As you probably know, I’m annoyed by small things at times. A current example: in this week’s hype-fest for the Patriots-Colts clash Sunday night, ESPN’s Josh Elliott called Peyton Manning’s career “incomparable.”
As Amy Proehler and Seth Meyers would say, really?
My dictionary offers two definitions for incomparable.
1 – without an equal in quality or extent; matchless
2 – unable to be compared; totally different in nature or extent
I know ESPN is full of smart writers and producers and anchors who went to some of the nation’s finest journalism schools, have experience at a wide variety of other sports outlets, and in general are familiar with the english language.
If anything, Peyton’s career is the definition of comparable. It’s comparable to his contemporaries like Tom Brady and Brett Favre. It’s comparable to the members of NFL quarterbacking’s Golden Age: Elway, Marino, Montana, Young. It’s comparable to the legends of the old school: Staubach, Bradshaw, Unitas. Unless he shatters every record these other guys hold: most wins, most Super Bowl victories, most yards, most touchdown passes, most games started, etc. etc. etc. his career will always be <em><strong>comparable</strong></em>.
I know it gets old using the same old adjectives to describe transcendent athletes. You can only call someone amazing so many times. But if you’re going to branch out, at least use the right word.