There are more than a few similarities between LeBron James taking his talents to South Beach and Peyton Manning taking his neck X-rays to Denver. Both players were all anyone talked about in the weeks and days leading up to their respective decisions. So how will the Tale of the Tape play out? Let's take a look at The King vs. ... um, well, Peyton doesn't have a nickname, so put one in LeBron's column, I guess.
Which process did we enjoy more?
Peyton's story took a little less than two weeks from release to his new team. We followed LeBron for a full year and a half until his prime-time special.
Advantage: LeBron. Peyton was more the British version of The Office -- 14 episodes from start to finish, nice and neat. LeBron was more Harry Potter because of the sheer volume of work. And also because I think it took J.K. Rowling as long to write the series as it did LeBron to go from his initial public musing about free agency to the Heat.
Who let the losing suitors down easier?
LeBron made teams come to him, and teased Donnie Walsh, Jay-Z and plenty of others with pitch meetings and coy sayings in the press. Peyton called the teams he wanted to see and worked out at their convenience.
Advantage: Peyton. Manning was the kid who asks the girl out on the date, picks the restaurant, pays and walks her to the door at the end. LeBron is the kid who rides by in a slick car, slows down to 30 mph for her to jump in, says he's going Dutch on the meal, heads to the bathroom midway through and has a friend come to the table and to inform the girl he had to leave suddenly.
How did we find out?
LeBron took an hour to tell a gathering of kids at a Boys & Girls club -- and an audience of millions on live TV -- where he was going. We found out about Peyton when it became breaking news on the Internet.
Advantage: LeBron. I'm a sucker for drama. Peyton could have done The Bachelor rose ceremony and people would have watched on Saturn, but he went low-key.
Who comes out with a better reputation?
"The Decision" was an overwhelmingly great day for basketball. For LeBron, not so much. He was criticized like he was Isiah Thomas, choosing to break the city of Cleveland's heart on national television. Peyton got pushed out by Indianapolis' on-field ineptness and Andrew Luck.
Advantage: Peyton. It's one thing to turn down a marriage proposal. It's quite another to do it on the Diamond Vision in between periods.
Whose former team is in better shape?
Advantage: Push. At least until Luck throws his first TD pass.
Whose new team is better?
Advantage: LeBron. Because he came with D-Wade and Chris Bosh. Peyton's not bringing Megatron and Welker with him.
And the winner is ...
So when you total it up, LeBron wins it. Bottom line is that we like to see stories unfold and pushed to the limit. LeBron was a willing participant and gave us something we'll talk about for 20 years. Peyton's process will be forgotten once he holds up that Broncos helmet.