"If Payton Manning loses this game, I will no longer consider him the best quarterback of all time. Right now, it's Manning 1, Namath 2, and Brady 3" - spoken by a local sports talk radio host in all seriousness
So, if the Broncos trot out a secondary whose sell-by date coincided with the height of The Strokes' career and they give up 475 passing yards and six touchdowns, that is somehow Peyton Manning's fault and it makes him a worse quarterback? Got it.
Also: Joe Namath? Seriously? More INTs than TDs? A career 50% completion rate? Stats that we would consider unsatisfactory coming from an off-brand Detmer brother? Look, I know Broadway Joe had a couple of great years and won a Super Bowl. But, viewed through any lens that doesn't radiate the rosy haze of nostalgia, he's kind of embarrassingly mortal.
The real fun, of course, would be if he were playing today. Think about the nonsense hand-wringing over Colin the K's tats and swag, bearing in mind that by all accounts Kaepernick is also a studious film hound who has the respect of his teammates and works as hard as you could want any quarterback to do. Now think about the media frenzy we'd get with the boozing, carousing, skirt-chasing and other, err. components of a certain lack of focus that were Namath's calling card. In a time when the most highly praised QBs are the ones who are most robotic, where there can be no higher praise for a QB than that they spend all their time working, picture the response to good ol' Joe, hanging out in his fur coat.
It wouldn't be pretty.
And the fact that we simultaneously canonize Namath far beyond his achievements while crucifying anyone who might act remotely like him (unless they're Ben Roesthlisberger, but that's a whole other story) says more about the NFL as packaged consumer product than we might like to think.