Forty miles is a long way to travel by car, let alone throw a football. Peyton Manning's 10-yard pass to fellow Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders about halfway through the game Thursday night (Sept. 17) at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City has Manning ticking in at around 40 miles in total passing yardage for his career in the NFL.
Ten yards isn't far, but with the pass to Sanders, Manning became the second quarterback in NFL history to surpass 70,000 career yards passing. Brett Favre holds the record with 71,838 career passing yards, and Manning is expected to outstretch Farve's record, at least by the end of this season.
Manning finished the game against the Kansas City Chiefs with 256 yards passing, going 26-of-45, with three touchdowns and an interception in Denver's 31-24 comeback win. All those KC fans with lipstick and erasable magic marker ink covering their faces as war paint, festooned with chicken-feather headdresses imported from Indonesia, went home disturbed and crying. Boo hoo hoo. Manning had 175 passing yards in the Broncos' season opener with the Baltimore Ravens 19-13 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sept. 13. Manning entered the game with the Chiefs needing 134 yards to reach the milestone. In a yardage to mile ratio, 70,000 yards is exactly 39.7727 miles.
With Farve and Manning standing first and second in the winter's circle of total NFL passing mileage, the all-time third place laurels for career passing yardage goes to NFL Hall of Famer and Pittsburgh, Pa.'s favorite son Dan Marino, who surpassed 60,000 yards passing in his career. Marino had 61,361 career passing yards. This equates to about 35 miles. A humble man, have you ever heard Marino boast of this feat while giving his color accounts as a sports announcer? Naw. Marino would never involve himself with such ostentatious bluster. Besides, keeping all the other records he's held in the NFL accurate is too mind boggling when Marino is trying to concentrate on announcing a game. As an trivial aside, the writer had lunch with Marino once - at a pasta extravaganza - oh, about 23 years ago. Marino told the writer that he's never competed with other NFL quarterbacks, only himself. He said he always tried to better his performance, never thinking much about what other NFL QBs were doing. This magical way of thinking ultimately spelled the greatest of NFL successes for Mr. Marino.
If readers of The Spoof aren't aware of how far 40 miles is, the writer has formulated some equal lengths as a "measuring stick" for your enjoyment:
* The Great Wall of Mexico that Donald Trump plans to build is exactly forty miles long. The Great Wall of Mexico will be built smack dab in the middle of the Rio Grande River and will begin in Laredo, Texas, and end in Brownsville, Texas. Although this wall doesn't really cover much of the 1,980 miles of the border between the USA and Mexico, The Donald said he simply didn't factor in the high costs of cement. "We're looking for a kind-hearted Republican benefactor to donate trees. We'll construct the Great Wall of Mexico out of lumber rather than concrete. Maybe all the woods cut down in Alberta, Canada, to expose the boreal forest's oil sands can be shipped down here to the Mexican border. I'm trying to become friends with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper right now. But it's hard. It's hard for me to make friends with anyone. Carly Fiorina and I are friends now. I think Jeb Bush likes me. Along with Megyn Kelly. And Regis has always been my little buddy - sort of my 'Mini-Me'," Trump said recently. What if building the Great Wall of Mexico out of lumber is cost prohibitive or in some other way out of reach? Well, Trump said he plans to build it using bamboo, and if this doesn't work, he'll consider making it out of rice paper.
* To work off eating 50 banana splits within the span of three hours, waiting 15 minutes, and then drinking two kegs of beer in the span of eight hours, it would take a person at least 40 miles of walking very fast to burn off all the calories. Sick yet? Nobody has ever accomplished this feat because nobody has ever tried it. Don't be the first. If you are, make sure you have a friend handy to call 9-1-1.
