Eli Manning and George W. Bush are essentially the same person to me.
(It should be noted that I know a lot about football and only enough about government to keep me from being inexplicably incarcerated.)
When I first heard about George W. Bush (from here on out, I’ll refer to him as “W”), I thought to myself, “Wait. Wasn’t his dad somebody?”
Then, when I first heard about Eli Manning, I thought to myself, “Wait. Wasn’t his dad somebody? And isn’t his brother Peyton? And weren’t they both quarterbacks? And don’t they all have the same haircuts?”
But the similarities don’t end there.
Aside from the fact that neither W nor Eli are the sharpest doorknobs in the shed and seemingly react to all questions with the same slackjawed and panicked stare, they’ve managed to succeed despite themselves and fallen neatly into their predetermined positions as “elite NFL quarterback” and “ruler of the free world.”
It’s as if Khloe Kardashian were to be No. 1 in the Maxim Hot 100.
With Eli weaseling his way into yet another Super Bowl, I decided to do a little digging to see just how much these two are doppelgangers.
(Not counting the fact that you’d definitely have to explain the word “doppelganger” to both of them.)
“BUT, DAD, I WANTED A JAG. NOT A FERRARI.”
It wasn’t like W ever had to worry about making student loan payments or writing resumes.
His great-great-grandfather was a successful lawyer; his great-grandfather was a prominent industrialist; his grandfather was a Wall Street executive banker and a Senator; and, of course, his dad was President of these here United States.
In the early ‘70s, right about the time George Sr. was named Ambassador to the United Nations and chairman of the Republican National Committee, Eli’s pop was making his name, too.
Archie Manning was quarterback for the clinically awful New Orleans Saints for a decade. By the time he retired in 1984, he was the face of football in the Big Easy, and he had three potential heirs to the throne – the youngest being Eli.
“I WANNA BE WHAT MY DADDY IS: RICH.”
While the Manning boys grew up single-mindedly focused on football, the Bush kids branched out into different (but more or less the same) kinds of money-makin’ jobs (bankers, venture capitalists, governors) laid out by their ancestors.
W was the first Bush boy to break into politics, and he eventually became governor of his stomping ground of Texas. But it wasn’t long before little bro Jeb took over Florida (this will be important later).
Eli’s oldest brother Cooper was an all-state high school receiver, but health forced him into a real job. But the Jan Brady of the Mannings – Peyton – became a stud QB at the University of Tennessee and was drafted No. 1 overall by the Colts in 1998 (this will be sort of important later).
“DUDE. CAN’T YOU PULL SOME STRINGS?”
In 1999, W announced he was running for la posicion del presidente, and eventually became the Republican candidate and took on then-VP, current-hippie Alvin Theodore Gore. 
When the elections came around, W won 29 states, but the race was so tight it came down to a recount in one state – conveniently the one run by his little brother. Even though Gore got half a million more total votes than W, George Jr. got the job.
In 2004, Eli had already been a relatively successful quarterback for Ole Miss, and was widely considered to be the frontrunner to be drafted No. 1 overall by the San Diego Chargers. But Eli and Archie – seemingly unaware that draftees don’t have to power to dictate where they’re drafted – said Eli would never sign with the Chargers. But the Chargers drafted his goofy ass anyway.
When the New York Giants took Philip Rivers at No. 4, the Chargers instantly made a trade that sent Mopey McMoperson to the Big Apple.
“SERIOUSLY. EVEN MOM THOUGHT I WOULDN’T WIN.”
Since it was sort of crazy that W was elected in the first place, and because the only thing he had going for him was a that he called himself a reluctant war-time president (like Michael Corleone), a lot of people thought Democratic corpse John Kerry would put an end to W’s reign of error.
But somehow, thanks largely to a wave of red state support, W shocked Jon Stewart and the liberals and defeated Kerry by the narrowest margin of victory ever for an incumbent president.
In the meantime, Eli struggled as a real grown-up quarterback. He had a few up-and-mostly-down seasons and rode Peyton’s coattails onto commercials for ESPN and Oreos.
But somehow, thanks largely to a wave of complete weirdness, Eli shocked the NFL in 2007-2008 and wound up taking the Giants to the Super Bowl against golden boy Tom Brady and the undefeated New England Patriots. Eli shoud’ve been just another speedbump on the Pats’ way to perfection. But instead, with only a field goal going into the fourth quarter, Eli managed to squeak out a 17-14 win and take the MVP — just like Peyton did the year before.
I know Eli has come a long way, and at the moment, seems like the less bitchy of the Manning boys.
But I’ll be rooting against him in the Super Bowl.
A little bit because of everything I mentioned above. But mostly because he and his W-like legacy make Tom Brady seem like an everyday Joe.
And Tom Brady is married to this.