Death Match! Part 1- "The Interview"

The last couple of weeks, we've had several spirited debates on BTB regarding who's the better quarterback---Tony Romo or Eli Manning. Both sides have presented their cases admirably and all phases of Tony and Eli's game have been argued and analyzed with a microscope. No stone has been left unturned, no detail has gone unexamined and no prisoners were taken. Cavity searches and stool samples revealed no hidden surprises and the DNA tests prove that both are indeed human beings with no alien strands to taint their lines. Eli's, however, did show a minute reptilian trace. But that could be attributed to a distance ancestor in the bayou getting freaky with an alligator during that animal's mating season. Not a major concern. We've all got skeletons.

It's safe to say, both sides have made compelling arguments. If nothing else, their diligence in their research has proven that both Romo and Manning are exceptional QBs and honor their respective organizations by lining up under center every week. Personally, I wouldn't kick either one off my team. I would be proud to play shoulder-to-shoulder with either Tony or Eli. My opinion.

It would be a simple matter to let the subject burn itself out. In time, some new controversy will spark everyone's interest and another rash of inflammatory comments will fan the flames of more heated debates. I could just sit back and allow the natural order of things to occur. I could push this topic aside and join the rest of you on the front page for more compelling stories. Nah...That just wouldn't be me.

So, to finally bring an end to this debate, I've decided to let Tony Romo and Eli Manning climb inside the squared circle and fight to the death for the right to be called the best quarterback in the NFC East. In case you were wondering, the other two QBs don't qualify for the title. RGIII has never taken a snap in the NFL and therefore cannot make any claims of his own. However, he will in time, I believe, challenge for the crown. And Vick...Well, Vick is someone I'd rather not discuss for rear of putting my fist through the wall. He gets no shot. My fantasy, my rules.

Let's get ready to rumble...!!!

"Good evening, and welcome to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia for what is sure to be one of the most watched events in Pay Per View history. My name is Chick Conrad, and together we're going to witness the most anticipated grudge match in this man's young life. Manning versus Romo. Two men enter, one man leaves. Only this time there's no Mel Gibson and no Tina Turner. There is, however, a guy with a big, dumb face. I'll be joined behind the mike this evening by the living legend, 'The Fight Doctor' himself, Ferdie Pacheco. Welcome, old friend. Man, it's good to see you again."

FP: "Uh...We just met five minutes ago."

CC: "Yes...Yes it is."

FP: "Huh?"

CC: "While we're waitng for the combatants to make their appearance, let's take a look back at the incident which sparked this feud. Several months ago, Eli Manning and Tony Romo agreed to sit for a dual interview to discuss the growing debate over their places in the pecking order of NFL quarterbacks. And, as you will see, things quickly got out of hand. Conducting the interview was a man who used to be funny and relevant, but is now just sad and tired---ESPN's own, Chris Berman. Let's roll the tape."

FP: "My agent said this was a cash job? When do I...?"

CC: "Roll the tape!"

Chris Berman: "Welcome to an extended edition of SportsCenter. Tonight we get the rare opportunity to pick the brains of, not one, but two of the NFL's most gifted signal callers---two-time Super Bowl MVP of the New York 'Football' Giants, Eli Manning and Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys. Welcome, guys. And thanks for taking time out of your busy schedules to do this."

Eli Manning: "My pleasure, Chris."

Tony Romo: "Mine too, Boomer. Glad to do it."

CB: "I guess we'll begin with the champion. Eli, the last time we saw you, you were holding the Lombardi over your head. Did winning the second championship have more more meaning to you than the first?"

EM: "Well, Chris, both victories were sweet, obviously. But the first against the undefeated Patriots was a little more fulfilling. To beat the team they had that year was something I couldn't even fathom at the time. It was like a dream."

CB: "Tony, Eli and the Giants beat your Cowboys in the playoffs that year on their way to that Super Bowl win..."

TR: "Yes, Boomer, thanks for the jaunt down memory lane. My therapist will send you the bill."

EM: "He should send me the bill. I'm the one who beat you."

TR: "Oh, so you were on the field wearing Crayton's jersey, then? That's good to know. Guess I've been blaming the wrong person all these years."

