Both Mannings were No. 1 overall draft picks. Both quarterbacks are serving more fortuitous careers than that of their father Archie. Both brothers licked the pigskin off of heaping piles of Oreos. Considering how much Peyton and Eli share, why constantly prod this sibling rivalry?
Of course, there's no denying that there is a sibling rivalry. Why would a rookie Eli righteously demand to be traded to the other conference merely a few minutes after being selected by San Diego and enduring Ryan Leaf comparisons? How come the greatest signal caller without a neck settled for Denver instead of earning Dan Snyder money or waiting for Michael Vick to break his collarbone (heh, dog joke)? They do not want to play each other! They don't wish to compete and tear the family apart. Poor Cooper is bawling his eyes out in the corner from the guilt of placing bounties on his younger kinfolk, because negative attention is apparently better than none at all.
There is only one platform that can sack this charming animosity once and for all. While Eli sports more rings and fourth-quarter comebacks, and Peyton has stockpiled passing statistics, MVPs, and commercial endorsements, no box scores or accolades can heal the scars of childhood. Laughter is the best medicine. Now where do we usually find laughter? No, that's not what I meant - the Pro Bowl has been suspended indefinitely.
Saturday Night Live
tends to be exceedingly hit-or-miss depending on the viewership's humor any given weekend. These Manning athletes were up to the challenge of hosting regardless, and last night was Eli's turn. Did Peyton's schoolyard reputation uphold, or is there a new ruler of the jungle gym? Live from New York, it's a Saturday Night Decathlon!
1. Opening Monologues:
What Eli lacked in Peyton's stage presence, he made up for in actual jokes. Homefield advantage leads to an Lawrence Tynes field goal on the opening drive.
2. United Way vs. Little Brothers
This is without a doubt the
sketch everyone remembers from the 2007 episode (aside from the personal favorite Dora the Explorer parody). Leave it to Peyton to orchestrate a winning commercial while pummeling children.
3. Bronx Beat vs. Helga Lately!
It mostly wasn't zookeeper Peyton's fault that Amy Poehler and Maya Rudolph hogged the rather flat segment, whereas I had absolutely know idea what the hergenschpergen was going in the Swedish piece, but extra points for any and all Muppet references.
4. 300 vs. Bananagram Murder Trial:
This was Eli's best scene of the evening in which he wasn't a sports-related character or himself...except he was himself...his comedic self anyway...you up? ;p
5. Tournament Pool Party vs. Madden Motion Capture
There is always the one roastful sketch that heats up the professional athlete as the SNL ensemble forces them to encounter their (in Peyton's case) anti-clutch flaws head on. Then there are those when the players truly immerse themselves in self ridicule, so kudos to Eli for eating a mock sandwich off the floor. This was looking like a blowout early...
6. Penelope vs. WXPD News
These were the respective sketches where the hosts were consumed by a highlighted cast member, and thanks for the visit, Herb, but we all yearn for a Coors Light Twin of Kristin Wiig.
7. Halftime Shows - Carrie Underwood vs. Rihanna:
The talented American Idol
winner provided a straightforward performance of her music in the same classy fashion we've grown accustomed to over several of the last few Februarys. Rihanna, on the other hand, adorned spider webs and a patented twa...erm, "pelvic" tap. Janet Jackson was taking notes for her revival, but Eli might be distracted heading into the second half.
8. Halftime Pep Talk vs. What is This?:
Peyton Manning rescues the skit...by dancing. What is this, indeed.
9. Sunday Night Coffee vs. Illusions:
The pivotal climax of the matchup: Peyton delivers dry humor with poise and Eli does the exact opposite - drag pageantry. Which brother is supposed to be the fourth quarter wizard, again?
10. Mercedes 500 vs. The Essentials:
Peyton tosses the dagger with another commercial and Eli lies there like a wet blanket, completely stunned.
I was not prepared for overtime at 1:00 A.M. Both Mannings were inconsistent in evading the pressure of utter awkwardness and they each hailed a handful of brilliant touchdown passes...screw brotherly love and sportsmanship - Eli's Lombardi Trophies outnumber those of Peyton and Justin Timberlake combined, and he had to try harder. Here's to two ultimately average stints of my life.
Hopefully all of the clips are posted online by now so you can judge for yourself and let us know, but if there is any consolation, Tom Brady was the fourth most elite quarterback being talked about throughout the NFL last Saturday night. Tim Tebow shall be hosting SNL in due course.