I always thought that Eli got short shrift in the "elite QB status" because he didn't look or act the part. He's mild mannered, soft spoken, doesn't yell at his teammates or get in their face or that of the opponents. He doesn't run over guys or run past them like some of the other big and fast QBs. When they show a picture of him, he's always relaxed, rarely sweaty and grimy, no blood on his face, no scars. You know - he just doesn't look like a "real" football player. He doesn't break tackles like Roethlisberger or extend plays by scrambling like Brees. In other words - he didn't walk out of central casting and wouldn't be the star in a movie about a football player. Therefore, he must not be "elite", goes the subconscious analysis. Some of that seemed to change when he was 67 yards shy of throwing for 5,000 yards this year, an accomplishment done by only 4 QBs in history, 3 of them this year. But even that wasn't good enough for the football gurus - what really seemed to change things and impress people was the fact that he got beat up this past Sunday by the 49ers defense but still hung in there, played well and kept coming back for more. On one play, he was hit so hard that his helmet was knocked askew, his shoulder pads came out of his jersey and if he was back as a freshman in high school, the 49ers seniors would have given him a wedgie. Now that he looked like a tough guy, playing a football player in a movie, the analysts could compliment him on his performance and call him a star QB. What a bunch of dopes. My advice to Eli - ignore these dopes, just keeping getting some jewelry for you and your teammates and everything will fall into place.
The reporters are really reaching for stuff to write about in this dead week, before the actual Super Bowl week begins when the real in depth analysis of the two teams gets going in earnest. Just to show you how lame some of the stories this week were and how superficial some of the insights were, I read in the papers that:
- Since Lucas Oil Stadium is a dome, there will be no wind to affect the passing game.
- Further because of that dome, rain is unlikely to affect the game like it did in SF last week.
- JPP calls his mother after every game to let her know he's OK.
- (Actually one interesting thing I did learn was that JPP played on the same high school football team as Denard Robinson, the current U-Mich QB. If you've ever seen Denard "Shoelace" Robinson play.... wow can he run. I guess they grow 'em fast in Deerfield Beach.)
- Ted Marchibroda gave Bellichick his first job in football.
- James Ihedigbo, current Patriots and former Jets S calls his mom every week for a pregame prayer session.
- Steve Weatherford wears his wedding ring during the games and he loves his wife.
- Tyler Sash has a cut on his face from an accident with a car door.
Sheesh - can we move the clock a little faster, please??