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The Shide Lines: The end of Brady vs. Manning, end of an era

By Jonathan Shideler
On March 7, 2012

 

This September for the first time in 14 years, Peyton Manning will not be wearing an Indianapolis Colts uniform, leaving behind a legendary legacy. But this also could be the end to one of the best rivalries we have seen in our time, Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady.

Since 2001, Brady and Manning have squared off a total of 14 times. Brady and his Patriots won nine while Manning and his Colts have won the remaining five.

Up until Aaron Rodgers received the honor this past year, the last four NFL MVP awards have gone to a person with the last name of Brady or Manning. Peyton also shared the award with Steve McNair in 2003, as well as winning it 2004.

Brady and Manning are the two field generals who have perfected their craft, the model quarterbacks that have pioneered the NFL's new ‘pass first' mentality.

Early in this rivalry Tom might not have always out played Peyton, but he did out beat him. It took Peyton five times before he could beat a Brady-Belichick led team, which he finally did in 2005.

The Pats also took the first two post-season meetings the teams had. Then again, it seems almost impossible to forget the heart-wrenching come from behind Colt victory in the 06'-07' playoffs, where Peyton repeatedly marched his team down field despite being down 21-6 at halftime.

But now Peyton and the Colts are parting ways (something Patriots fans have nightmares about with Brady) and although there is a chance he may go to a team in the AFC East, we all know Brady and Manning's best years truly are behind them.

The Brady-Manning rivalry is one of the greatest one-on-one player rivalries and probably the best that Boston and all of New England have been a part of since Larry Bird and Magic Johnson, and before them it was Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio.

So where will the "Golden Boy" and six-foot-five, 230 pounds quarterback with laser rocket arm" go down as the all-time best player rivalries in sports?

Competing with Bird and Magic is a stretch due to the two of them duking it out their whole careers, starting in college and competing against each other head to head for multiple NBA titles.

It's also tough to compete with the likes of Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. Although the two only fought three times, it was how they fought, putting each other in the hospital after each fight.

The closest, and most relevant, rivalry to Brady and Manning today has to be in men's tennis with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer due to the amount of times the two have battled head-to-head, while never letting down the fans.

Like I said, maybe Peyton does come to AFC-East and the two face off at least twice a year. Or, maybe, Peyton lands in the NFC and we have an NFL Public Relations and media fantasy, a Super Bowl game between Brady and Manning.


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