Manning Bowl II was played on Sunday night, with Peyton winning the family battle. I had many "Brother Bowls" with my older sibling, and most of them ended just like the Giants-Colts game, but with me getting a tooth knocked out. Once or twice after one of our roller hockey games I looked eerily similar to Bobby Clarke or Jack Lambert - if they were wearing Sears Toughskins jeans and were a nobbly kneed nine-year-old that is. In the pro ranks there have been many brotherly clashes. Here are some other famous sibling face-offs that preceded the Manning Bowls:
On Oct. 16, 1966, all of America came to a standstill and gathered 'round their TVs to witness the first Gogolak Bowl. The Hungarian-born brothers, Pete of the Giants and Charlie of the Redskins, faced off at Yankee Stadium. Pete, who was the first soccer-style kicker in professional football, won the battle over his younger brother, who was also a kicker, with a 15-yard field goal and 18-yarder, as his Giants defeated Washington, 13-10. Charlie did boot a 37-yarder, so as to not embarrass the family.
Two years prior to that epic event, the first of many Alou Bowls was held. Felipe, Matty and Jesus all started out on the Giants together, but the elder brother was traded to the Milwaukee Braves after the '63 season. The first game that two Alous started against each other was the second game of the '64 season, when Felipe led off and started in center field for the Braves, and middle-brother Matty did the same for San Francisco. Matty's Giants scored 10 runs in the third inning and went on to win, 10-8. Felipe went 0-5, while his younger brother notched a hit in three at-bats (with a walk). Jesus did not appear in the game for San Francisco, as, being the youngest, he had to stay home and mow the lawn.
The first Niekro Bowl took place on July 4, 1967. Hundreds of thousands of fans put their Sgt. Pepper albums aside for a day and flooded to the park in Atlanta. A record 377,000 people attended the game (ok, 16,353). Older-brother Phil got the best of Joe, when he knuckleballed his was to a complete-game victory, as the Braves beat the Cubs, 8-3. Joe only lasted three innings (but did strike out his brother), and was sent to his room by his mother after he stuck his tongue out at his manager after being pulled from the game.
Of course, there were countless other Brother Bowls, including the Molinas, Bahrs, Bretts, Barbers, Gramaticas and Mike-Mayers, and some that never were. The Hasselbecks never faced off against each other, because poor Tim usually wasn't allowed on the field. His Redskins did play the Seahawks once, but only Matt saw action in the game. Jose and Ozzie Canseco were never matched up on opposite sides. They did have many weightlifting bowls in their parents' garage, though. And who can forget the Glavine brothers' era on the Mets? Tom promised their mother that he would get younger-brother Mike a part-time job with the Mets for the summer, so the team let Tom's younger sibling play in seven games in 2003. On the other side of the spectrum, almost every Yankee-Red Sox game in the 1940s was a DiMaggio Bowl, with Joe and Dom facing each other 22 times a year. Every NHL game in the 1980s was a Sutter Bowl, with a whopping six siblings in the league. And nowadays there's a Staal Bowl almost every week, with Marc, Eric and Jordan all playing in the Eastern Conference. What would be the most interesting brother matchups though? How about Cleveland Brown Leroy Kelly against brother Pat, who played outfield for five AL teams in the '60s and '70s? Or New York Giant running back facing off against baseball-playing brother Alex? Could we have somehow had an exhibition game between the 1971 Browns and White Sox? Or 1970 Giants and California Angels? Now those would have been games worth hyping. (For all-time brotherly butt-whippings, see Howard Megdal's SB Nation NY Top Five: Historical Brother Beatdowns.)
Here are the top stories of the week in the world of New York sports:
The Hate Bowl: The Sanchize finally earned his nickname on Sunday, sending Tom Brady and Bill Belichick back home to cry in their clam chowder. The Jets' second game couldn't have been more different than their opener. There was offense everywhere you looked, with Sanchez playing the game of his life, Dustin Keller, Braylon Edwards and Jerricho Cotchery hauling in passes all over the field, LaDainian Tomlinson running amok and Shonn Greene not fumbling away the game. The Revis-less defense made Brady and co. look like they were the old hapless, Joe Kapp-led 1970 Boston Patriots. Even Joe Namath must have liked what he saw. And the Jets will have to do it again for another game or two without their all-world cornerback.
Mom Always Liked You Best: Eli never stood a chance in Sunday night's bloodbath, as it seemed like the Giants were playing the game without an offensive line. And as for the defense, did they think it was still 2009? And what about making any sort of adjustments? The coaches were asleep at the wheel, too. Hey, Matt Dodge was better . . . that's about the only positive you could take away from that game. A day or two later, Antrel Rolle blasted his teammates, his coaches and even himself for the team's preparation, game plan and execution. He also took a shot at Brandon Jacobs' helmet for missing its assignment when the unhappy running back tossed it to the bench but it ran the wrong route and wound up in the crowd instead. "The helmet had too much down time before the game and got to the stadium too early with nothing to do," he theorized.
