Sports

Archie Manning could be the Storm Cat of quarterbacks

By Casey Olson, The Mirror

There’s only eight more days until the biggest sporting event in the history of the world comes around for its yearly domination. Super Bowl XLII will be played in Glendale, Ariz., on Feb. 3.

Thousands of story angles will be hashed and rehashed by journalists from around the world. The Super Bowl hype will be unbearable, as it is every year.

But there’s only one story that even interests me in the slightest, and it has nothing to do with the game of football. It has to do with genetics.

I know Archie Manning has to already be a multi-millionaire, thanks to his career as an NFL quarterback for more than a decade, as well as being a very successful businessman.

But the matriarch of the Manning family quarterback dynasty could be rolling in the Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Sam Walton monetary stratosphere. He just needs to take my advice.

“Archie, start selling your DNA.”

I’m sure it’s something that he has heard numerous times. But it probably comes in the form of a joke or sarcastic remark.

Not from me, because I’m not joking.

Archie Manning could be the Secretariat of gunslingers, the Seattle Slew of signal callers or the Storm Cat of quarterbacks.

I’m sure NFL teams would line up in droves to get their hands on a Manning offspring. His two sons, Peyton and Eli Manning, were both the first overall picks in the NFL Draft: Peyton in 1998 out of Tennessee, and Eli in 2004 out of Ole Miss.

And thanks to the New York Giants’ upset win over the Green Bay Packers last weekend in the NFC Championship Game, Eli and Peyton will play quarterback in back-to-back Super Bowls. Peyton led the Indianapolis Colts to the Super Bowl title a season ago.

“With the first pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select the rights to Archie Manning’s cryogenically-frozen sperm.”

I could see a day in the year 2030 when every quarterback in the NFL has fallen off the Manning family tree. And I’m not just talking about the starters. This also includes all backup quarterbacks. I can just hear a 95-year-old John Madden announcing a Seahawks game in the future.

“Seattle starting quarterback Steve Manning tweaked his knee last week, so it looks like Robert Manning will be getting the start and will be backed up by D.J. Manning. The Seahawks have also signed Michael Manning from their practice squad to act as an emergency third-stringer.”

Sound far-fetched? Maybe.

But all you have to do is look at the horse racing industry. They have been using this selective process for decades and making billions — I repeat, billions — of dollars “donating” their thoroughbreds’ DNA.

Take for example Storm Cat, who is kind of the Archie Manning of thoroughbreds.

Storm Cat’s stud fee for the 2007 season hit $500,000, nearly double that of his closest rival. As such, he is one of the few horses with a 24-hour armed guard. A conservative estimate of 50 guaranteed live-foal contracts have Storm Cat’s earnings at $21 million a year.

You could combine Peyton Manning’s ($11 million) and Eli Manning’s ($6 million) 2007 salaries and still be $4 million short of Storm Cat’s earnings.

As a stud, no one’s even close to “The Cat.” And you might ask, why would anyone pay that much for Storm Cat’s services? Here’s your answer. As of December 2006, he has sired 31 winners of Group 1/Grade 1 stakes, 93 winners of group or graded stakes races, and 150 stakes winners worldwide, who have earnings in excess of $100 million. He was the leading sire of stakes winners in North America in 2005.

In other words, a little DNA from Storm Cat gives you a very good chance of landing your own franchise thoroughbred. Just like a little DNA from Archie Manning gives you a very good chance at landing your own franchise quarterback.

Archie, start selling your DNA. You are doing the quarterback position a disservice by holding onto it.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

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