November 06, 2006

In Which I Insult All Things Peyton Manning

NOTICE: Loyal Rant Readers are advised the following post contains considerable bluster, negative vibes, and outrageous statements about the following people, places and things: Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, the Sprint Nextel Corp., MasterCard Inc., the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, the Southeastern Conference of the NCAA, the South Division of the AFC, and a good broad swath of the American South -- but mostly Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning.

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Standards Dept.
Benjamin Kepple's Daily Rant Inc.
Hamilton, Bermuda

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A MAN CAN ENDURE MUCH in life, provided he has the right attitude. That may mean suppressing one's indignation at a perceived slight, staying on an even keel through a prolonged period of difficulty, or forsaking a small gain to potentially earn a large one. But there are times when one faces the unendurable, and times when even the calmest of men must stand in opposition to gross pride and infamy.

As such, I stand and say: I've had it with Peyton Manning.

No, really. I've had it with Peyton Manning. I've had it with his smarminess and arrogance. I've had it with the fawning adulation devoted to his every act and the hagiography which appears in the daily press. I've had it with the attention paid to his football career, which too often overlooks all his great offensive lines and his amazing ability to choke whenever the going gets tough. And I've especially had it with all the people who keep foisting the Golden Child onto a national advertising market. Please. Stop it already.

Yes, people at MasterCard Inc., that means you. Now that you're publicly-traded, I realize why you're advertising on television. After all, having more people use their MasterCard cards to buy things translates into more revenue for you, the processing network. Well, guess what. The idea of trying to pay cash until you stop using Peyton Manning in your advertising feels pretty goddamned priceless right about now. Use someone people can actually stomach, like Chicago Bears QB Rex Grossman.

As for you, Sprint, you can take your Sprint NFL Mobile service and shove it until you start using quarterbacks that are better than "pretty good." Perhaps you could sign, oh, Tom Brady, who is classy and includes his offensive linesmen in his commercials. If that doesn't work, why not use Charlie Batch, whom everyone likes and respects? Hell, even Matt Hasselbeck would be nice. But Peyton Manning? No.

This is not to say that I'm opposed to the idea of Peyton Manning advertising stuff. But I can't understand why the advertisers think he would play to an audience outside the states of Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana, which are his natural audience for a variety of reasons. Outside those states, people have their own football loyalties and teams, and generally speaking, they're far different than in those states.

Here in New England, for instance, people generally react to the Colts (and Peyton Manning) with something approaching disgust and nausea, as if they've just seen someone throw up in front of them. As a Steelers fan, I'd venture to guess most Steelers fans would TiVo Colts-Steelers games just so they could go back and watch Peyton get sacked again and again. And I can't imagine this scenario is different anywhere else. There are 32 teams in the NFL and only the fans of one team like that son of a gun. Even the AFC South -- crappy division that it is -- has to hate the guy.

I have to think the national advertisers are overplaying their hand, or are relying on the strange idea that people like Peyton Manning because of his college career. He was a good quarterback at Tennessee, although certainly not worthy of the Heisman Trophy. Yet even this doesn't explain the strange jump to the national scene. Sure, all the Tennessee partisans liked him and thought he was robbed, but come on.

Ah, well. It turns out this post wasn't as bent-out-of-shape as I thought it would be at the start. However, I do think all of us who really don't like Peyton Manning should boycott the products he advertises until the advertisers stop using him as a pitchman, or at least tone things down a bit. Christ.

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at November 6, 2006 07:29 PM | TrackBack
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