February 5, 2012

LEARNING TO HATE THE UNDERDOG:

Can Tom Brady Get Revenge on the Giants? (Allen Barra, Feb 5, 2012, Daily Beast)

In terms of connections to working people, Brady is probably to the average NFL fan what Mitt Romney is to the average voter. And Brady could probably buy and sell Romney, especially if he and Gisele have a joint bank account. According to Sports Illustrated, Brady, who is winding up the first year of a four-year, $72 million contract, will be pulling in about $30 million this year in salary and endorsements. Gisele earns about $45 million a year which, according to Forbes, makes Tomsele the highest-paid celebrity couple of 2011, even more than Brad and Angelina.
It's no wonder that, to most fans around the country, the Patriots, who are three-point favorites over the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI, are probably the most hated team in the National Football League. Brady may be the only athlete in professional sports with at least two websites dedicating to despising him.  No other team and no other quarterback would be capable of making a New York team America's sentimental favorite. [...]

Sure, Eli, with his L'il Abner drawl and blue-collar image are the country's favorites, even though his unglamorous Giants are just 9-7 this year and will become one of the worst regular season teams to take the Super Bowl if they win. What a contrast Eli and the Giants are to that sleek, finely tooled corporate Patriots machine.

But ... how much of this picture reflects reality? It is Eli Manning, son of Archie and brother of Peyton, who, after all, is the child of football's royal family. In fact, to look at their respective histories in organized football is to wonder which one should be considered the underdog. Eli was a star before college, topping Parade's All-America High School list; Tom didn't even play organized football until he was a freshman in high school, and his team lost 8 of their 10 games. Manning was a college star and the first player drafted by the pros in 2004; Brady, who played for Michigan, was the 199th pick in the 2000 draft. 



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Posted by at February 5, 2012 12:33 AM
  

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