Sporting News Tabs Manning As NFL Athlete Of Decade

I don’t know if there is an actual dictionary out there that defines what a “best NFL athlete” is; chances are there isn’t one. But nonetheless, The Sporting News has their own definition. And they used it to declare Indianapolis Colts quarterback as the publication’s NFL Athlete of the Decade. They chose him over fellow QB Tom Brady of the New England Patriots. According to TSN:

We say…
The numbers are there, of course: three league MVPs; season passing averages of 4,195 yards and 31 touchdowns; six consecutive years (and counting) of at least 12 wins; and, perhaps most impressive of all, zero missed starts. But Manning will forever be known best for his uncanny, unflappable, unsurpassed field generalship. As iconic quarterbacks go, the palpably bookish Manning has made nerdiness cool. You want to make it in the NFL? Prepare like Peyton Manning.

The numbers say…
Manning: 102-43 record, 38,055 passing yards, 282 TDs, 123 INTs, three MVPs, one Super Bowl
Brady: 88-25 record, 27,040 passing yards, 199 TDs, 88 INTs, one MVP, three Super Bowls

You say… voting
Brady 60%
Manning 40%

They say…
Former Colts coach Tony Dungy’s case for Manning: “The best example (of Manning’s preparation) is when we had two weeks between the AFC championship game and Super Bowl 41. He watched all 16 regular-season games the Bears played and their two playoff games. He had (backup quarterback) Jim Sorgi watch their four preseason games, just in case they did something in the preseason they didn’t show in the regular season, and report back to him. So he basically had 22 games of theirs that he watched in two weeks so that there would be no defense he was going to see that took him by surprise. That’s extreme, and that’s for a Super Bowl, but that’s how he goes about everything.”

Manning says…
Our pick’s memory of the decade: “We made Indy a football city. The Super Bowl was the culmination of that, and I hope we’re not done with that. But over the decade, it’s been something special being a part of that. When I first got here we sold out the first game (against Miami), but I think the fact Dan Marino was playing had a lot to do with that. Now, you’ve got a waiting list for season tickets, and many of the quarterbacks that I’ve talked to—whether it’s Tom Brady or Drew Brees or Donovan McNabb—tell me this is the loudest place they’ve played. That in itself is a powerful statement. And just look at the jerseys (in the stands). Everybody’s got numbers now, and they’re ours. People are talking about the Colts all the time.”

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