JOHN L. PITTS: A tale of two brothers




The Book of Manning is getting some fascinating new chapters this fall.

While Peyton Manning is on the way to one of the epic regular seasons of any pro quarterback, little brother Eli is struggling on a winless team.

The Manning family was the topic of an ESPN documentary that debuted last week, and it’s a tale that’s well-known here but perhaps not as fully appreciated around the country.

Every NFL Sunday this fall brings new richness to the story.

I was one of those who wondered if Peyton, after five surgical procedures on his neck, wouldn’t have been better off to retire before the 2012 season. Instead, he had one of this best seasons, throwing 37 touchdowns as Denver went 13-3.

He’s even better this season, completing 75 percent of his passes and on a pace for 64 touchdowns. He’s yet to throw his first interception and Denver is 4-0.

“He is simply unstoppable right now,” ESPN wrote after Sunday’s game.

Everything that has gone right for Peyton is going haywire for Eli.

His New York Giants are 0-4 and he’s on a pace for 36 interceptions. It’s not all on him, but there are times this season when he’s looked awful.

Eli still leads his brother in Super Bowl rings, 2 to 1, but this season beings a crucial contrast between the brothers into focus.

Like Magic Johnson or LeBron James, Peyton makes everyone around him better.

As for Eli – and this was as true at Ole Miss as it is now – he’s going to be as good as his supporting cast. And that bunch isn’t very good this season.

Random thoughts

• My wife and I have Ole Miss fans in the house on one side of us and an MSU fan on the other. We should fly a Swiss flag.

• Lots of folks in Corinth are talking about bringing “fast fiber” to town and all I can think of are giant bowls of cereal.

• USA Today now costs $2 per copy. At that price, it should read the news to me while I drive to work.

• So help me, I thought Tyler Siskey was a character in the movie “Stripes.”

John L. Pitts ( is sports editor of the Daily Journal. He shares more of his random thoughts on Twitter at @JohnLPitts.

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