you don't know how it feels
February 06, 2007, 5:32 pm
Dear Peyton Manning,
Now that you have the monkey off your back and are undoubtedly planning your next big shill for Tweeter, I would like to congratulate you on your Super Bowl win. If anything, it solidified your place among great quarterbacks, and while that place is richly deserved given your career statistics, I am hesitant to lavish you with praise. Simply because, Mr. Manning, you don't know how it feels.
You weren't here, sir, when Mayflower pulled its trucks out of Baltimore and buried the name of the Colts forever under Fells Point. You weren't here to see my dad punch his fist through the wall of our upstairs and then point at your five-year-old nose and say in as much of a measured voice as he could muster, "You can root for whoever you want, as long as it isn't the Redskins or the Steelers..." and watch him break down. You haven't seen through the screen this year when, in playing your brother, a man teared up and said, "I still can't even look at that uniform."
So, forgive me, Peyton, when I failed to feel sorry for you when you chastised the Baltimore fans for giving you "more middle fingers" than you'd ever seen in your career; forgive me for chuckling when you coined Ravens Stadium as the "most hostile environment" you'd ever played in.
Forgive me for rooting for 'Da Bears.
Next year, I'll like you again, I think. But for now, your "lazer, rocket arm" leaves me unsettled and sad.