* Forty miles of bad road is such a nasty ride it seems like you're traveling on 440 miles of bad road. And with as cheap as most city and county road departments are - in this summer's season of fixing up the roads with grimy and gritty coal patch - I'm sure you can relate. Last winter created more potholes than there are craters on the moon; and if you live in or around Buffalo, Boston, Bean Town, or Baltimore, you've traveled 40 miles of bad road - not this summer, but during the past few days. Stay calm and don't fret, though, winter's sharp fangs will be upon us again. Old Man Winter will be having fun with his jolly ole freeze-thaw-freeze-thaw antics come late November to early December (Oh no, all the freezing, white & obnoxiously painful days that drag on like months and months that drag on like millenniums - until at least late March). Nobody will even raise an eyebrow this winter if Old Man Winter's practical joking involves dumping 12 feet of snow in areas that used to have two feet; and conversely, the old rattlesnake's new habit of tossing two feet of snow in places that used to have 12 feet isn't getting the straggly bearded antediluvian comedian many laughs. Look on the bright side - pretty soon you'll be able to cook outside - without fire flaming up a grill - if you live in Florida, New Mexico, California or Texas. And if you live in Alaska, you'll be able to swim in the ocean in January and not even feel chilled. And even middle school girls will be able to beat up a full-grown male polar bear since the ivory colored leviathans are so emaciated and weak anymore that they can hardly even breath, let alone put up a fight.
* Forty miles is the length in which my friend and neighbor Jacko's girlfriend, Delilah, placed between Jacko and herself right after their big breakup. Now you might feel that this isn't all that far, but Jacko doesn't have a car and nobody wants to drive him anywhere. It's not that he can't afford a vehicle, he's lost his license for driving around drunk and being caught in the act by Der Kommissar. Sure, he could take a taxi, but cab fare for two, 40-mile trips would cost nearly as much as a first-class plane ticket roundtrip from New York City to Los Angeles. What's Jacko to do, walk? Ride a bicycle? So relatively speaking, as far as Jacko's own predicament is concerned, 40 miles is a long distance. Too long, right? Walking may be good exercise, but 40 miles of walking can be detrimental to your health. And since Jacko's a physical wreck to begin with, walking 40 feet could put him in the Intensive Care Unit with a thunderous heart attack.
* Peyton Manning's 40 miles of total passing yardage is an astronomical figure in relation to the world's shortest river. The Roe River is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's shortest river. The Roe flows 200 feet between Giant Springs, Mont., and the Missouri River near Great Falls, Mont. The Roe River competes with the D River in Lincoln City, Ore., for the title of the shortest river. Both rivers have been measured on different occasions, with lengths varying from 58 feet to 200 feet. Schoolchildren in Great Falls campaigned successfully to have the Roe River placed in The Guinness Book of World Records. The source of the Roe River, Giant Springs, Mont., is the largest freshwater spring in the United States. The longest river in the USA is the Missouri River. The Missouri River flows 2,341 miles, and meanders 1,029 miles, from Three Forks to the North Dakota border in Montana alone. When an NFL quarterback has a career passing total in NFL games (and not pre-season games, just regular season games, and definitely not practices, either), the cheapskate writer will surely shelf over $300 for a ticket to sit in the stadium's "cheap seats". How far would a quarterback have to throw to beat the length of the world's longest river? The magic number is 4,258 miles and the river is The Nile in Africa, which flows south to north. This mark isn't really out of reach, considering the proliferation of steroids in professional sports, deflation of footballs for a quarterback's personal preferences, and the advancements being made in chemically and genetically modified foods. In another 50 years, the front line of the Cleveland Browns, and all their opponents, will all be as big as Alaskan bigfoots.
* Forty miles is exactly the length that my old English Comp Professor, Feducious T. Flynt, traveled with his jalopy to get his Underwood typewriter out of hock. He lost it in a poker game last Saturday night at the Odd Fellows Club. The old buzzard went to a payday loan place to get the hundred bucks needed to spring the Underwood from the greedy clutches of some pawnbroker. Now Feducious is back to writing his science fiction novel. Oh, how I wish - for mankind's sake - that Mr. Flynt didn't get that quickie loan. The sputtering, choking, wheezing dinosaur Flynt drove 40 miles with let Feducious know - in no uncertain terms - that forty miles can be a very long distance to travel. If you're driving a sputtering, choking, wheezing dinosaur, that is. And after his book is published, anyone reading the 4,000-some-page tome will be wishing they'd walked forty miles on their hands and knees rather than reading 400,000 miles of unreadable, unpublishable prose.
Well there you have it, 40 miles. It's a long way, if you look at it from the perspectives that I've illustrated above. So putting it bluntly, I'm impressed with Peyton Manning's benchmark. Very impressed. Congratulations, Peyton, but there's more passing to be done - now it's time to try to top the 80,000 yard mark.