Once upon a time, an over-involved father made his son look like a fool on what should have been the best day of his son's life.
That father was Archie Manning, the son was Eli Manning, and the day was April 24, 2004, the day of the NFL draft. Eli was drafted by the Chargers, but Archie determined the Chargers weren't good enough for Eli. Poor Eli had to stand in front of the crowd holding a Chargers jersey as everyone yelled at him to put on the Chargers hat. He didn't, and he looked awful, and he had his father to thank for that.
Now seven years and a Super Bowl victory later, Archie still feels the need to stick up for his 30-year-old son. The 62-year-old Archie complained to ESPN.com that the announcing duo of Joe Buck and Troy Aikman can sometimes be too hard on poor lil' Eli.
"I don't always listen to Troy and Joe. They're kind of hard on Eli," Archie Manning told ESPN.com's Ian O'Connor. "Joe's always been really tough on Eli, and it seems this year, Troy is too. But that's OK. Sometimes I just mute them."
For those comments, it will be Eli, not Archie, who is subjected to ridicule. At some point, Archie's just going to have to let his adult son fend for himself in this crazy, mixed-up world, because he tends to make things a lot worse before making anything better.
Are the broadcasters too tough on Eli? If so, should his father speak up in his defense?
"[Jeffrey] Kessler's agenda is always to inflame and not to make a deal, even if it means injecting race and thereby insulting his own clients. … He has been the single most divisive force in our negotiations and it doesn't surprise me he would rant and not talk about specifics. Kessler's conduct is routinely despicable."
–NBA commissioner David Stern, to The Washington Post, regarding the conduct of Kessler, an attorney for the players
The Albert Haynesworth news, digested in one, simple word.
I'll level with you: I don't know the fella in the red trunks, and I don't know the young man in the blue trunks. I do, however, have what I consider to be a fairly accurate gauge of each man's intelligence level. Stepping into a ring and getting in a "Shockfight" is obviously only for the true geniuses of the world.