey and some other colts player last week and he just likes to kick it and kind of blend in (which is difficult to do when you are a celebrity). he seems rather humble and i can totally see him just saying "this is for the kidros" and peaceing out....and i totally agree that if he wasn;t this amazing quarterback, he would be chillin somewhere in indiana.
He's not from Indiana.
Grant, I know he isn't from Indiana, but he is so Indiana farm boy, very down home and chill.
yeah, he's definitely got the southern drawl thing going on, which i think is sort of charming. and hey, if he's not beating the crap out of people in the stands and is instead using his very limited free time to show up at a thing like this, i can't really complain. Indiana kids need some sort of sports hero to look up to, and i don't think peyton manning's a bad choice at all. so what if he's a little monosyllabic? at least he's a genuinely nice guy.
Actually, you might be surprised at just how articulate Peyton is. If you ever watch post game coverage he makes a point to discuss the fine points of the game instead of blathering out stupid cliche phrases like "Both sides played hard," "It came down to points," or the worst of all of them "I'd like to thank the lord for what have you and what not."

Peyton is an excellent role model too. You will never see scandal around this guy. He plays for his team and not for himself. He studies his craft 8 days a week, and he never looks to blame anyone but himself. Not to mention he's on his way to becoming the best player to ever play the game. I love Peyton Manning.
I hope no one thinks I was bashing good ole Peyton! I really do appreciate what he does and he is a good role model, it was just an interesting event in my not so interesting life!
Let the Peyton heralding continue! Just kidding, I'm glad you guys are doing so well this season.

As far as wondering where an athlete would be otherwise, it remembers how sick I was, after the Rams won a few years back, about how "just a few years ago, Kurt Warner was a bagboy at a local grocery store." Well, no kidding!

It was a ridiculous thing to repeat, 1) because everyone's had a shitty job at some point. His was while going to community college. And 2) It seems fairly obvious that successful athletic careers tend to be specialized endeavors.

Yes, occassionally we get an athlete who is skille din other areas, but we don't expect it and it's not unique to sports. For example, would we ever wonder "where would that Nobel Prize winning physicist be if he wasn't so good at math?" Sure, it's possible a Richard Feynman-type (MIT physicist) could be an incredible athlete or have an above-average level talent in something else (Feynman actually was an amateur musician), but it's rare because it turns out those who are hugely successful in one skill (in the 99.9999th percentile) tend to not be as much in others.

See George Plimpton for an exception!
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