CB: "The Giants always seem to do something spectacular to save Coach Coughlin's job. He was on the hot-seat again last year and BOOM!, you win a Super Bowl. Nobody circles the wagons like the Giants. And Tom Coughlin just won't die. He's a modern day Rasputin."

EM: "Isn't it the Bills that 'circle the wagons'?"

TR: "Yeah. And wasn't Wayne Fontes the 'Rasputin' of football? Like twenty years ago?"

EM: "I think Berman's slipping."

CB: "So, Tony, is there a ring or two in the future for you and the Cowboys?"

TR: "I think if we continue to improve as a team, trust in the systems Coach Garrett and Coach Ryan have implemented and take each game one at a time, we should be in a position come December to make a run at it."

CB: "Do you think you're up to the task of leading this team down the stretch?"

TR: "Haha. I'm as curious as you to find that out."

EM: "C'mon, Tony. We all know you're a great quarterback. It's OK to admit it."

TR: "Thanks for the vote of confidence, Eli. But...Admit it to who? My opinion about my capabilities as a quarterback is relevant to no one but myself. I don't feel the need to to provide the media with more ammunition."

EM: "And I do, is that it? For the last time, I was asked a question and I answered it. I don't see anything wrong with admitting you have confidence in yourself. If I'd refused to answer it would have been rude."

TR: "There's nothing rude about being humble. If answering a question jeopardizes my morals and values, I won't do it."

EM: "And if that question is repeated over and over?"

TR: "Politely excuse yourself and walk away. No one has a gun to your head, Eli."

CB: "Uh...guys?"

TR: "All I'm saying, is why make it easy for them? Claiming to be an 'elite' quarterback made you look arrogant and conceded."

EM: "Winning another Super Bowl proved me right, though. Didn't it?"

TR: "That's a luxury I don't have to fall back on. With me, I have to be especially careful with what I say. They're always looking for something to use against me."

EM: "Oh, poor little Tony. Always the victim. Always the target. Always getting a bum rap from the media. Give me a break."

CB: "Who wants to hear some funny nicknames?"

TR: "You try being me for a day, Peyton's-little-brother. See how funny it is."

EM: "I hate it when you call me that!"

TR: "Sorry, Archie's-son. Didn't mean to offend you."

EM: "I take it back back, Romo. You're not a great quarterback. You're just a jealous jerk who can't stand the fact that someone else can win in the clutch."

CB: "Look at that little Megget run!"

TR: "If you're referring to your defense, I agree. If you're referring to Cruz and Hicks and Manningham, I agree. Were you even on the field?"

Manning jumps out of his chair and grabs Romo by the front of his shirt.

EM: "That's it, big-ears! I'm gonna kick your ass!"

Romo knocks Manning's arm away and tackles him. Chairs go flying everywhere.

TR: "Right back atcha, dumb-face!"

As Romo and Manning roll around on the floor, Chris Berman rips off his jacket and shirt, revealling an old-school, orange Buccaneers jersey. He bolts across the soundstage, yelling.

CB: "He...could...go...all...the...way!"

Members of the ESPN crew storm the stage, pulling Romo and Manning apart.

Crew member: "Somebody get a butterfly net and wrangle Berman! He's off, again!"

The stage is filled with shouting men and women. Most have their hands full trying to keep Manning and Romo from killing each other. A few others are chasing Chris Berman.

CB: "I'm open! I'm open!"

The picture goes black amidst the mayhem.

Back to Chick Conrad and Ferdie Pacheco, live from Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia...

CC: "Wow, Ferdie. That never gets old, does it?"

FP: "Couple of pinheads, if you ask me."

CC: "Exactly, my friend. Exactly."

FP: "What are you...Nevermind. Do I collect the cash from you or...?"

CC: "Here they come, old chum! Eli Manning and Tony Romo are making their way to the ring! Can you feel the excitement? The energy in this stadium is electrifying! Everyone's on their feet. Can't you feel it, Ferdie?"

FP: "You're gonna feel something if I don't see some green in about thirty seconds."

I guess we're going to have to wait till next time to see who wins. Hate to do that to you, but you'll recover. Don't know if I will, though. I'm all goose-pimply with anticipation...

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.

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