First up was Peyton Manning, as he led the Denver Broncos to victory over the Arizona Cardinals. He had entered the game with 499 career touchdown passes. In short order, he had passed for his 500th one. He finished the day with a career best single game of 479 yards, along with three additional touchdowns. This gives him a new total of 503 touchdowns, meaning he is expected to surpass Bret Favre (who has 508) for the all-time NFL record in the next one or two games.
Playing in his sixteenth season (he missed 2011 due to illness), Manning has been become somewhat of a living legend. (This is especially true here in East Tennessee where he played for the University of Tennessee Volunteers.) His NFL records are numerous and speak volumes about his accomplishments…
-Super Bowl champion (XLI)
-Super Bowl MVP (XLI)
-13× Pro Bowl (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008,
2009, 2010, 2012, 2013)
-7× First-team All-Pro (2003, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2012, 2013)
-3× Second-team All-Pro (1999, 2000, 2006)
-3× AFC Champion (2006, 2009, 2013)
-5× AP NFL MVP (2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2013)
-2× AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2004, 2013)
-AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year (2012)
-4× NFL passing touchdown leader (2000, 2004, 2006, 2013)
-Indianapolis Colts All-time leader (Career Wins, Passing Touchdowns, Pass
Attempts, Pass Completions and Passing Yards)
-Pro Bowl MVP (2005)
-NFL 2000s All-Decade Team
-2013 Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year
UP next was Tom Brady. On Sunday night, playing in his fifteenth season, he led the New England Patriots to a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. In so doing, he set an NFL record for total yards passed by a single quarterback in a career. He had entered the game sitting at 49,940 yards; and quickly surpassed the 50,000 yard mark, making him the sixth ever passer to do so.
Granted, at this point, he still has quite a ways to go to set an NFL record. Along the way, he would have to catch and surpass some fairly big names - like John Elway (at 51,475 yards), Drew Brees (at 52,284 yards and counting), Dan Marino (at 61,361 yards), Peyton Manning (at 65,778 and counting), and Bret Favre (at 71,838 total yards). But three of these (Elway, Marino, and Favre) are already retired. So, he gains on them weekly!
Like Manning, his NFL record speaks for itself…
-3× Super Bowl champion (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX)
-2× Super Bowl MVP (XXXVI, XXXVIII)
-2× AP NFL MVP (2007, 2010)
-9× Pro Bowl (2001, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
-2× First-team All-Pro (2007, 2010)
-Second-team All-Pro (2005)
-5× AFC Champion (2001, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2011)
-2× NFL Passing Yards Leader (2005, 2007)
-Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year (2005)
-Sporting News Sportsman of the Year (2004, 2007)
-AP Male Athlete of the Year (2007)
-2× AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year (2007, 2010)
-3× AFC Offensive Player of the Year (2007, 2010, 2011)
-AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year (2009)
-PFWA NFL Comeback Player of the Year (2009)
-Most Career Playoff Starts for Quarterback (26)
-Most Career Playoff Wins for Quarterback (18)
-New England Patriots All-time leader (Passing Touchdowns, Passing Yards,
Pass Completions, Pass Attempts, and Career Wins)
-NFL 2000s All-Decade Team
What are we to take from all of this? A great many possibilities come to mind – everything from leadership to sportsmanship. But I want to focus on one particular thing that both of these men have in common. It may very well be the single greatest key to productivity, no matter what one's chosen profession may be.
And what is that? I call it "Stick-to-it-tive-ness!" And this can only be accomplished through staying faithful! Think about it. Both of these men have spent their respective careers, by and large, playing for only one or two teams. This may sound easy; but it takes real commitment to do this, especially in a league where players come and go all the time, more often as not utilizing free agency to chase a bigger paycheck.
Along the way, they have had both good days and bad days. As well as high moments and low moments. Also, times when everything was going their way and times when everything was going against them. Yet, in all of this, they have just stayed the course, and kept on suiting up week in and week out. And because of this, they have not only survived, but thrived.
Why not follow this example? Whoever you are and whatever your chosen profession, commit yourself to it. In time, the victories will come. This is almost guaranteed to be the case. As the Apostle Paul says in his New Testament letter to the Galatians (6:9): "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."
And remember as you do, it has often been said that a big shot is nothing more than a little shot who just kept on shooting!
Now, go chase whatever record lies before you! After all, it was made to be broken!