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3:33 Sports Short #1 // Three Poems for Super Bowl Champ Peyton Manning

Welcome to the first installment of our 3:33 Sports Shorts blog series. Here in the Prairie Schooner office we had our fingers crossed for a Broncos loss so thhis blog post could be titled "Three Poems for a Loser" but alas. Anyways, we're going to be posting a new short post on the theme of SPORTS every day at 3:33 p.m. Some notes: 1) the two "somewhat sonnets" for Manning were written before last night's game, so please consider some of the commentary within to be historical in nature 2) we're still looking for 3:33 Sports Shorts submissions 3) the reason we are doing this is to hype our Winter Sports Issue which can be yours if you become a subscriber today. Now, without further ado...

Religious Experience
Tayler Heuston

Many a night I've pondered
Superbowl Sundays past

Peyton Manning
a force to be reckoned with
one smudge - silver tights
parting the sea of grass

a pulse
then the snap and a charge
bending each blade back

Peyton and his boy-scout part
reminding the hard-nosed,
hard-headed, hard-hearted

there is astonishing will
in creatures of clay.

Somewhat Sonnet for Peyton Manning #1
Joaquín Zihuatanejo

1. Joe Montana
2. Terry Bradshaw
3. Troy Aikman
4. Tom Brady
5. John Elway
6. Ben Roethlisberger
7. Bob Griese
8. Jim Plunkett
9. Roger Staubach
10. Bart Starr
11. Eli Manning
12. Each of these NFL quarterbacks has more championships than Peyton Manning. 13. You could argue that Montana and Brady are as good or better than Peyton Manning, but in my estimation in terms of strength, endurance, accuracy, intelligence, and all other aspects that go into making one, Peyton Manning is the greatest quarterback to have ever played the game of football, and this is coming from someone who was born and raised in Dallas and worshipped Captain America (number 9) as a child. 14. Peyton Manning, who is the greatest quarterback of all time, does not have as many championships as these eleven quarterbacks. Omaha! Peyton Manning, who is the greatest quarterback of all time, does not have as many championships as his brother. Omaha! What does this say about Peyton Manning? Omaha! What does this say about football? Omaha! What does this say about me? Omaha! What does this say about any of us?

Somewhat Sonnet for Peyton Manning #2
Joaquín Zihuatanejo

1. Peyton Manning, the greatest quarterback to ever play the game of football, comes from a long line of quarterbacks. 2. His younger brother Eli is the quarterback for the New York Giants and though he has less talent than Peyton he has one more world championship than Peyton. In The Bible, the sons of Eli are punished for their transgressions. Will Eli's sons play against Peyton's sons? 4. Peyton Manning's father was a quarterback for the New Orleans Saints for ten years. 5. Some might argue that he was the most gifted of the three, but never had the talent around him that Eli and Peyton had. 6. For years Archie Manning, who played football like Emily Dickinson wrote poetry, with quiet ferocity, had to watch his fans wear paper bags over their heads with the word "Aint's" written on them. 7. But oh, did you know that Eli and Peyton have a brother named Cooper? 8. Cooper once talked his two younger brothers into wearing the paper bags over their heads. A joke their mother did not find amusing. But despite his joke within the confines of his home, I'm sure he got into many fistfights at school defending his father's Saints. 9. He takes pride in being able to call himself the "other brother." 10. He takes pride in the fact that he gets to spend more time with his family. 11. In high school, Cooper's team won the state championship, and his senior year he caught 76 passes for 1,250 yards. Those passes were thrown to him by the new starting quarterback, sophomore, Peyton Manning. 12. I've heard to be a great quarterback you must be tight but loose, two words often used to describe Joe Montana. I've heard to be a great quarterback you must have the ability to be serious when needed and relaxed at other times. Peyton is serious. Eli is relaxed. Cooper is both. 13. His freshman year at Ole Miss, Cooper experienced numbness in his fingers and was diagnosed with a spinal injury and told he could never play football again. 14. What is it to be the son of greatness? What is it to be the brother of greatness? In the Manning household is the trinity observed the father, the sons, and the ghost of the greatest football player that never was?