It took the greatest first five years by a quarterback in the history of the NFL, but uber-hack Pete Prisco of CBS Sportsline finally admitted what the Cold, Hard Football Facts learned on a snowy night in January, 2002 and what was obvious to most people with at least one eye and a couple functioning synapses – Tom Brady is a very rare and special quarterback. Gee, do you think, Petey?
In his most recent piece on CBS Sportsline.com, his list of the Top 50 players in the NFL, Prisco admitted that he's been wrong about Brady all along and that he was wrong when he failed, quite comically, to include Brady two years ago in his 2003 list of the Top 50 players in football.
Prisco states his case with some very solid numbers, perhaps for the first time in his career (nice to see that he, like the Boston Globe's Ron Borges, is taking a cue from our more advanced form of pigskin analysis and using Cold, Hard Football Facts to support his claims). Brady, for example, "had a passer rating of 113.2 when his team was behind last season, which is 20 points higher than his overall rating of 92.6. Amazing."
Yes, it is. But it's not as amazing as the fact that Prisco continues to have a job in which he purports to know about football.
Brady now holds the No. 2 spot on Prisco's list of the top 50 players in the NFL. That's certainly reasonable – except for one glaring, horrifying error: He continues to insist that Peyton Manning is a better quarterback than Brady. Prisco continues, in other words, to contradict science, reason and decency by insisting that the Earth is flat.
Manning has appeared in the top spot on Prisco's list each of the past two seasons. Not so coincidentally, Manning ended each of the past two seasons by playing his very worst football in the postseason. It is, of course, one of the surest bets in football: Manning will play his worst when his team needs him most.
There is only one conclusion a human can draw from this pigskin paradox: Prisco does not watch postseason football. At the very least, he ignores the performances of players in postseason football, preferring to focus instead on games played in October.
In typical Prisco fashion, he makes a limp, factless defense of his position, writing only that Manning "had an amazing season in 2004, solidifying his spot here at the top. Now he has to win a Super Bowl." That's it. Not a single fact.
We've been over this ground so many times, it's not worth getting into here. Suffice it to say, Prisco has NEVER offered a single fact to explain why Manning is a better quarterback than Brady. Not once.
We, on the other hand, have given the world "The Complete & Unabridged Guide to Why Brady is Better than Manning" – the most critically acclaimed and fact-filled player comparison in the history of sportswriting. (By the way, we'll be updating the "Complete & Unabridged Guide" before the start of the new season to include final 2004-05 data. This new guide, of course, will capture Manning's latest postseason implosion and Brady's latest record-setting march to Super Bowl victory.)
Prisco's inability to mount a defense of his boy is stunning in its grandiose failure. The French army had more dignity marching back from Moscow in 1812 or succumbing to the Germans in a matter of days in 1940. We've asked Prisco to discuss the issue with us in a public forum, a no-facts-barred, Texas steelcage death debate.
Prisco publicly refused to debate us on the Web. He also refused to debate us on the radio. Last season, Prisco appeared on sports radio WEEI in Boston. Producer Rich Teter contacted us at the time, to see if we'd come on the air to debate Prisco. The debate never materialized because, our spy trolls tell us, Prisco refused.
Quite frankly, he knows that we'll crush him. He's afraid. He's wrong. And he can't justify putting at the top of his list a player who continually plays his worst football in the postseason. Prisco has never even attempted to excuse Manning's postseason performances. Because, of course, there is no excuse.
Of course, we didn't need Prisco's most recent admission to realize that he has no idea what he's talking about. In fact, we have a simple rule around here. If you think Manning is a better quarterback than Brady, then you're a factless hack blinded by hype and limping through life devoid of the Cold, Hard Football Facts. Prisco thinks Manning is a better quarterback than Brady. Ergo, well...you can do the math.