OT: Another Priceless Pep Talk just for Eli
Time for another of those priceless pep talks:
"Hey there, little brother. How you holdin' up? Butterflies doin' crossing routes in your gut? Figured as much.
"Don't worry. The same thing happened to me the first time I played in a conference championship game. Something about being that close to a Super Bowl just freaks us Mannings out.
"Of course, the weather didn't help either. Can you believe that was four years ago when I went to New England and got cuffed around in the snow? My Colts lost that one 24-14, and my quarterback rating (35.5) was almost as low as the temperature.
"I hear it's supposed to be pretty cold up there in northeast Wisconsin tonight, too. Keep hearing talk about sub-zero temps and a wind-chill that might rival the famed Ice Bowl back in '67.
"But hey, look at the bright side. The colder the weather, the easier it will be for you to keep that QB rating above the kickoff temperature.
"Oh, sorry. I know you don't like to hear much about those stupid ratings. I don't either, but at least I get to play half my games in a dome. You have to deal with the Elias Sports Bureau going around telling everybody you have a QB rating under 60 when the temperature drops to 39 degrees or below.
"You say you won't wear a glove on your throwing hand, having never done it before. But you might want to keep a pair of those bad boys handy just in case.
"Enough about the weather. Let's talk history. I made a little of my own a year ago when my Colts won the Super Bowl down in rainy South Florida. Now it's your turn.
"All it's going to take is two more victories over a couple of Hall of Fame quarterbacks in Brett Favre and, more than likely, Tom Brady. Can't worry about Brady just yet, but getting past Favre isn't impossible, trust me. He's due for one of those four-pick clunkers.
"You just keep doing what you're doing. I saw your last two games when you guided those underdog Giants to playoff wins on the road. I saw how you beat the blitz by getting rid of the ball quick and letting your speedy receivers do the rest.
"That little curl to Amani Toomer on your first drive in Dallas? Awesome. You stayed upright and watched him run the final 42 yards to the end zone.
"Looks like you're finally getting it, little bro. There's no need to try to prove to the world you're as good as me. Don't know how to say this gently, so I won't even try, but you should know the score by now, Eli.
"Just look at all the trouble you got into your first three years trying to show you have the same rocket arm as ol' No. 18 here. And when it comes to changing plays at the line, let's just stick with what offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride sends in. The guy knows how to run an offense, which is more than I can say for a certain blood relative of mine.
"What's that? You thought this was supposed to be one of my priceless pep talks? Oh, right. Guess I've been listening too much to that dang Tiki Barber on TV.
"Which brings me to my final point. You've already quieted tons of your Rotten Apple critics the past two weeks, but just imagine what a win tonight would do for your image. What a great way to shut down the Tiki Hut.
"Surely you still remember what your old teammate said about you back in August? He went on national TV and told the world it was 'almost comical' when you tried to run an offensive meeting last season. He questioned your leadership skills, your nerve and just about everything else this side of that floppy haircut mom keeps trying to get you to change.
"Oh, mercy, look at the time. I gotta run. Got another commercial to shoot. But I want you to know I have all the faith in the world in you, just like I did when I let you join me and dad in that commercial where we huddled in the kitchen and made plans to cook up breakfast.
"Just don't drop the eggs this time, OK?"
Re: OT: Another Priceless Pep Talk just for Eli
Well done. I can actually picture Peyton saying those exact words.
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