It's a must read piece, so I'm linking it on the front page:
Manning never gets credit for being a tough guy. It eats at him too. I know that.
Manning also does his job the right way. He works at it. He loves it. He's great at it.
Yet you get the idea there is a big faction of fans, players and media members who hope like heck he isn't playing Week 1 -- or beyond.
True story: I once had an NFL player tell me he hates Peyton Manning.
"I don't know," he said. "I just do."
He is not alone. Others have echoed the same thoughts to me, without really knowing the guy.
It's a real phenomenon. I've had readers suggest many theories. Here a few:
- Silver spoon-he's the son of a rich, famous QB. It's like rooting for IBM
- The Mannings represent a certain kind of Southerner (rich, white entitled)
- They hated him in Tennessee
- They don't like the audibles
At the same time, Manning is also among the most popular NFL players ever. He garners a lot of support throughout the Mid-West and South. My guess is that in today's culture anything that some people like, other people will hate.