Friday, September 17, 2010

Two and a Half Men

By Tony Mangia


They met four years ago in the season opener at Giants Stadium and NFL schedule-makers will hook brothers Eli and Peyton Manning up again in 2014. The initial meeting was the first time they played against each other competitively since childhood scrums in their New Orleans backyard. That game was a coming-out party for little brother Eli and proved he could compete with All-Pro and future Hall-of-Famer Peyton.

Eli held his own but lost that first battle to the Colts 26-21. Eli has as many Super Bowls wins as Peyton (one) and this week's game is more of a team barometer than a fraternal one. It could likely prove if either team is up to playoff snuff. Both teams play in tough divisions. A Colts' concern is whether or not Peyton's ex-backup QB Jim Sorgi--now a Giants backup--could be the key to a Giant victory?

Sorgi spent six seasons in Indianapolis watching Peyton and studying his complicated playbook and defense-numbing audibles. On Sunday, the injured Sorgi will be on the Giants sideline with a chalkboard in hand and his shoulder in a sling. Tony Dungy--the Colts ex head-coach--is probably the only other person who has a more intimate knowledge of the Colts offensive attack. "I know how they play," said Sorgi, "I know what their strengths and weaknesses are, even if they don't have many." Sorgi hopes he can pass on any information to Big Blue's defensive squad.

The Giants new defensive coordinator, Perry Fewell, knows its not that simple. Fewell is pinning his hopes on Peyton's unfamiliarity with the Giants' new defensive schemes. Last December, in a meaningless game, Manning faced a Fewell defense in a Buffalo blizzard for three sets of downs. This time Peyton will probably face a dizzying array of looks and different players coming at him in a blitzing frenzy. Fewell contends that he has enough players to substitute on every down, rotate those fresh players, and wear down the Colts offensive line. The Houston Texans knocked Peyton on his back 11 times last week. He had to chuck the ball 57 times. Not your typical Peyton Manning Sunday. The Giants hope they can lay similar pressure on Manning. Every thing sounds good on paper until Peyton--and his 40 hours of watching game film-- figures it out.


The Texans ran for over 250 yards against the ragged Colts D on opening day. Nobody is chomping at the bit more than the Giants backfield tandem of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw. Both backs had lackluster opening days and something to prove. Head coach Tom Coughlin named Bradshaw the starter--something that did not sit well with the behemoth Jacobs. The soft Indianapolis defense could offer a chance for both to shine especially because of the absense of Colt safety Bob Sanders. The free-roaming Sanders, when healthy, is the most exciting defensive player in the game. Sorry Ray and Troy. Sanders' wreck less abandon on the field is what makes him great. That same self-sacrificing style is what continually lands him on the injury list.


Sexpot Reporter Flip-Flops Again!

I was, at first, disappointed with the behavior of the Jets and their locker room antics with Mexican "sports reporter" Ines Sainz but the more I see of her, the more I see another bimbo looking to make a mark on American television. First the self-proclaimed "hottest sports reporter in Mexico" said she was embarrassed by the behavior of the catcalling football team members. Then she said that the players were only joking and she wasn't offended. Now, she makes the morning talk show circuit and complains in her chipmunk English that the players were rude and retains the women's rights attorney, Nancy Allred.

Someone should tell this "ET" wannabe to stick to her bikini spreads and that other futbol. Sainz said she heard nothing sexual in the player's comments. It's called "locker room humor." It's a boy's club ritual indoctrinated in junior high gym class and you were in a men's locker room. A double standard does exist---between "real" journalists and "model/entertainer" ones. Ines, you had your fifteen minutes. Now go.

Fight of Decade Slated for 2044

Floyd Mayweather, the undefeated boxer, was charged with three more felony charges in a domestic violence case. It was alleged he threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend and beat two of their children. Mayweather took a "vacation" from boxing after defeating Shane Mosley on May 1. He has been accused of ducking the "fan's fight" with Manny Pacquiao and was previously charged with coercion and robbery and before that was already charged with domestic battery and harassment. So what did you do on your summer vacation, Money? If convicted, Mayweather could face 34 years in prison.

Yankee Switch

Don Mattingly is replacing Joe Torre as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Good luck Donnie Baseball. You'll need it. We'll see you in New York after Joe Girardi goes to the Cubs.

Red Storm Beats Pitino

St. John's University continues to lure big name recruits to Queens. JaKarr Sampson, one of the top high-school seniors in the country has made an oral agreement to play for coach Steve
Lavin in 2011-12. has rated the 6-foot-7 forward the 44th best player in the country. Sampson picked SJU over Louisville and Tennessee. Lavin continues to woo big time talent to St. John's. Four other players rated in Rivals top 100 have expressed interest in coming to New York. Finally!

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