Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Ray Of Sunshine

Okay, enough islamic terrorist related gloom and doom for now. It's a football weekend, what with the NFL playoffs Saturday and Sunday, and the collegiate national championship* Monday night.

(I've asterisked the so-called national championship because at least two teams - TCU and Baylor - who have a pretty good shot at defeating both Oregon and Ohio State were excluded from the playoff for no good reason. Both are small market schools with a small national following, compared to the football factory schools that were selected. IMO the fix was in.)

Anyway, I'm conflicted this weekend. I was raised a Cowboys fan (way back when, in the days of Tom Landry and Dandy Don Meredith), and those roots are hard to ignore. But I despise Jerry Jones. So I find myself torn between cheering for the 'Boys and rooting against that asshole Jerry. The good news is that I'll have something to celebrate no matter if they win or lose.

I really don't feel strongly about the other teams, except that I hate the Seahawks (Pete Carroll is a world-class jerk), don't care for the Jaguars (Cam Newton is a conceited prima donna), can't stand the Ravens (any organization that makes a hero out of a murderous felon - Ray Lewis - deserves nothing but scorn, and John Harbaugh is obnoxious), dislike the Patriots (Bill Belichick is a grouch, but Tom Brady is okay - and his wife is hot!), and refuse to root for the Colts because of the way they shafted Baltimore back in 1984.

That leaves three teams - the aforementioned Cowboys; their opponents this weekend, the Green Bay Packers; and the Denver Broncos.

Like I said, when it comes to the Cowboys I'm ambivalent. I like the Packers. Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy seem like decent, honorable people worthy of respect and admiration. But I'll be pulling for the Denver Broncos to win it all, for one simple reason.

Peyton Manning.

Woman's Letter to Peyton Manning Results in Surprise Call
A woman in Alaska sent a letter to legendary NFL quarterback Peyton Manning and never expected what would happen three months later, when she received a phone call from police.

The IndyStar reports that Indiana native Kristen Patterson penned a letter to Manning on September 21 on behalf of her husband, Army Sgt. Ryan Patterson, asking the star quarterback if there was any way he would be willing to meet Ryan. Her letter stood out to Manning, but she forgot to leave contact information, and with the couple living in North Pole, Alaska, it took Manning three months to finally track them down.

Patterson’s letter read:
Dear Mr. Manning,

My name is Kristen Patterson. I am writing to ask a question. You see my husband is a HUGE fan, and when I say HUGE I mean it. He is currently serving our country in the United States Army and has deployed twice to Afghanistan. He would set alarms to wake up at odd hours in the night just to listen to your football games. We recently had to move across the country for the Army and he tried to get us stationed in Colorado just so he could ensure that he would never miss your games.

We will be attending the Bengals vs. Broncos game on December 22, 2014, while home for the holidays, and it would mean so much to my husband if you might be able to find the time to just even say hello, not to mention it would make me to coolest wife ever of all time. I know you are a busy man, and if you can’t, it will be ok. I just thought I might ask in the rare chance that you might agree to this.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.


Kristen Patterson
Manning was so touched after reading the letter that he had his public relations team find out how to get in touch with Patterson. Three months later, she received a call from the Alaska State Troopers.

“When I got a call from (an Alaska) State Trooper they asked if I wrote a letter to Peyton Manning,” Patterson said, according to 9News. She added that she was initially confused by the call, which Manning had arranged for the police to make to help keep the meeting a secret from her husband.

“They said the Denver Broncos were trying to get a hold of me,” she continued. “When I sent it, you never know if someone is going to read it or if it is going to be tossed in a pile. So I thought they never read it, no big deal.”

After getting off the phone, Patterson told her husband that it was about a police dog demonstration at the school where she works to help continue the secret. She was able to keep her husband in the dark about it until they arrived in Cincinnati at the Broncos team hotel on December 21.

“I was trying to keep it as a surprise, but I’m a horrible liar and I couldn’t think of a reason why we would be going to a hotel,” she said. “It would have been really hard to keep it (a secret), plus he needed time to process everything.”

