Monday, February 4, 2008

Eli, The Absurd Hero

Last night, an important football game was played. The game cemented what we already knew: Advertising executives are pathetic. Nice job, Planters Peanuts...A commercial where an extremely ugly woman becomes sexy by rubbing peanuts on herself? Truly one for the ages.

It must be such a backhanded accomplishment to land the role of the ugly Planters girl. Seriously, It’s not as if that role is going to catapult you to a career, unless you count playing Justin Long’s haggish blind date in “Epic Move 3” a career. I hope that particular actress really needed the money.

Ok; the game. I am a huge New York Giants fan. Last night’s victory was the best game I ever witnessed. Due to the diverse readership of this publication, however, we tend to be light on the sports commentary. It’s probably for the best, too. You know the saying: Every seven seconds, someone dies, every four seconds, someone is born, every three seconds, some asshole starts a sports blog, and every time you mention Ron Paul on the internet, a thousand commentators will flood your message board with a bunch of rambling about abolishing the IRS and re-instating the gold standard. If you don’t know who Ron Paul is by now, then go fuck yourself. Also; please don’t vote for him.

Without digressing into excessive analysis of the game, I want to write a few words about Eli Manning, and by extension, little brothers across the universe. Eli happens to have grown up in an atmosphere where his older brother is so extremely accomplished to the point where competing with him is almost pointless. I have an older brother who is like that, and maybe some of you have grown up in a situation like that as well.

I sometimes mention hipsters on this blog. My brother probably has no idea what a hipster is. He will never need to know what a hipster is. Furthermore, he will never need to complain about ‘fratboys’ or preppies or any shit like that. He has the gift of extreme competence, which renders 98% of other people pretty much irrelevant.

My brother deferred enrollment to a top med school to successfully qualify for two Iron Man championships. He then decided to attend a top law school while switching his focus to bike racing, and is now racing at a professional level, while editing Law Review at the same time.

You think I want anything to do with that? Fuck no. After witnessing first-hand how hard certain levels of accomplishment are to attain, you might well kick back and become the swashbuckling, erratic, mystifying brother who people believe to be both a retard and a genius within the span of five minutes. That’s Eli Manning, as well as the little brothers of accomplished older siblings everywhere. I’m not sure exactly how Eli’s life went, but I assume Peyton often criticized him for the following things:

1.) Smoking too much weed.

2.) Spending too much time talking on the phone with his first high school girlfriend, despite that fact that Peyton was guilty of the exact same thing when he was younger.

3.) Driving drunk.

I’m willing to also guess that Eli beat Peyton in a one on one basketball game when he was 13, finishing Peyton off with a barrage of two handed three-pointers to complete a stunning comeback. Nevertheless, Eli will never produce the passer rating that his brother has, but the bloodline isn’t thin, it just got accidentally injected with a small amount of liquid LSD. You may wonder where the hell his head is 60% of the time, but that other %40 will produce some brilliant moment out of nowhere.

And you know what? It’s entirely appropriate. Who wants to be exactly like someone else? When Eli throws an interception, he does that angry-at-himself, ‘aw shucks’ routine, but I bet you that deep down, he doesn’t give a shit. He’s thinking to himself, “thank god, now people will stop comparing me to my fucking brother”. When he won the Superbowl MVP yesterday, you could tell he was thinking, “yeah; this is cool, whatever. Brother did it a year ago”.

Growing up around extreme competence makes fucking up a lot of fun. It also results in some crazy things happening that your older brother probably never experienced. I bet my brother never stumbled into a Ritz Carlton hotel room featuring lesbians on ecstasy, only to have absolutely nothing of note happen (insane!). I bet he never eluded two stalking muggers in the Amsterdam Red Light district to stroll back into the hostel for a casual Heineken. I bet he never got really drunk in England, and then went to a dance party, grinding with every girl on the floor until one of them eventually took him home (I hope he didn’t get to see what she actually looked like). And for all of his athletic accomplishments, I know for certain he never launched himself in the air with a fiber glass pole.

I bet this stuff never happened to Peyton either.

Before you try and accuse me of making excuses for little brothers across the world for having less talent, just remember that we can write award winning essays on obscure Milton poems on a last minute adderral binge, we can blossom into fine actors (uh, Casey Affleck), and we can certainly lead a team of pass dropping, fumbling, 12 men-on-the-field penalty committing enigmas to a superbowl victory against an undefeated team. It’s the little brother way, and it’s never very attractive.

To symbolize what I’m saying, take a look at the picture below. Eli may look like a drunk dufus, but the girl on his arm is HOT. Judging by those eyes, however, she may be a demon.

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