You Can Break His Record but Not His Spirit


Over time— and yes, I’m shamelessly using the name of my blog to introduce this segment – it’s likely that every existing pro football career record will fall. Don Shula’s career coaching record might be the toughest to topple, but surely somewhere there is a young coach just waiting in the wings. But he’ll have to win a heck of a lot of games and coach a really long time to do so. But barring a losing record, coaching burnout, or an impatient owner, it is possible. But it’s not Shula “for whom the bell tolls” today, to quote Hemingway, but rather Peyton Manning.

I know there’s a lot of chatter out there about last Sunday’s game and how it’s too bad that Manning’s latest record came in a game where a football Superman looked merely mortal. Well, as you might expect, I have a different take on this.

A career record, whether it’s Shula’s career wins or Manning’s passing yardage mark, are the cumulative result of many wins and many yards passing. Sure when a career record falls there’s a specific moment in time when the pre-existing milestone is surpassed.  But when that happens what we’re really witnessing and hopefully celebrating is the completion of a long and arduous journey to that moment. As I tweeted from Denver when Manning eclipsed Brett Favre’s record on Sunday, it’s not about a play, a game or even a season, it’s about a remarkable Hall of Fame career.

Now, would it have been a better day for Peyton and his legion of fans, of which you can count me as one, if the Broncos had won? Sure, but here too, I have a different take. Peyton’s performance on Sunday should be remembered for what it really was. It was a gutsy demonstration of his tenacity and burning desire to win. Let’s face it, if you or I had a tear in our plantar fascia (I looked it up…it’s painful), we’d likely be home on the couch, with our leg elevated or wrapped with an ice bag, not running around dodging 320-pound defensive linemen. It was also one more example of Peyton’s character and proof that there is in fact an eternal flame that burns within his soul that makes him want to win again and again.


Let me also offer this. When you come to Canton, and I hope you do, and you look upon the football that Manning threw for his most recent record, remember this; that football doesn’t represent just that singular moment. It represents thousands of hours of hard work and preparation. It represents all of the players and coaches who were a part of his success. And it represents a lifetime of support from his family and friends.

And finally, although I’m certain that someday all of Manning’s amazing records will be broken; I can assure you, the competitive spirit of this remarkable athlete will never be broken. That’s forever.

Super Bowl Rematch Update

Each week in my blog, I update the results of the Super Bowl rematches taken place throughout the season leading up to Super Bowl 50. Here they are through Week 10.

1 Sept. 13 Miami at Washington SB VII - Miami 14, Washington 7; XVII - Washington 27, Miami 17 Miami, 17 at Washington, 10
2 Sept. 21 New York Jets at Indianapolis SB III - New York Jets 16, Baltimore 7 New York Jets, 20 at Indianapolis, 7
3 Sept. 27 Pittsburgh at St. Louis SB XIV - Pittsburgh 31, Los Angeles 19 Pittsburgh, 12 at St. Louis Rams, 6
3 Sept. 28 Kansas City at Green Bay SB I - Green Bay 35, Kansas City 10 Kansas City, 28 at Green Bay, 38
4 Oct. 4 New York Giants at Buffalo SB XXV - New York Giants 20, Buffalo 19 New York Giants, 24 at Buffalo, 10
6 Oct. 18 Baltimore at San Francisco SB XLVII - Baltimore 34, San Francisco 31 Baltimore, 20 at San Francisco, 25
6 Oct. 18 Arizona at Pittsburgh SB XLIII - Pittsburgh 27, Arizona 23 Arizona, 13 at Pittsburgh, 25
6 Oct. 18 Kansas City at Minnesota SB IV - Kansas City 23, Minnesota 7 Kansas City, 10 at Minnesota, 16
7 Oct. 25 New Orleans at Indianapolis SB XLIV - New Orleans 31, Indianapolis 17 New Orleans, 27 at Indianapolis, 21
8 Nov. 1 Green Bay at Denver SB XXXII - Denver 31, Green Bay 24 Green Bay, 10 at Denver, 29
10 Nov. 15 Minnesota at Oakland SB XI - Oakland 32, Minnesota 14 Minnesota, 30 at Oakland, 14
10 Nov. 15 New England at New York Giants SB XLII - New York Giants 17, New England 14; XLVI - New York Giants 21, New England 17 New England, 27 at New York Giants, 26
11 Nov. 22 Dallas at Miami SB VI - Dallas 24, Miami 3 TBD
12 Nov. 29 Pittsburgh at Seattle SB XL - Pittsburgh 21, Seattle 10 TBD
13 Dec. 6 Philadelphia at New England SB XXXIX - New England 24, Philadelphia 21 TBD
15 Dec. 20 Buffalo at Washington SB XXVI - Washington 37, Buffalo 24 TBD
15 Dec. 20 Green Bay at Oakland SB II - Green Bay 33, Oakland 14 TBD
15 Dec. 20 Cincinnati at San Francisco SB XVI - San Francisco 26, Cincinnati 21; XXIII - San Francisco 20, Cincinnati 16 TBD
16 Dec. 27 Dallas at Buffalo SB XXVII - Dallas 52, Buffalo 17; XXVIII - Dallas 30, Buffalo 13 TBD

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Written by: Joe Horrigan