Manning vs. Brady: Battle of the September Magazine Covers

Manning Brady

You may recall that back in Super Bowl XLII, in February, Giants quarterback Eli Manning drank Tom Brady's milk shake in a thrilling come-from-behind victory. We loved that the nerd had toppled the perennial cool kid. But we worried that with this victory, Manning himself might turn into his own enemy — that he would become, shudder, hip. This month, our worries are put to rest. The quarterbacks face off again on the September covers of Men's Vogue and Esquire — and they both look similarly slick. Thankfully, the accompanying articles show us that Eli still has a long way to go before he starts dumping starlets for supermodels.

Manning's Men's Vogue piece includes a scene from his apartment in Hoboken (yep, still Hoboken), in which he points out a wooden wardrobe he bought while antiquing with his mom. Later, his wife — whom he refers to, without irony, as "the missus" — mentions that they can use their high-powered telescope to spy into Manhattan buildings across the river, a statement that completely embarrasses poor Eli. The keywords here: Hoboken, antiquing, and missus.

Then there's the Esquire profile of Brady, where the writer wonders, from the back of the limo they're riding in, whom Brady might be leaving behind at his (presumably huge) L.A. home. He speculates that it might be his girlfriend, supermodel Gisele Bündchen, but he doesn't ask Brady. Why? Because he's been told the following by Brady's agent about including mentions of his girlfriend or son in the article: "They will not appear in the story. If you ask about his son, they'll stop the car and drop you on the fucking 405." The keywords here? Limo, supermodel, and the fucking 405.

And there's plenty more like that: Manning is described as "a joker — not a one-liner comedian but more of a prankster." Brady, meanwhile, is "the master and commander, the alpha and the omega, the cock and scrotum, the very living tissue of everything Patriot, the sine qua non of the National Football League." Well then. Eli may have his Super Bowl ring, but no number of magazine covers will make him the rock star that Brady is. Which is exactly why we love him. Manning, that is. —Joe DeLessio

How Eli Manning Took Over an American Football Dynasty [Men's Vogue]
Tom Brady Interview [Esquire]
Related: Eli Manning Wins One for the Geeks