Ass-Clowns & Jack-Wagons: After selfishly being penalized for taunting (and then doing it again but without getting flagged), which resulted in a scolding by Rex Ryan, Braylon Edwards was at it again, this time being arrested for a DWI at 5:15 on Tuesday morning. Apparently he's been hiding his common sense and maturity in that crazy beard of his. On Wednesday, Ryan came out and declared that he's had enough of his players' shenanigans and high jinks. But he when came to the Jets, he filled the team with players of questionable character and practically demanded swagger and brashness, and - surprise, surprise - that's what he's getting. As for the Giants' rogue player, Brandon Jacobs insists he has not asked to be traded (at least this week). He's probably untradeable anyway. The disgruntled Jacobs' helmet-throwing incident brings to mind (well my sports-trivia-obsessed mind anyway) the giant, awesome here; warning - it's nine minutes and 15 seconds of fun-filled mayhem.) Jacobs is now mulling over jumping to the WHA, as Parent did back in 1972, as it would be his only option for happiness. And let's not forget about Francisco Rodriguez (though I'm trying). He was back in court on Wednesday, hit with seven new charges to go along with the ones from last month.-Maple Leafs brawl in the 1971 NHL playoffs, when Vic Hadfield tossed Toronto goalie Bernie Parent's mask into the Garden stands, and the fans refused to give it back. Parent wouldn't go back into the nets so Jacques Plante had to finish the game for the Leafs. (You can watch the video
The Final Showdown: After taking two out of three from Baltimore (with a memorable moment in each game - A-Rod's bomb, the return of Andy Pettitte and a blown save by Mariano Rivera), the Yankees faced Tampa Bay for the last time this year - at least in the regular season. And though none of the games were really close, edge-of-your-seat affairs like last week's set, the two teams split the series, as they're about as evenly matched as can be. But it's Tampa Bay who wins the season series, and with it the tiebreaker if they finish with identical records. The first two games were slugfests, with the Bombers scoring at will, game three saw A.J. Burnett on the mound so the Yankees never really had a chance (even God said, "Is that Burnett on the hill? I have to do something about that" and the heavens opened up and the rain came down), and the finale featured a rematch of last week's pitcher's duel between CC Sabathia and David Price, but after putting up goose eggs in that matchup, they let in a combined 10 runs last night. And I don't even know what Javier Vazquez was doing in the seventh inning. Can you really call that pitching?
Monument to the Boss: In a touching ceremony before Monday's game, George Steinbrenner's monument was unveiled. It immediately told Don Mattingly to get a haircut and Joe Girardi to bat Reggie Jackson cleanup. Old-time Yankees came out the woodwork to attend the tribute - Yogi Berra, Reggie, Tino Martinez, Roy White, Mattingly and, for one day at least, the Yankees didn't pretend that Joe Torre didn't exist, as he was allowed back in the Bronx. The monument was as understated and humble as the Boss himself. Ok, it was enormous and dwarfed those of Miller Huggins, Lou Gehrig and even Babe Ruth. And dwarfing the Babe is not easy to do.
Monument to Bobby Cox: The Mets might as well have erected a monument to Bobby Cox at Citi Field. This past weekend saw the last appearance by the Braves' manager in Queens, and the team gave him a case of Tom Seaver wine and a series sweep as parting gifts. Cox gave Met fans one last present as well, when he was ejected from Friday night's game. With the three wins, Cox's all-time record against the Mets is 2,894-2. Does anybody remember that his whole playing career consisted of two seasons as a third baseman for the 1968-'69 Yankees (.225, nine home runs, 58 RBIs)? The other aging manager linked to the Mets this week was Torre, who said he'd leave the door open on managing the Mets but then backtracked and shut the door for good (but accidentally locked himself in the room so had to briefly reopen it after a locksmith let him out). I have all the respect in the world for the legendary manager, but that's the last thing this team needs - a 70-year-old sitting cross legged at the end of the dugout half asleep counting the days until retirement. And would he bring back the culture of the pathetically bad late-'70s Mets with him? Would we see his Brooklyn pal Lee Mazzilli sitting on the bench next to him? With Willie Montanez, Bruce Boisclair, Dan Norman and Skip Lockwood filling out his coaching staff? Oh yeah, the Mets were officially eliminated from the postseason this week, and with Keith Hernandez's lost wallet incident on Wednesday night, he's officially become the new Phil Rizzuto. It's only a matter of time before he starts leaving games in the seventh inning and calling his broadcast partners by their last names.
Here Comes Hockey: Let the preseason begin. Chris Drury already has a broken finger, but that just means increased playing time for Derek Stepan (who recorded his first point with an assist in last night's win over the Devils) and a few other Rangers over the next month. New Devils coach John MacLean's first big, bold move was to switch Ilya Kovalchuk to the right side to form a super line with Zach Parise and Travis Zajac, and the $100-million man netted his first goal of preseason against the Rangers, though the team has lost their first two games. And Charles Wang stated the Islanders will remain on Long Island at least until 2015, where he will then consider moving his team to Montreal and renaming them the Canadiens. "The Canadiens have such a rich and successful history, I can't think of any reason why we can't be a part of that," he explained.
(For in-depth analysis and discussion of the Yankees, Mets, Giants, Jets, Rangers, Islanders and Devils, go to SB Nation's Pinstripe Alley, Amazin' Avenue, Big Blue View, Gang Green Nation, Blueshirt Banter, Lighthouse Hockey and In Lou We Trust, respectively.)