NFL Soup makes a great point: no one knows more about emerging from Peyton’s shadow that little brother and two-time champ Eli Manning.
First love and history aside, Andrew Luck’s best bet to successfully follow the Peyton-era is to take a few pointers from Eli Manning. No one knows the cool shadow that Peyton casts better than Eli. No one has endured the comparisons more than Eli. And no one has escaped such a shade quite like Eli.
When the Giants traded for Eli during the 2004 NFL Draft, fans expected to see Peyton 2.0 on the field. Such was not the case, and the younger brother heard it from the fans and media alike. Names like “Eli The Terrible” followed him around as the demands of the New York media were not met. But Eli ignored it. He steeled himself against his detractors and just played football. Two stunning Super Bowl runs later, and Eli is now titled “Elite.” A young Luck would be wise to imitate that kind of resolve and thick-skin, even if the Indianapolis media isn’t quite as harsh as in the Big Apple. Andrew Luck will never be Peyton Manning, and if he tries to be, to appease the fans, he will certainly fail to become Andrew Luck.