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Why the Eagles Must Sign Peyton Manning

The Super Bowl inspires our correspondent to demand the best from his favorite team

Another Super Bowl passed on Sunday without the Eagles winning it. Just like all of them, in fact, since 1960. And saddest of all, the new Super Bowl champions are a team that, less than three months ago, lost to a Vince Young and Riley Cooper-led Eagles team.

The Eagles, following their indefensible 8-8 season, have shown no interest in accountability whatsoever, keeping Andy Reid, Juan Castillo and Howie Roseman in the fold for some reason and adding no one except for one defensive backs coach and a couple of sure-to-be-irrelevant player personnel department bodies. So clearly, if there are going to be changes after the 2011 debacle, they're going to be with the roster.

Fortunately, this offseason, one of the greatest players in NFL history may very well be available. Yes, that's right: the Eagles must sign Peyton Manning. If the Colts release him, they should sign him as a free agent, and if they don't, they should spare no expense in offering a trade.

I know what you're probably thinking: "He has a possibly career-ending neck injury!" "Manning has no ties to the Eagles, Andy Reid, or anyone on the team or staff!" "It's a completely different offense than what he's played in for his whole career!" "They already have Michael Vick!" "Why would Manning sign with a team that's a poor fit, one that already has a veteran, expensive quarterback in place?"

With all due respect, those are the kind of questions that losers ask. Winners go out and get things done.

Do you doubt Peyton Manning and his toughness? You shouldn't. I trust he can play through pain. As for the offense, Manning has a championship and Andy Reid doesn't. They should switch to his offense, not the other way around. And beyond that, Howard Mudd and Peyton were together for years in Indianapolis. Mudd can teach everyone how to play, and win, the Colts way. And besides- now that he's won fewer championships than his brother, you know Peyton will be determined.

Like John Smallwood suggested in the Daily News last week, the Eagles should sign Manning and set up a training camp competition with Vick. And if Peyton beats Vick out, Vick shouldn't be too hard to trade.

If you doubt the wisdom of this, let me ask a simple question: Is Peyton Manning a better quarterback than Vince Young? Yes or no? If the answer is yes the decision is a no-brainer.

If that doesn't work, a caller on the station last week had a good suggestion: Trade Vick, DeSean Jackson and Jason Babin to the Colts for the #1 pick and take Andrew Luck. I'd prefer Peyton, but that option works too.

Sign Peyton Manning, Andy. It would be arrogant not to.

Other Philly sports takes:

- In the light of the Sixers' success, I'd like to personally apologize to Andre Iguodala for demanding he be traded every day for the past five years. Also, the heightened and exciting atmosphere at Sixers game proves one thing: Will Smith needs to buy the Eagles.

- Speaking of Sixers enthusiasm, when they played the Heat last Friday, the guy who yelled "fuck LeBron" before the national anthem made me proud to be an American and a Philadelphian.

- Sam Donnellon wrote two weeks ago that Penn State should go ahead and "name the whole place" after Joe Paterno. Not enough. Let's name all of Pennsylvania after Joe Pa. Paternovania?

- I enjoyed CSN's Philly Villains countdown, but I really can't take any such list seriously if Donovan McNabb and Andy Reid aren't in the top two spots.

- You will pry my tickets to the Phillies-Nationals series in Washington from my cold, dead hands. And I would imagine the rest of the five bus-fulls of Phillies fans joining me for those games will agree.

- In the greatest achievement so far this year in Philadelphia sports, Kobayashi became the first Japanese winner of Wing Bowl, obliterating the previous record by eating 337 wings. I wish Joey Vento had lived to see it.

- And finally, Pat Burrell has announced his retirement, after a ten-year career in which he won two World Series and also broke the all-time record for going home with the most women from Old City bars (Richards and Carter, alas, were shipped out of town before they could seriously threaten Pat's mark.) The city should erect a statue, on the corner of Second and Chestnut, of Pat walking away with a lady on each arm.

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