"THE 2008 NFL POST-SEASON AWARDS CEREMONY"
Hosted by ESPN's Chris "It's Really Cold" Brrr-Man
"???WALLPAPER and PEYTON' MANNING"
" Live from the Marriott Marquis in New York City, New York it's the 2008 National Football League post-season awards ceremony ...And here's your host, Chris "It's Really Cold" Brrr Man."
"Hello everyone, it may be quite cold and snowy outside, but inside here, it's hot!
"This past NFL season has been quite an eventful one. There have been good breaks and some bad breaks...
"The season started with a quite a terrible break: Tom Brady's left knee which required ACL surgery, (Another Championship Lost) in the first quarter of week one. And ended up with the toothless Detroit Lions breaking the all-time season losing streak.
"Some birds flew high: The Atlanta Falcons and the Philadelphia Eagles both made it to the playoffs, but none flew higher and mightier than the Phoenix Cardinals, rising from the ashes of perennial loser to NFC Champion.
"We witnessed not one, but two rookie quarterbacks leading their teams to the playoffs: Baltimore's Joe Flacco and Atlanta's Matt Ryan. And saw, once again the greatness of Arizona quarterback, Kurt Warner, which leads us to our first category.
"The nominees for the 2008 NFL Most Valuable Player award are:
"Nicknamed ???All Day' by his teammates and coaches, but called ???All Night' by his girlfriend, Minnesota Vikings running back, Adrian ???All-Day' Peterson.
"Possessing blazing speed in a linebacker's body, this newly acquired running back has certainly put the ???Hot' back into ???Hotlanta's running game, Atlanta Falcons running back Michael ???The Burner' Turner.
"Not one for electoral reform, this AFC player certainly has cast his ballot for MVP candidate. He demonstrated resiliency, guts and determination as he led last year's 1-15 Dolphins from the depths of despair, Miami Dolphins quarterback, ???Swinging' Chad Pennington.
"This former Volunteer quarterback had been known to ???paint the town orange', but now has changed his colors to blue and white, two-time former most valuable player, and Super Bowl Champion, Indianapolis Colts quarterback ???Wallpaperin'' and Peyton Manning."
The envelope please...
And the winner is... paint the town blue and white! Colts quarterback, Peyton Manning!
This is Peyton's third MVP award, tying him with Brett Favre for all-time most honors.
If I had the chance to interview Peyton Manning, this is what it might sound like.
Kay: "When Chris Berman announced the finalists in for the Most Valuable Player award, he called you ???Wallpaperin',' is that true?"
Manning: "...Yes, but almost no one knows about it, but that's correct."
Kay: "Really? That's surprising!"
Manning: "As a young boy, my nickname was ???Wallpaperin.'"
Kay: "How did you ever get ???Wallpaper' as a nickname?"
Manning: "It's a long story."
Kay: "I've got the time, besides I am getting paid by the hour!"
Manning: "While my dad [Archie Manning] was quarterbacking the New Orleans Saints in the 1970's, he owned a hardware store."
Kay: "Weren't they known as the ???Aints' back then?"
Manning: "We like to refer to them as the Saints. But yes, they certainly had their struggles."
Kay: "Really? Struggles? The Saints' went 35-91-3, with a .271 winning percentage in Archie's eleven seasons as quarterback. Winning just 27% of your games is not what I would call struggling. An average of .271 might be good for a baseball player, and only if they were a big time home run hitter, but not for a football team!
"Back then, New Orleans was a place where winnin' was sinnin' and the sinners were Saints! The Saints were bad, so bad, in fact that the Saints were known as the ???Aints,' and playing the ???Aints' was easy pickens! Going to the Bayou meant, ???we blow by you', not a city on the Gulf of Mexico."
Manning: "But Dad did lead the league in attempts and completions in 1972, was a two-time Pro Bowler and was selected the NFC Player-of-the-year in 1978."
Kay: "You forgot! He also led the league in being sacked in '71, '72 and in 1975 he finished first again, when he was sacked a record 49 times!"
Manning: "You had to bring it up. Well, you're right about the Saints, they were bad. So bad, in fact, that when my older brother Cooper was born, dad needed extra money to support the family so he opened a hardware store."
Kay: "Really, that's surprising, an NFL franchise that lost money?"
Manning: "No, not really. The Saints struggled on the field and at the box office. Remember, in the 1970's, the NFL didn't have all the lucrative television and licensing contracts that they have today."
Kay: "Ten straight losing seasons? They're lucky they didn't go bankrupt?"
Manning: Just as the Saints struggled, the hardware store struggled too. The economy was in a recession and some carpet bagger named Lowes from the north opened a huge hardware store just across the street. So my father recognizing the ???blitz', knowing he couldn't compete, decided to sell the store. But, my mother, seven months pregnant with me had an idea: Wallpaper."
Manning: "She liked to read those interior decorating magazines and thought wallpaper was the next trend in decorating, so she told my father to open a wallpaper store."
Kay: "Just a wallpaper store?"
Manning: "At first, Dad was very skeptical. ???Wallpaper' he quizzically asked? How the heck am I going to support the three of us and baby Peyton with wallpaper?'"
Kay: "Peyton with Wallpaper? Huh?"
Manning: "My mom says it was a ???Reese's Peanut Butter Cup moment'.... Wallpaper & Peyton!
Kay: "You're kidding me, right?"
Manning: "No, Manning's Wallpaper and Peyton still exists today. Come on, I'll give you a tour..."
Kay: "Who's that in the yellow and black Roethlisberger jersey? Shouldn't he be wearing Colt's blue and white?"
Manning: "That's Herman, our store greeter; he's been here since we opened."
Kay: "He looks like he's a big Steeler fan."
Manning: "It's an AFC thing--- I told him he could root for the Steelers as long as we didn't make it to the Super Bowl."
Herman: "Welcome to Wallpaper and Peyton's! Latex and satin paints in the AFC aisle. Flat, gloss and semi-gloss in the AFC North aisle. Brushes, rollers, trays, sprayers, and Steel Curtains in aisle three. Peyton's trophies and awards are displayed behind the service desk."
Copyright 2009 Steve Kay