By Alex Myers
Peyton Manning and Tom Brady will play each other for the 15th time this Sunday, as the Denver Broncos host the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game. What's on the line? Merely a trip to the Super Bowl and perhaps the title of greatest quarterback in NFL history. But on to more important matters . . . which signal caller has had the better golf career? We break it down.
Peyton Manning: 4.6
Tom Brady: "8"
Edge: Manning. You can't argue with the numbers. Perhaps, Brady is much better now than the "8" estimated by Golf Digest in 2009, but there's no way of knowing for sure. Also, Manning gets extra credit for consistently maintaining an actual USGA Handicap Index.
Best golf TV appearances
Manning: BMW Championship commercial
Brady: "Entourage" (Season 6, Episode 5)
Edge: Brady. While Manning displayed his usual comic touch in a commercial for next year's BMW Championship in Denver, Brady was on the popular HBO show as himself and even got to show off his golf swing. It just doesn't get much cooler than that. (Warning: Explicit language. Not from Tom, of course.)
Famous pro-am partner
Manning: Tiger Woods
Brady: Vijay Singh
Edge: Manning. Peyton played with Woods in both the 2005 Bay Hill Pro-Am, as well as the pro-am for the 2009 Quail Hollow Championship. Brady played with Singh at the 2010 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Not as exciting, but Brady gets bonus points for getting Vijay to smile.
Best golf story
Manning: Shooting 77 at Augusta National
Brady: Beating two former U.S. Presidents
Edge: Brady. This was close, but we'll give Tom the edge based on the story Jim Nantz told in which he and Tom teamed up to take down Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush in a six-hole match. Five up. Of course, breaking 80 at Augusta National isn't too shabby, either. Then there was that time Manning and Brady (gasp!) teamed up to win a match at Pebble Beach. Aww, how sweet!
We'll call it a draw. Manning, who also boasts two holes-in-one, seems to have the edge when it comes to playing, but Brady's "Entourage," appearance and presidential conquest evens things out. Nantz, who will call Sunday's big game for CBS, said "it was like a mask came over his face" in describing how Brady rose to the challenge that day. If the Patriots are to pull off the upset on the road, they'll probably need similar heroics from their leader.