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Soup of This Day #133: Shooting From The Stars Above

February 8, 2012

Eli Manning vs Texans October 2010
Eli Manning. Apparently he’s got some brother called Peyton. Or something like that – Photo: AJ Guel, 2010. AJ Guel is not affiliated with Longworth72. Image cropped by Longworth72.

Monday morning just past, Perth time, Superbowl XLVI kicked off in Indianapolis with the smooth New England Patriots taking on the gritty New York Giants. Reading this might be a trigger for a case of deja vu again – The 2 last met in the big game only recently – They played out the season finale, Superbowl XLII in Arizona in February of 2008.

That time, as for Monday, the Pats went in as favourites. The New Englanders had won in 2002, 2004 and 2005, each time with Tom Brady as the quarterback. Even more impressive was their 2007/2008 season record leading into the big game: 19-0. You can’t beat those numbers and it seemed like nobody could beat the Pats.

New York were a study in contrast. They had ground their way to a 10-6 regular season record and as a wild card outfit had stomped and stifled opponents through to the big game. Their quarterback was Eli Manning, the younger brother of Indianapolis Colts superstar Peyton Manning.

This is not a good thing. Not in terms of being Peyton’s bro – I’m sure that he shared toys ok – No, I mean more in terms of being a professional sports star. You see, nobody wants to be introduced as ‘The Brother of Somebody’. That opening line says that your defining characteristic is that you’re, well, the brother of somebody.

You want to be the brother at the end of that equation, the somebody.

Eli was always going to struggle with that – He is the Brother of Peyton, the Colts quarterback who happened to be the MVP for the 2007 Superbowl XLI – The 1 where he guided Indianapolis to a win. Eli is also the son of Archie Manning, who was the quarterback for the New Orleans Saints for 11 years. Archie didn’t win a Superbowl but still the collective shadow cast in that family was the size of Mt Hood and Eli was square behind it. It didn’t help either that the 2nd thing people said about Eli was that he was solid.

Yep, the Brother of Somebody and solid too. That’s alwaaaaays gonna look great on a resume.

Sidebar: This blog frequently refers to the Brother of Longworth72. Since this blog is by no means professional nobody should read anything into that. If it was to be accurate it would probably read as ‘The Brother who Longworth72 is the Brother of’.

Or maybe he could get his own snappy pseudonym.

I’m not an expert pundit when it comes to NFL – I’m barely someone you can call a pundit. Yet even I was calling it for the Pats in 2008 as I tracked the game via an online update service from work. I called it for them throughout the game – They never managed to break free of the cloying Giants but you just knew it was gonna happen soon – Tom Brady would connect and the Brother of Peyton would solidly fade out.

And lo, with 2:42 left on the clock in the 4th Brady drove to 6 yards out before escaping the tough-as-teak Giants defence to toss for a 14-10 lead.

It was enough. Surely enough.


The Brother of Peyton got the ball on the Giants own 17. And then he went and won the damn thing. Over the next 2:07 of game time the New Yorkers made 12 plays, gaining 83 yards and a 17-14 lead with 35 seconds on the clock. New England couldn’t respond and Peyton Manning became the Brother of Eli for the day.

On Friday night just past I reckon, just like the 2007/08 Patriots I was humming for the season. Not quite 19 and 0 but doing ok – My wife defies the adage that beauty is only skin deep and my son is an adventure, even if it’s an exhausting 1 some days. My job is good too and if there were some crushing losses across the past year, I figured they’d better prepared me for a personal Superbowl.

It was enough. Surely enough.


At 9:02pm my wife called. She was having contractions. Braxton Hicks contractions but regularly spaced. Since we are at 20 weeks this was not good.

I raced home, getting in around 10:00pm (I was out eating pizza a long way away). By then she called our obstetrician and he’d asked her to come in to the hospital. With my mother-in-law in residence to watch over a sleeping Noah we hared off, getting there in 15 minutes or around 15,000 Longworth72 heartbeats. They gave my wife some tablets to help things settle down and kept her overnight. Sadly they had nothing for me.

She’s home now and under the medication the situation has calmed but we face an uncertain few days ahead. And then an uncertain few weeks and months. 20 weeks is too early. At 24 weeks there is a 50% chance – a real gamble. At 28 weeks, the end of the 2nd trimester, the chances are much greater – Most of the development is done and it’s about size from there on in. 32 weeks is the magic figure – Our obstetrician says he’d be laughing at us at 32 weeks.

I’d give a lot to have our obstetrician laughing at us in 12 weeks – I really would. That 32 weeks is our Superbowl right there and every week leading up to that feels like 4th and too much.

The odds are just that – Occasionally strange little numbers that shows the likelihood of something happening. Just the likelihood because unless the number is 100%, or 1 to 1, then there will be another number that shows the likelihood of that something not occurring. Simply, because something is at high odds not to occur doesn’t meant that it can’t occur and there in lies the problem for the Pats and my family. It’s not enough to ‘deserve’ to win – My wife and I, we’re good people and the Pats in 2008 surely deserved the mantle of season’s best. None of that matters though and so we’re stuck in Worryville, population us, and the Patriots are stuck on just the 3 Superbowl wins.

Yeah, just 3 wins, for Monday morning they lost again. This time, in Indianapolis, the home of Eli’s brother Peyton, the Pats led 17-15 until a bizarre Giants TD with just on a minute to go – Desperate to get the ball back the Pats conceded the TD but New York running back Ahmad Bradshaw tried to halt 1 yard short of the goal line to maximise the time hit. That plan failed though as Bradshaw sat down and then seemingly accidentally rolled over the line, giving the Giants a 21-17 lead but New England 1 minute to drive for a reply. As it happened Brady et al couldn’t quite get it done, once again they lost and Eli Manning got to double the number of Superbowl rings that his brother, whats-his-name, has.

Pregnancies and Superbowls – Don’t go countin’ ’em till they’re done.

Shooting From The Stars Above

  1. Thoughts and prayers everything goes well with the pregnancy. “Brother of Peyton” sounds like British monarch stuff. He’s certainly being treated like royalty in New York.

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  1. Soup of This Day #196: And Long Division Just Doesn’t Matter « Longworth72

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