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Peyton Manning Is Better Than John Unitas

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Mike Tanier of Football Outsiders wrote another one of his 'Dilemma' articles, focusing this time on who the best Colts quarterbacks of all-time were. Tanier combines the Baltimore and Indianapolis Colts in his evaluation, which leads to the inevitably difficult question (i.e., the dilemma): Who is better, Manning or Unitas?

Tanier picks Peyton Manning, and the reasons he uses to justify the pick are specific, insightful, and obvious.

I won't go into any kind of in depth analysis of the article because, when it is all said and done, Mike is, in many ways, eloquently stating what pretty much everyone and their mother knows already: Peyton is the best ever.

So is so obvious at this point that Patriots fans can't even contest it anymore without looking abjectly stupid.

Now, Mike doesn't quite go all the way to stating that Peyton is THE best, but in light of Tom Brady and Derrick Mason's recent comments, and factoring in who he is ranking Peyton ahead of, Mike is essentially calling Peyton No. 1.

Of all the words Mike wrote in his write-up, I actually think the small paragraph he posted in the the comments section of his article sums up he evaluation perfectly. I actually wish he'd add it into the main body of the article.

I picked Manning over Unitas because in every category except the magical Number of Rings we have to explain Unitas up with intangibles and explain Manning down citing situational forces. When you keep doing that, you realize that you aren't researching or evaluating, but justifying.

Replace Unitas' name with 'Brady' or 'Montana,' and the statement rings just as true.

Now, the obvious response by many people is to do exactly what Mike says they will do: Justify rather than evaluate. In fact, his statement (quoted above) is directly responding to someone who is trying to justify why Peyton isn't that good. As Colts fans, in the case of this article, it's better to just let Mike's words speak for themselves. We don't need to be doing anything to 'validate' them, or to 'prove him right.'

If idiots want to say, 'Well, Peyton plays in a dome and pads his stats,' that's not evaluating. That's justifying.

If idiots want to say, 'Well, Peyton plays in the cupcake AFC South,' that's not evaluating. That's justifying.

If idiots want to say, 'Well, Peyton only has one ring,' that's not evaluating. That's justifying.

Writing fifty paragraph, 4000 word blog posts attempting to 'justify' Mike's article makes us, as Colts fans, no different than said idiots who are justifying that Peyton isn't as good as everyone and their mother says he is. A better way to deal with said idiots is to render them irrelevant by ignoring them.

Seriously, would you take someone seriously if they walked up to you and told you Abraham Lincoln was secretly a vampire hunter hell bent on revenge for the bloodsuckers that killed his mother? No, or course not (but that would make an entertaining novel). Same with any idiot that tells you Peyton isn't the best because he blah blah blah blah...

When all is said and done, rather than trying to justify Mike's words, my suggestion is to just let them be. If what Mike wrote is 'the truth,' then it doesn't need justifying. The truth is universal. It is never subjective. And the universal truth is Peyton Manning is the best, and anyone who disagrees is, quite simply, wrong. I say this as someone who is a BIG Johnny U fan, especially after I had this conversation with a longtime Baltimore Colts fan last year.