FanPost

Manning as Beowulf, Ryan as Grendel

I've been thinking about the Colts-Jets games in terms of Beowulf recently (I'm an English teacher) and have concluded (from my biased point of view) that Peyton can be seen as a Beowulf, Rex Ryan as a Grendel (and also as an Unferth, the bullying warrior who challenges Beowulf when he shows up at the court of King Hrothgar).  Both Grendel and Unferth rely on intimidation tactics, creating a dark aura that intimidates everyone who steps up.  As a result, Grendel especially seems 10 feet tall and impossible to subdue (warrior swords can't bring him down).  Ryan has monstrous proportions as well. 

Beowulf's strength lies partly in his ability to cooly assess a situation, figure out the most effective response, and then step up to the challenge.  In his fight with Grendel he looks at how the fight will unfold (the way Peyton will test out the other team in the first couple of sets of downs), then lets the fight come to him (think of it as a Jets blitz), and then uses the weapon he has, his mighty arm, to seize Grendel.  Grendel feels Beowulf's strength and the confidence, panics, and ultimately tears himself free of his arm to escape.  (Think of this as a team falling apart under Peyton's relentless pressure.)

Of course, Ryan is more good-humored than Grendel and in fact has been cast as the epic hero by Jets fans, the brash young warrior brandishing his sword in face of the imperious Colts.  But as a Colts fan, I can't allow this reading.

I muse further on this subject in my literature and life website at www.betterlivingthroughbeowulf.com/?p=2327 if you're interested.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Stampede Blue's writers or editors.

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