RIVALRY!!! SHOWDOWN!!! Photo: US PRESSWIRE
We made fun of this shirt last week because it's... well, it's dumb. Skip Bayless dumb. So, dumb it insults just your intelligence. Like someone telling you the $315 Nike sneakers blessed by LeBron James are a "steal."
The invented RIVALRY! between Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck is there solely for people to sell shirts, shoes, and other useless crap you don't need. It's to get you ANGRY! much the same way Peyton Manning fans (in general) have a dislike for Tom Brady, and vice versa.
The difference between the Manning-Brady rivalry and this Luck-RG3 SHOWDOWN! is, well, games played.
Tom Brady's Patriots and the Colts teams under the direction of Peyton Manning played against each other thirteen times over an eleven year period. For one of those years (2001), they were in the same division together, back when the Colts were still chained to the AFC East. Of those eleven match-ups, three were playoffs games. Two of those were conference championships (2003 and 2006).
That's a long, deep rivalry that has its roots in what matters most: Games. However, tee shirt makers don't have the time to wait for players like Luck and RG3 to actually, you know, play meaningful games against each other over an eleven year span.
Thus, we have manufactured SHOWDOWNS! like this.
Really, at the end of the day, the old Patriots v. Colts rivalry wasn't between Brady and Manning. It was between Manning and coach Bill Belichick. Brady is simply not as good as Peyton. I'm sure a few dittoheads will point to Brady's three rings as proof otherwise, which will force us to get into an even more useless argument on how rings do not mean a certain player is better than another who does not have as many. Eli Manning (2) is not a better QB than Dan Marino (0). Ben Roethlisberger (2) does not outshine Fran Tarkenton (0). Terry Bradshaw (4) does not eclipse Tom Brady (3) or Peyton Manning (1).
Belichick v. Manning was always the real rivalry, mainly because Belichick coached and ran the Patriots defense (the area the Pats were built to win around) while Peyton essentially coached and ran the offense (the Colts bread and butter). Brady was pretty much along for the ride just as the Colts defense under one-time coach Tony Dungy was. Oh sure, they were a significant part of it, but not the heart. Not the red meat.
Belichick v. Manning. That's the stuff!
If Luck v. RG3 is ever to become a real rivalry, it has to be something that matters to the all-important standings. That's a tall order considering both play in different conferences. Non-division and non-conference NFL games simply aren't that critical during the regular season. Come playoff time, the only game they could possible face each other in is that little contest they hold in February.
Not a lot of opportunity for RIVALRY!
If Luck had been drafted by, say, the St. Louis Rams, or the Cleveland Browns had gotten their heads out of their butts, not fallen asleep at the trading wheel, and made the moves necessary to get RG3, then we might have something. With Luck in the AFC and RG3 in the NFC, it's a bit trickier.
Oh sure! It makes sense to compare the accomplishments of both men. One guy went No. 1 overall, and the other No. 2. Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf are still compared even though Manning is a lock for the Hall of Fame while Leaf is just locked up. However, just because the two men are compared doesn't mean there is a RIVALRY! Maybe if we see these guys play in a few Super Bowls against each other, we got something. Even in that case, Luck is not playing "against" RG3, unless the Redskins plan to have the former Baylor phenom line up at corner (a position Griffin is, amazingly, athletic enough to play).
When the two play on Saturday in Washington, Luck will face-off against Jim Haslett's defense while RG3 takes on Greg Manusky's new hybrid, 3-4 scheme for the Colts. Tough to sell tee shirts with that, but it's the truth of this SHOWDOWN!