He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

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He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother

This photo of Peyton and Eli (thanks to Sports Illustrated) got me thinking about family and especially little brothers. Look at Eli in this picture. No one is LOOKING at me. Hey, over here! Look at me! Lemme play! Commoooon! (Possibly followed by a tantrum and/or running inside to tell Mom) Little Peyton is oblivious in the image. To him it’s just another case of his baby bro being a pest and getting in the way. That’s how kids work. Older brother leads and little brother follows. Older brother strikes out into the wild blue yonder and younger brother is left with ready made tick marks on the growth chart wall of life. As Peyton followed his old man to become a QB, all you had to do is look at this early pic to realize that Eli was also dying to prove he belonged. Many kids try to live up to the reputation or success of their parents but while Mom or Dad grew up in a different era and faced different hurdles on the way to the top, siblings are acutely aware that they are judged side by side. Life is just one big playground and nothing is better than showing big brother that you can hang with the best of them. Peyton wants to be a QB? Well Eli does to. Peyton is going to Tennessee and eventual stardom in the NFL? Eli is going to Missisippi (Now I’m a Rebel like Dad!) AND ends up being the #1 pick in the NFL draft just like the older bro. Peyton has a ring? You see where this is going. It’s the real life version of “ Anything you can do, I can do better” and it happens across sports, cultures, and lifestyles. Sibling rivalry is probably the first really passionate competition many of us ever engage in. It’s almost primal for little brothers to want to take down older siblings because they represent the first real bully many kids ever face. Before we’re strapped into our tiny uniforms and trotted out to peewee football, baseball, or lacrosse, we’ve had years of trying to beat out our brother for the last popsicle, the...
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