Here ye, here ye! King Prisco hath spoken. Laugh at his petulant hissy fit. Mock his grandiose sense of self worth. Pity his sorrowful Saddam Hussein imitation as he talks a big game, proves unable to defend his position and, once again, cowers like a tinpot dictator in a dust-crusted spider hole.

"Manning's better (than Brady). End of debate," was the regal proclamation from King Prisco that he e-mailed to the teeming, dirt-faced hordes at the Cold, Hard Football Facts last week, declining for the second time our request to debate the merits of Peyton Manning vs. Tom Brady. "Find some bar friends and a few beers and debate this one on your own. I have no time for this during the season."

Translation: "I need not defend my position. You are beneath me. I am too important for you." Not since Iraqi Minister of Information Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf announced that "there are no American infidels in Baghdad" have we laughed so lustily at a comedy of cowardly arrogance.

King Prisco is, of course, Pete Prisco, a football writer for CBS and an unabashed Peyton Manning buttswab. He believes the Indy quarterback is the best in the league. We respect his position, but we're intrigued by the fact that Prisco never says why Manning is the best in football. He simply issues his royal mandates from a throne of football ignorance.

The Cold, Hard Football Facts, of course, are an intellectual democracy. If we say something, you can rest assured that it will be followed by a mountain of facts. So several weeks ago we challenged Prisco to a live, online debate that even his boss thinks is a good idea. Prisco, an alleged football authority, issued his first fear-filled refusal to debate us in one of his columns last month.

The Cold, Hard Football Facts laughed when they read Prisco's first timid, limp-wristed response. So we contacted his boss, CBS Sportsline managing editor Mark Swanson, who helped the Cold, Hard Football Facts in the offseason and who has offered kind words about the site. When we talked to Swanson, he knew about our challenge to Prisco. In fact, he thinks a live online debate comparing Manning with Brady is a fine and innovative idea.

But Swanson wants to leave the decision in Prisco's hands.

So we wrote to Prisco and told him that we talked to Swanson. The full text of our e-mail exchange appears below. You've already seen his petulant response. For the second time, Prisco declined our request. For the second time, he issued his "Manning is better, end of debate" proclamation. For the second time, he failed to tell us why he believes Manning is better. For the second time, he simply issued an erroneous royal edict, like Pope Urban VIII telling Galileo that the earth is the center of the universe.

Perhaps Prisco fails to realize that every football fan wants to see this debate. Why wouldn't they? After all, Brady vs. Manning is the most compelling question in the NFL today. Even Prisco's boss wants to see it.

Unfortunately, King Prisco prefers to hide in his fortress of football ignorance, where he's safe from the dirt-faced, pitchfork-wielding peasants of pigskin truth, the Cold, Hard Football Facts.


Here's the full text of our most recent exchange with Saddam Prisco. Feel free to write him at and demand that he face the Cold, Hard Football Facts. You can also write his boss, Mark Swanson, at

--Original Message-----
From: Cold, Hard Football Facts []
Sent: Fri 11/5/2004 3:52 PM
Subject: Swanson says you should debate us

Hey Prisco,

We talked to Mark Swanson last week. He thinks it would be great if you debated the Cold, Hard Football Facts. In fact, he says our live online Brady-Manning debate is a great idea. He just doesn't want to pressure you. He knows you're busy. Hey, we're all busy. Doesn't mean we run and hide.

We get the feeling Swanson privately thinks you're a panty-waist because you refuse to debate us. He didn't say that. It's just the conclusion we drew. But let's face it, if you're afraid to stand up for your beliefs, you must be a panty-waist. Though I guess I'd be afraid, too, if I was about to be crushed by an M1A1 Abrams tank of truth called the Cold, Hard Football Facts.

- Kerry

----- Original Message -----
From: "Pete Prisco" <>
To: "Cold, Hard Football Facts" <>
Sent: Friday, November 05, 2004 5:37 PM
Subject: RE: Swanson says you should debate us

Mannng's better. End of debate. Find some bar friends and a few beers and debate this one on your own. I have no time for this during the season.