Many of you are more than likely already familiar with rapidly-aging sportswriter Frank DeFord’s work. He has been writing for Sports Illustrated for something like 75 years, is an accomplished commentator on NPR and is widely known for his work on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel. But in an essay published today on SI.com, he really shows why he is one of the most respected sports journalists working today. His remarkable acumen and keen sense of awareness to what is hip, hot and happening in the world of sports was on full display in this column.
Brace yourselves, because DeFord is about to knock your socks off with this bombshell: Peyton Manning is a highly sought-after pitchman, does a lot of commercials and guess what? He’s pretty darn good at them. Wha???
But while all sorts of athletes have let themselves be laughed at in commercials, what sets Manning apart is, first and foremost, his deadpan expression. The guy is Buster Keaton in shoulder pads. Sure, Tom Brady is better looking, but he’s just another pretty face. Manning’s countenance is, to borrow a word from one of his products: priceless.
Priceless indeed, Frank. And do you know what else? You are spot on in your assessment that Manning is Buster Keaton in shoulder pads. Talking about priceless? The Oscar-nominated film Mr. Mom is the friggin’ gold standard, sir. And Clean and Sober? Hilarious. I’m not kidding – I was laughing so hard at the theater during that movie they asked me to leave.