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30 for 30: Book of Manning

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Ever wanted to see a whole lot of footage of Peyton Manning playing football in his backyard when he was three?  Well, then have I got the movie for you.

I find Peyton (and to a lesser degree, his brother Eli) to be a fascinating figure.  His image is pretty well understood as a workaholic with dubious skills outside of football, something he's cultivated with his commercial image that runs the gamut from self-aware to incredibly boring.  He's managed to play the publicity game amazingly well.  It helps, of course, to be arguably the best quarterback in history.

Of course, Peyton is well-known as a workaholic, an above-and-beyond exception in an industry that's filled with workaholics.  As near as anybody can tell, Peyton's first, second, and third thoughts at all times all seem to be football.

The film doesn't do anything to change that impression, but it does reinforce it convincingly.  It throws in a lot of stuff about the other Mannings as well, to show why these guys just happen to be great quarterbacks -- the answer (at least for the younger generation) seems to be that they really were, from the beginning, exposed to football and approached it as their first love.  Archie may have been the father figure they all wanted to emulate, but he's no overbearing father figure like those from The Marinovich Project.

Including my soft spot for the subject matter, this is pretty good.  Not complicated, but it really doesn't need to be.

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