Peyton Manning, Doug Brien, Joshua Errett. All three neglected to show up while their reputations were on the line. All three were faced with daunting tasks and failed to come through when their teams put the game in their hands. All three possibly solidified their place in sporting history, not for triumph, but collapse.
Reigning back-to-back MVP Peyton Manning completed another kind of back-to-back accomplishment Sunday afternoon. With fifty-three touchdowns going into yesterday’s game, Manning fell to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots for the second straight year, managing to score merely three points on the day. The echo of last year is imminent. In what was dubbed a “career defining” game, it was Brady who instead may have stamped his legend on football folklore. The two-time Superbowl MVP outplayed the storied Manning for the second straight season. If the Patriots proceed to win their third championship in four years, they will forever be recognized as one of their sport’s greatest franchises, leaving the public to once again question Peyton’s accomplishments.
In the other AFC Divisional Game, it was one man’s foot that determined the makeup of next week’s Championship game. New York Jets kicker Doug Brien missed two field goals in the dying minutes of Saturday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers. In what was sure to be an unprecedented upset, Brien’s futility allowed the 15-1 Steelers to squeeze into overtime, where it was only fitting that their kicker – Jeff Reed – win the game doing what his opponent found so tough to accomplish. The Steelers now prepare to host the defending champions this coming Sunday.
Torontoist co-editor Joshua Errett also felt the cold hand of defeat this past Saturday night and, in doing so, purged himself of an additional twenty dollars. In what was seen as an utter collapse, Errett’s Chicago Blackhawks blew a 3-1 series lead, only to be shutout by the Detroit Redwings in the Sega Genesis best-of-seven decider. It was Errett’s second attempt of the evening to de-thrown NHL’95 Supreme Grand Master Adrian Ercolani. The one-time Microplay EASports NHL’95 champion found little trouble in beating Ed Belfour and retaining his title. Rumor has it that Errett will be spending the week panhandling to finance his addiction. Do not expect a Mixtape this Wednesday, as he will probably be busy mastering the three button controller.