The Legend of Cecilio Guante
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Manning overload: the family huddle??!!

The Manning Family (at least the important ones)

The Manning Family (at least the important ones)

Can’t a guy catch a break? For real, though? I’m a diehard Jets fan. My wife’s a lifelong backer of the Big Blue. I harbor no animosity towards the G-Men. When they win championships, wifey is happy. This makes me happy. Yay, everyone. Sure, it would be nice if lil’ old me might be able to experience a Jets parade in my lifetime. But it’s OK. I have no ill-will toward Coughlin’s crew. In fact, I even dedicated a post to the Giants under-appreciated leader. Oh yes, and we lauded the Eli-teness of Eli Manning. Apparently, that’s not enough. No, not nearly enough.

The aftermath of a second Giants Super Bowl win has of course brought with it plenty more Manning love. Couple it with the uncertainty surrounding Peyton’s NFL future, and it’s more than enough Manning mania for the average dude to handle. Like I said, I don’t hate the Giants. There’s a difference, though, between not-hating a team and enjoying or even being able to tolerate the incessant championship chatter of said crosstown “rival” — from the media and my wife. Everyone has their breaking point. Mine came last night.

It arrived in the mail. People say humor is all in the delivery. If that’s the case, my wife scored highly on this one. The package was innocuous enough. A plain yellow padded envelope in a fairly standard 8 x 11 vehicle. She coyly asked: “Honey, did you order something?” I should know well enough to recognize the hint of mischievousness in that question and its tone. The slight rise in intonation at the end, as if you could literally hear the smile just barely being stifled.

“No, I answered.” This was of course a set-up. I never order anything anyway. The package couldn’t have been a product of my doing. It wasn’t. This was my wife’s sick, sick idea. She slowly tore apart the envelope and its contents were revealed…to my sheer horror.

The Family Huddle: Torture Device

The shrieks must have been heard for miles (hyperbole). Honestly?? No, REALLY?? The Family F-In Huddle?? A children’s book co-written by the triumvirate of Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning? Haven’t I been a good husband? A caring father of our six-month old little girl? And this is my reward? This…this…thing.

It of course got progressively worse as the evening wore on. My disgust only fueled the sheer joy my wife was experiencing as this drama unfolded before her. She then cracked it open. And, dear g-d, she began to read.

Archie was in the front yard in New Orleans, playing with his three sons: Cooper, Peyton, and Eli. It was Peyton’s turn at their favorite game, Amazing Catches. “GO DEEP!” called Archie. It was the boys’ favorite play…

It continued to devolve. As my wife’s smirk widened, she continued to read aloud putting emphasis on the lines and phrases that would cut the deepest. If there was a visual of “grinning and bearing it” in the dictionary, my expression during this not-so-silent attack would have been the perfect illustration. She went on to take the liberty of ad-libbing and editing the prose…”Peyton has won two NFL MVPs…” My wife added: “His brother Eli has now won TWO Super Bowls…and won TWO Super Bowl MVPs…yes, you’ve already been alive for one championship and you’re only six months old! Your daddy’s 34 years old and he’s never…”

And so it continued. Rest assured I will never be the narrator of this bedtime story. Just having the book around is torture enough. I’ve asked many things of Rex Ryan during his tenure at the helm. Is a children’s book describing a Gang Green championship too much to ask? Please Rexy, hurry.


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