Old Men in the High Country: Which One Would You Least Like to See in the Super Bowl?

Tom-Brady-Pyeton-ManningI’ve done my best to avoid thinking about it, but the truth is, either the Patriots, a team no true Steelers fan wants to see in the big game, or the Broncos, the team who just eliminated our beloved Black and Gold, is going to the Super Bowl.

Both teams are quarterbacked by men who are historically old.

Tom Brady is 38, and will turn 39 on August 3rd. Peyton Manning is 39, and will turn 40 on March 24th. Which should make Tom Brady feel positively sprightly in comparison.

The oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl was John Elway, who was 38 when he won the Super Bowl in what was the last game in his career. He was a few months older than Tom Brady, as he turned 39 in June of that year. He was also the only 38-year old to even be the starting quarterback in the game.

I am, of course, assuming Manning and Brady make it all the way through today’s game. This may in fact not end up being the case. Brady has 253 career starts as of today. Peyton Manning has 290. That’s a lot of wear on those tires. (Super Bowl XXXIII was the 252nd start of Elway’s storied career.)

Tom Brady sustained a high ankle sprain in the final game of the season, although it didn’t seem to impact his play last week. However, sprains are always susceptible to re-injury, and I don’t suspect the Bronco’s ferocious pass rushers are going to be too worried about hurting the QB.

Manning has also dealt with at least the foot problem this season, although he had the luxury of sitting out for a good long while. But as someone who just had an acute attack of plantar fasciitis this year, I can tell you it doesn’t go away. You can manage it, but once you’ve got it you’re stuck with it. Or so everything I’ve found on the subject seems to indicate.

So who starts if Manning or Brady can’t play in the Super Bowl? The likelihood of either not managing to at least start the game, whatever the injury, seems small, but this is football, after all. We all know the quarterback behind Peyton Manning, and Brock Osweiler is listed as probable for today’s game.

The depth is a bit less experienced behind Brady. Jimmy Garoppolo, a second-round pick by the Patriots in 2014, is the quarterback the Steelers were hoping to see in Week 1. This season he has all of four attempts, which resulted in one completion for six yards. The 2014 season, his first, featured 19 completions in 27 attempts for 182 yards. A game in which he was pitted against Cam Newton or Carson Palmer would be interesting. It’s more difficult to decide if it would be good.

But to return to the original question—assuming both QBs are available and as mobile as either of them gets at this point (although I have to say Manning leapt up off the turf in the “giving himself up” that wasn’t last week) which one would you rather see in the Super Bowl? Are you the sort of person who roots for the AFC no matter what, or would one or both of those quarterbacks send you screaming to the NFC? Or would it matter which NFC team it was?

I ask because I’m really curious. To tell the truth, I’m not sure how I feel about it. I always liked Bruce Arians, insofar as one can like someone I don’t know at all. But how ironic would it be if Arians got his next Super Bowl ring not with his buddy Ben Roethlisberger but with Carson Palmer? I don’t have many feelings one way or the other about the Panthers, other than they got Luke Kuechly, who was my BLA (Best Looking Player Available) first round pick in 2012. So I’m a little jealous, I suppose.

Well, that’s all for this essentially fact-free article. Please add your thoughts in the comment section, because I’m truly curious. In the coming weeks I’m sure I’ll begin the task of figuring out just what we’re going talk about over the off-season, but I’m not quite ready to let go of this season yet.






  • cold_old_steelers_fan

    We have entered the land of “Football is done for this season” as far as I am concerned. This time of year is the natural abode of those who read the entrails of mock drafts, FA lists and end of season rosters in an attempt to auger the best possible roster to take into training camp for new season. Who has time for other teams, populated as they are by noodle arms and cheaters?


    • Agreed with the Canuck above. But, to answer the lady’s question, I guess I’d prefer the old noodle arm to the lifetime cheater. And I’d like to see – and expect – Arians to make it to the “Big Game” with Palmer. In any case, that’s the way to bet, getting three points against a team that has had trouble holding on to a lead.


      • cold_old_steelers_fan

        I don’t like to gamble, with the exception of lottery tickets, because I can’t stand to lose.

        Lottery tickets are a form of taxation and I find our government tends to be starved of funds for things that I think are worthwhile. I think the government should hold a lottery on income tax revenue. A few lucky tax payers could have a chance to win a lot of money but you can’t win if you don’t give pay taxes (either through lack of money or because of tax breaks). Maybe paying taxes would be more popular then.


  • Game’s over. Thank God we don’t have to hear Phil Simms talk about Brady.

    Liked by 1 person

  • cold_old_steelers_fan

    I managed to watch a few minutes with my brother in-law at our in-laws place before Sunday supper. He is a Denver fan who was very grateful to not have faced AB. He also expects to see his team get thumped in the SB.


  • I would have said Manning over Brady in the SB… and I’m glad it is against Cam Newton. The only reason I would have wanted Arizona in there is for Larry Fitzgerald – one of those greats that you really root for in a championship game.

    That Denver defense… only one team pushed them around this year, and it wasn’t Carolina. I think it’ll be a tight game.

    What’s amazing to me is how easy it can be to beat New England when you have a pass rush. They only seem to have 4 passing plays, and 3 of them are crossing patterns with Edelman or Gronk. Von Miller was ridiculous yesterday.


    • My only question is, why did PIT so seldom beat him back when they had Woodley and Harrison in their prime and the LeBeau D running on all cylinders? Clearly the answer is to get to Brady, but it is one of those “easier said than done” sort of things.


      • Different Pats teams too, though. Brady had better receivers and an OL when Pittsburgh had their better defenses. Pats defense was also better.
        What’s odd to me is that it feels like the Pats are winning on reputation a lot. A lot of their opponents change what they do for the Pats, they get reactive instead of proactive. They are beaten before the coin flip. Those teams that just do what they do seem to have success more often against New England.


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