Jeff Gravley

Torn between two Super Bowl quarterbacks

Posted January 30
Updated January 31

You may have seen, or soon will see, my Super Bowl pick somewhere on this website. I'm taking the Broncos 21-14. 

Ask me who I would LIKE to see win and I have a more difficult time. I'm not a fan of either team but I do have an interest in several of the players – two in particular. 

Having played quarterback in high school (Al Bundy reflection) my interest immediately gravitates toward the quarterbacks. There is not a more difficult position to play, with so much responsibility, in any other sport. Win-loss records in football are kept for teams, coaches and quarterbacks.

It's difficult for me to pick which quarterback I would like to see lift the Lombardi while the other one tries to get off the field before drowning in celebratory confetti.

Russell Wilson or Peyton Manning?? I have thoughts on both.

First of all, I have been a Peyton fan since he slung it at Tennessee. I like how he respects the game, prepares for it and makes last second changes once the action begins. He is a man of great character and compassion. Just read the story Mandy Mitchell did on a young Wake Forest cancer survivor, Harrison McKinion, who made a promise with Peyton when Manning was going through neck surgery and uncertainty of his future. 

The man who brought Manning and McKinion together was Duke coach David Cutcliffe. To be sure you know that Cutcliffe was Peyton's position coach at Tennessee. And if David Cutcliffe thinks you're a good person, you're a great person. 

Peyton Manning has won one Super Bowl. You hear chirping that he needs to win another one to solidify his position as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. PHUULEEZZ!! That's a bag of flaming hot sshh...stuff. Stomp on that paper bag!!

He doesn't have to win another Super Bowl to be on my list of top 5 quarterbacks who have ever taken a snap.

So a lot of what was said about Peyton Manning can be applied to Russell Wilson. Respects the game, prepares for it and is a man of great character and compassion. Just take a look at this video that the young patients at Seattle Children's Hospital put together. It's a thank-you for Russell and his wife Ashton for visiting them every Tuesday, come rain, shine, win or loss. 

I have a more personal investment in Russell having covered him when he played football and baseball at NC State. Head baseball coach Elliott Avent played a major role in bringing Wilson to NC State and he raves about him. And if Elliott Avent thinks you are a good person, you're a great person. 

Russell was a little guarded in his interviews at NC State but has since blossomed into a charismatic and engaging interview. During his Wolfpack days, I saw Wilson and his future wife at a restaurant near NC State. He said he wanted to come by WRAL because he was interested in sports broadcasting. We never got to connect before he transferred to Wisconsin. Hey Russ, feel free to swing by WRAL the next time you're in town! I think he would be OUTSTANDING as a football analyst. 

Since Peyton already has a ring, I'm leaning toward Russell to win on Sunday. It would be another chapter in the book of doubt. Former NFL coach Brian Billick said he was in the room at the combine when it was announced that Russell Wilson was 5-10 and a quarter. "You could hear the groans," Billick said. Seattle decided to take a chance and boy has it payed off.

I hope Russell Wilson can celebrate this Super Bowl championship and point to the sky to a man who never doubted Russell, his late father, Harrison. He was strong father-figure who taught his son work ethic, leadership, preparation, how to win with dignity and lose with class.

Just like Peyton Manning's dad did. 

15 Comments

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • basslisa66 Jan 31, 6:25 p.m.

    Hosting my 1st Super Bowl party EVER and actually watching the game not for the commercials but for my former student, Russell Wilson. I taught him music in 5th and 6th grade at Collegiate School in Richmond. We Cougars are SO proud of him!

  • jlan4926 Jan 31, 11:57 a.m.

    very well written story, Jeff.

  • Toddler10-21 Jan 31, 9:55 a.m.

    Yeah I know Montana already won one but so has Peyton. Sure Russell has more chances, but he may never get back to the super bowl. Also PeytPeyton is going to play next year. Just waiting for the excuses if PEYTON doesn't win.

  • Hammerhead Jan 31, 9:35 a.m.

    Don't forget guys what happened to the great Dan Marino. Made it to the superbowl his rookie... View More

    — Posted by Toddler10-21

    Montana already had one ring when he faced Marino.

  • kdhmoss Jan 31, 8:23 a.m.

    I wouldn't mind if Seattle won, but I am pulling for the Broncos. Russell Wilson will have many more chances to lift the trophy. This could be Peyton's last shot at it!!

  • jcd241959 Jan 31, 8:17 a.m.

    Hope for a great SB. Kinda pulling for Peyton in this one though.

  • Super Hans Jan 31, 7:40 a.m.

    That's a bag of flaming hot sshh...stuff.

    That would be enough to get someone banned from posting on WRAL.

  • BB5 Jan 31, 7:36 a.m.

    Don't forget guys what happened to the great Dan Marino. Made it to the superbowl his rookie... View More

    — Posted by Toddler10-21

    You guess right.....lol

  • Gunnstigator Jan 31, 6:53 a.m.

    Don't forget guys what happened to the great Dan Marino. Made it to the superbowl his rookie... View More

    — Posted by Toddler10-21

    You bring up a very good point about it not being guaranteed that RW will ever get another shot at winning a SB.

    You're right about the NFC - conference is loaded. Sherman probably did turn people off, but there is another side of him that is completely different than his rant.

  • Toddler10-21 Jan 31, 5:33 a.m.

    Don't forget guys what happened to the great Dan Marino. Made it to the superbowl his rookie year and everyone was pulling for Montana. Marino never made it back. Fans said the same, "he has plenty of time to make it back". Peyton may win this year but will you pull for him if he makes it back next which could happen? It would be a shame if Russell doesn't make it back. Packers,Niners, Panthers, Saints will all be back in the crowded NFC. I guess Sherman has turned some against the Hawks? LOL. Go Hawks!

More...

 

 

  • NASL: RailHawks vs. Ft. Lauderdale

    Today at 7:30 am on WRAL-2

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Today at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MLB: Atlanta Braves at NY Mets

    Tonight at 7:05 on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox

    Tomorrow at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 0
DUR 3
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
Final
CHC 1
CIN 4
Final
PIT 3
MIL 5
Final
WAS 3
STL 1
Final
CLE 2
TOR 3
Final
DET 6
ANA 11
Final
NYM 0
ATL 6
Final
BOS 4
BAL 8
Final
TAM 11
NYY 5
Final
MIA 8
SEA 4
Final
TEX 12
CWS 0
Final
KAN 5
MIN 0
Final
COL 12
PHI 1
Final
OAK 11
HOU 3
Final
LOS 2
ARI 4
Final
SDP 2
SFG 1
1:05pm Today
WAS
STL
 
1:05pm Today
CLE
TOR
 
1:08pm Today
DET
ANA
 
1:35pm Today
BOS
BAL
 
2:10pm Today
KAN
MIN
 
2:20pm Today
CHC
CIN
 
4:05pm Today
OAK
HOU
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
ATL
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
SEA
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
CWS
 
8:10pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
 
8:10pm Tonight
COL
PHI
 
8:40pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
 
12:30pm Today
TOR
BRK
3:30pm Today
LAC
GSW
7:00pm Tonight
IND
ATL
9:30pm Tonight
OKC
MEM
Final
TAM 1
MON 4
Final
BOS 0
DET 1
Final
ANA 3
DAL 2
3:00pm Today
STL
CHI
7:00pm Tonight
PIT
CLB
9:30pm Tonight
COL
MIN
Final
NOR 0
DUR 3
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR