Randy Smith: The Irresistible Force Doesn’t Always Win

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith

Super Bowl XLVIII appears to be the classic match-up of the “irresistible force” versus the “immovable object.” The Denver Broncos high powered offense will face the amazing defensive unit of the Seattle Seahawks. In most cases, the “irresistible force” seldom wins against a great defense. After all, isn’t the real key to winning football games having a great kicking game and a great defense? Maybe so, but the Broncos with Peyton Manning calling the shots is not your average everyday “irresistible force.”

Manning was absolutely brilliant in Sunday’s AFC Championship game victory over the New England Patriots. He completed 32 of 43 passes for 400 yards and two touchdowns in leading the Broncos to a 26-16 win. Pat’s quarterback Tom Brady said the Broncos were totally flawless. They didn’t turn the ball over a single time on Sunday, sending Peyton to the third Super Bowl of his illustrious career.

While Denver was dismantling New England, the Seahawks were beating the San Francisco 49ers 23-17 to advance to Super Sunday. The Seahawks held the 49ers offense to a mere 153 yards through the air in gaining the win. The odds makers have listed the Broncos as an early favorite in the game which will be played for the first time in a cold weather climate; in an outdoor stadium. (New York City)

For the life of me, I can’t believe that fans and the media are still looking for ways to prove that Peyton Manning is something much less than he is. Last week, in the days leading up to the game, it was “Manning versus Brady.” The last time I checked, football was a team sport and could never be construed as a one-on-one contest. Yesterday and today, the media is backing away a bit. Some are saying Manning’s legacy is intact and he is indeed the greatest quarterback ever. I agree wholeheartedly.

The “Manning versus Brady” concept reminds me of the comparisons almost fifty years ago when the great Johnny Unitas was always being compared to the great Bart Starr of the Green Bay Packers. They were no doubt the top two quarterbacks of their era, but a few years ago ever Bart Starr said that Unitas was the best ever. When Johnny U. finally hung up his high top cleats for good following the 1972 season, he owned every passing record known to man; single season or career. When Starr led the Packers to wins in the first two Super Bowls, the Colts were very good, but failed to make a Super Sunday date. When Super Bowl I was played in 1967, Unitas was 36 years old. He had already won two NFL Championships in 1958 and again in 1959, yet the naysayers said, “he couldn’t win the big one.” Unitas played in as many Super Bowls as Starr later in his career, winning one and losing one.

As good as Peyton Manning has become, I am still tempted to place John Unitas ahead of him as the greatest ever. However, I’m not that hard core. I have said it before; Peyton Manning is simply the greatest quarterback of all-time; period, end of discussion. It doesn’t matter if the Broncos win or lose on February 2nd , Manning’s legacy is cast in stone.

I overheard one football commentator say this week,” When Manning takes the field, he gets everybody’s best shot; the other team, the officials and his own team. He makes everyone play better.”

That’s another reason why he’s the greatest ever.      

-----

Randy Smith has been covering sports on radio, television and print for the past 45 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has written two books, and has continued to free-lance as a play-by-play announcer. He is currently teaching Broadcasting at Coahulla Creek High School near Dalton, Ga.

His career has included a 17-year stretch as host of the Kickoff Call In Show on the University of Tennessee’s prestigious Vol Network. He has been a member of the Vol Network staff for thirty years.

He has done play-by-play on ESPN, ESPN II, CSS, and Fox SportSouth, totaling more than 500 games, and served as a well-known sports anchor on Chattanooga Television for more than a quarter-century.

In 2003, he became the first television broadcaster to be inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame. Randy and his wife Shelia reside in Hixson, TN. They have two married children, (Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith.) They have three grandchildren, Coleman, Boone and DellaMae.

To contact Randy: rsmithsports@epbfi.com


Randy Smith: Some SEC Games To Watch This Fall

We're a month away from college football's opening weekend. While I'm still pondering my annual pre-season picks, I have noticed a few "must see" games in the SEC this season. And while I say "must see" games, they will all likely have serious implications as to how the final standings will shape up. September 3rd : Alabama vs Southern Cal in Arlington, Texas.  ... (click for more)

Rhea County Picked To Win Region 4-5A

Rhea County's Golden Eagles have been picked to win the Region 4-5A championship in Murphy Fair's Tennessee High School Football magazine. Coach Mark Pemberton has led the Eagles to a state quarterfinal and two semifinals in his three years as head coach. Senior Mason Stephenson rushed for more than 1,400 yards last year and Eddie Bice ran for another 1,200. Ooltewah ... (click for more)

Nashville Man Arrested By TBI For Trafficking 12-Year-Old Texas Girl For Sex

Special Agents in the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation’s Human Trafficking Unit, working alongside local and federal partners, have arrested and charged a Nashville man accused of trafficking a 12-year-old from Texas for the purposes of commercial sex. On Friday evening, the TBI received information from the U.S. Marshals Service about the possible whereabouts of a Texas ... (click for more)

Michael Ford Sentenced To More Than 13 Years In Prison On Drug Charges

Michael Shawn Ford has been sentenced to 13 and a half years in prison on drug charges. On April 20, 2105, Ford was arrested at his house in East Ridge. Police found him hiding in the closet with a laundry bag which contained a loaded pistol and 7.9 grams of crystal meth. Officers said that two backpacks were found in the same bedroom, one with 257.3 grams of crystal meth ... (click for more)

Olympic Events On The Ocoee River Made History – But It Wasn’t Easy

It started with a simple “what if” question while Atlanta officials were working on a bid to host the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.  A group of amateur kayakers from the city began asking themselves: “What if Atlanta’s bid is successful? Then where would the Olympic whitewater canoe and kayak races be held?”  To some of the members of that group, the answer was obvious. ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Don’t Kick A Man’s Neck

From the minute my brothers and I each became cognizant, my dad started teaching us the rules of becoming a man. Dad was from deep in Mississippi and he’d been taught a lot of life’s secrets from his father. These lessons have been passed for generations and, the older I have become, I’m convinced a lot of them were borne from The Sermon on the Mount. Our favorite, back in the ... (click for more)