God, If You Give Me a Son, Make Him Like You Did Peyton Manning

God, I don’t ask for much, but if I have a son I want him to be just like Peyton Manning. Here’s why.

God,

It’s me again, Corey. I don’t ask for a lot. The swimsuit issue comes to my mailbox every February and I appreciate that. I can get the NFL on my phone, which was a cool move. I’m still waiting on my HDTV and Shelby Mustang, if you could check into that please it would be nice. You brought Peyton Manning to Denver. I guess the bumper stickers are right. Sunsets are orange because you’re a Broncos fan. I know you’re busy, but I want to make a wish. I could do world peace, but I bet you get sick of hearing that one. Besides, I think Metta has that covered.

God, if you bless me with a son I want him to be just like Peyton ManningPeyton New. I don’t care if he can beat me in every sport by the time he’s out of diapers. The fact that the real Payton Manning has more money than some African countries is nice but it’s not the reason why I ask you for this. This is why:

Manning is 37 years old, and they’re already bronzing his bust in Canton. But he still prepares for every game like he’s a rookie hoping to avoid the chop. He watches more film than George Lucas. He goes into every contest like he’s Tiger Woods (at least Tiger Woods before Woods discovered how easy it is to unzip his own pants.)

Manning was born the year Jimmy Carter was elected President.  Yet he still throws footballs as hard as Justin Verlander throws fastballs. He approaches the game so cerebrally. It‘s as if he’s teaching a humanities course on football: “How to Beat the Snot Out Of Opponents 101.” Career-wise, he’s the professional football equivalent of Robert Duvall, there is not much he hasn’t done. Yet he is having maybe the greatest season in NFL history. His numbers, thus far, are as gaudy as a Saudi prince’s bank account.

He had multiple neck surgeries, around 2011, and nobody gave him a chance. They said his career was done. His own team dropped him like Leonardo DiCaprio drops supermodels. What did Manning do? Nothing. He never complained. He never said a bad word about the Colts. He never defecated on Lucas Oil Stadium. No, he just kept his head down and found a new job in Denver. Well, I’d rather live in Denver than Indianapolis any day. You know what he did before he left Indianapolis? He called the reporters who cover the Colts and thanked them for their work while he was in Indy. What? If I’m Payton Manning the only time I’d call a reporter is to order a pizza from him at his second job at Papa Johns.

When he signed with Denver, there was no fanfare. The Mother Ship didn’t produce a one-hour special on “The Decision.” No, Manning just shook John Elway’s hand and got back to work.

Did you know Peyton Manning is married? Of course you do, you’re God. I had to Google his wife. Her name’s Ashley. I couldn’t find much. Why? Because she lets her husband play football and be genuinely awesome while she enjoys her life. When Rahim Moore ruined a perfectly good Broncos season faster than Matt Millen ruined the Lions, she didn’t say a word. She definitely didn’t openly blame her husband’s teammates for the loss. (Gisele, I hope you’re taking notes?)

Speaking of that loss, the Mannings followed up one of the most devastating defeats of Peyton’s career by patiently waiting for the Ravens’ quarterback-eating Ray Lewis. They wanted to congratulate him on his impending retirement. If it were me I’d have just sent flowers…or cookies laced with ricin.

Peyton Manning is hilarious. I can’t walk into a butcher shop without chanting “cut that meat.” His performance on Saturday Night Live rivaled that of Justin Timberlake, Alec Baldwin and Christopher Walken, and Manning isn’t even an actor. His brother Eli, on Saturday Night Live was as stiff as a coffin nail. His monologue gave me a flashback to Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance in 2011. Eli’s a great guy, and I’d also love to have him as a son, but he will always be Harry to Prince William. Peyton Manning is king.

Peyton doesn’t participate in the extracurricular activities that many of his peers do. He doesn’t send dirty texts to sideline reporters. He doesn’t ride his motorcycle with the combined skill of Evil Knievel and Mr. Magoo. He doesn’t jet off to a Mexican resort for a tryst with a Hollywood starlet and then fumble footballs like a teenage boy with a bra. As far as I know, he doesn’t breed pit bulls. Peyton Manning takes care of business, and then he lives a quiet life with his family. That when he’s not giving out a Wall Street trader’s yearly salary to charity.

God, all I ask is that if you give me a son, make him like Peyton Manning. Oh…and God, one last thing. Can his mother be a swimsuit model?

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