Not all was lost, however, as Ryan just thought they would be doing the typical meet-and-greet in the hotel lobby with the rest of the fans who had gathered. However, much to Ryan’s surprise, the Pattersons were escorted up an escalator to a private conference room.

“The team’s flight was delayed, so I was pacing the room like I was expecting a child. I saw (Manning) come up the escalator and my first reaction was he is at least 15 feet tall, if not taller,” Ryan said. He added that Manning introduced himself and played with Patterson’s young daughter for a moment or so, then thanked him for his service. The family also took pictures with Manning, and he gave Ryan a signed football.

Ryan and his wife said that Manning was personable, approachable, and most importantly, genuine. “He seemed genuinely tickled that we lived in North Pole, Alaska. He said, ‘You guys are really hard to find,'” Ryan said.

Manning shook Ryan’s hand and again thanked him for his service. In return, Ryan thanked Manning for being his quarterback.

As for the couple, it seems as if meeting one of the greatest quarterbacks in the history of the NFL isn’t something they’ll soon forget.

“(Kristen) enjoyed the fact that she is the greatest wife ever and there was nothing I could ever do to top this,” Ryan said. “If you asked me who is the one person, anybody in the world, I want to meet, I would immediately say Peyton Manning and she made that happen.”

Peyton Manning has always been a class act, but to see him go to such great lengths in order to make a soldier’s dream come true is awesome and refreshing.
Class act, indeed.

Peyton Manning with the Pattersons


Well Seasoned Fool said...

Seahawk fan here. Have disliked the Broncos going back to the 60's when I worked security/crowd control/drunk ejector at the Bronco games. That said, I think Peyton Manning is a class act, and I admire him as a player. Elway should take notes.

Randy said...

I have the exact same cowboys roots. I have given them up, just can't take anymore of Jones. In fact I don't watch pro football at all since I can't cheer the cowboys. Only indulge in college football now.

Old NFO said...

I'm pretty much in agreement on ALL of your post. And yes, Manning IS a class act!

Bag Blog said...

Being a Texas girl, I did grow up around lots of football. You know the usual - Friday night lights, Cowboys fan, Dad did some coaching, family reunions at A&M games, etc. But I never really thought I was a crazed fan or anything. Then we saw Jim Kelly play in a USFL exhibition game in McAllen, TX. Later that evening, we went over to Reyenosa to eat and ran into some football players. I squealed like a girl. Who'd a thought I would do such a thing. My husband was horrified. Jim Kelly was my hero after that. Now Peyton is my fav. I would probably squeal if I saw him.

CenTexTim said...

WSF - I don't know much about Elway, but it sounds like you're not a fan. Since you're from the area, and he's in the car business like you, I'll defer to your judgement.

Randy - there's not much difference anymore between the big colleges and the NFL. The money has gotten huge...

NFO - great minds think alike... :-)

BB - I was a big Jim Kelly fan back in the day, but I never squealed...

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Word on Elway is he has never picked up a check. I've been around him a few times at car auctions and shows. Never talked to him, or wanted to. He always seemed to have a "posse" surrounding him.

Bear said...

I've always been a Manning fan (Peyton, not that walking, whining labia Eli). I also have family close to Green Bay and have appreciated the way the Pack goes about their business. I'm okay with either of those teams winning.

As an Eagles fan, I can only wish that the fleas of a thousand camels will infest the jock straps of the entire Cowboys organization, foremost with that asshat Jerry Jones. I seriously about threw up after watching Chris Christie hump his leg after last week's win.

CenTexTim said...

WSF - I'm not surprised at the posse. He's still a hero to a lot of fans there.

Bear - I agree with your comments regarding Jones and Christie. But the Eagles? Really...?!? I can live with the Steelers, but the Philadelphia frggin' Eagles?

Check out this link.

CenTexTim said...

Bear said...

Ouch. Mostly true, but ouch.

If it makes you feel better, I'm not a die-hard... mighta watched four games this season. Besides, I take more pleasure out of a Steelers or Cowboys loss than I do an Eagles win.