The inevitable has become reality.
Today Peyton Manning broke another of Johnny Unitas' records, becoming the first player to get to four MVP awards. The award also marks the beginning of Manning's march towards eliminating Brett Favre from the record books.
Of course Manning cares nothing about marks like this unless he can add some more jewelry to his resume.
Judging Manning's career; 2009, his twelfth season, is the second best of his career. His 2008 season was more impressive because of the injuries his team suffered. Still, in 2009 Manning did a lot to prove that it wasn't Dungy and it wasn't Marvin. When Anthony Gonzalez went down in week 1, Manning turned Pierre Garcon and Austin Collie into household names.
Against the New England Patriots, the threat of Peyton getting the ball with 70 yards to paydirt forced Bill Belichick, the coach of his generation, to make the worst play call of his career. Against the Jaguars, Peyton came out perfect, and like most of his 2009 season, when he needed to put up points, he put up points.
If anything, 2009 marked the beginning of Peyton Manning's rise to Jordan-Woods-Gretzky-Ruth status. His Hall of Fame quarterback peers came out and upright said "yeah, he's better than Brady." He became the quickest quarterback to reach the mystical 50,000 yard mark, and if he gets another championship this year, he'd have put together John Elway's 16 year career in only 12 seasons, while resurrecting the franchise that Elway once refused to play for.
Giving Peyton Manning his fourth MVP trophy takes nothing away from Drew Brees, Philip Rivers, Brett Favre, or even Chris Johnson. Those players are all great. It does however, signify that Peyton Manning is finally getting the respect he has always deserved. In the past his team mates have been given a lot of the credit, now it's understood that Manning makes Hall of Famers, not the other way around.
Finally, like Jordan-Woods-Ruth-Gretzky, Peyton Manning's 2009 will be considered totally unsuccessful if he doesn't get ring #2, and that's absolutely understood by Peyton. Peyton Manning is someone who could have been given everything in life for free, but instead he's gone out and earned it.
Expect the same these playoffs.