Peyton Manning's thumb on his passing hand, injured in a helmet connection with a teammate on a pass play, will play a critical role in the February 4th Super Bowl game. Manning, the quarterback for the AFC's Indianapolis Colts, may not have the ball control he requires and is used to in his passing game.
Dr. Harvey Wienberg of the Mayo Clinic was interviewed about the importance of the thumb for the NFL championship game. He said that "the thumb plays a very important role for the passer in the game of American rules football. While he has four fingers on one side of the ball on the laces, his thumb is on the other side. Try putting all of your fingers on one side of a ball and throwing it. You have no grip, you get no spiral, you get no distance. All of these are important for an award winning quarterback like Manning."
"The thumb is a very useful tool. Without it, a little boy could not have plugged a dike and saved the Netherlands. Without it, hitchhikers would not get a ride. Without it, Siskel and Ebert would not have gotten famous for rating the movies. How could you thumb your nose at someone without a thumb? The opposable thumb is what took man from apes to the tool using, civilized creatures that we are today."
"Without his thumb, Peyton Manning may as well retire as a football player and just make more annoying television commercials."
"All I know is, that without his thumb, I'm going to bet the under and also take the points and go with the Bears."