I read the speculation about Peyton Manning's numb fingertips, and the pundits looking to time his demise so that they can say "I told you so," and just wonder what are these people going to do when, in fact, Father Time catches up with the five-time NFL MVP and his storied career.

Sports journalists have been writing about the end of Manning's career almost as much as his record-busting statistics along the way.


You can say what you want about Peyton and his brother, but the boys can deliver. They deliver on the field (3 Super Bowls, 3 Super Bowl MVPs, 17 Pro Bowl selections, etc.) but they also deliver in the entertainment field.

I'm not a fan of the DirecTV ads featuring Eli Manning, but how do you not like the Manning brothers' rap video a few years back and their Oreo commercial with the Williams sisters?

Who could forget the "SNL" skit with the slogan, "Play with your kids so Peyton Manning doesn't have to?" It's a clip about Manning playing football with a group of adolescents where among other things he drills a kid in the back with a pass, has a boy sit out his punishment in a port-a-pot, and shows the group how to break in to a car.

My favorite is when Peyton takes on the role of a fan in a MasterCard ad, and begins to chant to the everyday workers things like "Cut that meat!" and "You the man!"

It's a great example of the kind of abuse that professional athletes take on a regular basis about their performance on the field and flips it around so that Joe SportsFan gets a little bit back in return.

With this being the main season of fantasy sports with many people gathering at their local watering holes or in a friend's basement to make their picks for football or the EPL, I wonder what it would be like if we drafted normal, everyday people on to our fantasy teams and scored them by their performance in their own jobs.

My friend Dave who operates his own landscaping and lawn mowing business in Florida may get evaluated on the speed by which he cuts his grass and the quality of his trim work. He scores points by getting as many lawns done each week as possible and may have points deducted for missing a spot here and there.

When we had the deli in town, I often felt that the ladies that worked for me were under the same scrutiny professional athletes deal with on a regular basis. The pressure they felt to make things right and in a timely fashion all while customers watched their every move, only to finish their masterpiece and start on the next green slip, would rack up a massive amount of fantasy points for almost any team manager.

Bob, my Georgia buddy with a master's degree in elementary education could earn points each week by the quality of his instruction, getting each one of his students to successfully play kangaroo hop across the gym floor. Points may get deducted for the number of colored plastic balls that fall out of the parachute during gym class or if his student teacher didn't come to school on time or turn in her weekly lesson plans by the deadline.

Speaking of deadlines, I could throw my sports editor, Pat Stoetzer, under the bus for failing to make sure I make deadline each week on my column. He could score triple points every time that I get it in to him before he has to submit the page but lose points when something else gets in the way. (By now, most fantasy managers would have dropped him off their roster and I would have long ago been "canned.")

While it's more fun to play Monday morning quarterback and criticize our favorite athlete's performance each week, do you think you could survive under the same pressure that athletes face week in and week out?

And that's only the professional athletes I'm talking about. The same type of criticism is thrown toward our favorite college athletes and now it's even finding its way into high school and recreation sports. It's easy to evaluate and criticize a player but how would you fare in your job or at your chosen recreational activity under the same intense scrutiny?

When I think about the amount of criticism that is thrown at our young athletes from the sidelines it makes me think of a quote from Dale Carnegie during my sales days: "Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character to and self-control to be understanding and forgiving."

How do you stack up against that test?