By Ryan Divish
In a perfect world, I'd be a foot taller, a lottery winner, married to Jennifer Garner and the San Diego Chargers would draft Eli Manning out of spite.
But to steal a line from the song that plays in the background of the date scene of the movie "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's dead" - "Oh, this ain't no perfect world."
First of all, two of my four wishes are impossible, one is a possibility and other I'm sure could happen if she just met me and let my boyish charm convince her. But that's another story or a stalking trial, whatever you want to call it.
I'm pretty sure I won't be growing any taller since the last time I grew an inch taller, the other George Bush was president. The lottery? Well, I do buy tickets - so you're saying there's a chance.
So besides the unlikelihood of a freak growth spurt, the other impossibility will be the Chargers drafting Manning out of spite
If you're not familiar with the story, the youngest Manning child has decided to pull a John Elway.
Earlier this week, the story broke that Manning's father, Archie, told the San Diego Chargers, holders of the first pick in the NFL draft, that his son doesn't want to play for them.
It is the same thing that Elway pulled in 1983, when he told the then Baltimore Colts that he didn't want to play for them. The Colts had the first pick in the draft and took Elwa anyway, believing they could convince him to play for their team.
Instead, Elway, who was also drafted in baseball, played a year of Class A baseball for the Oneonta Yankees, before the Colts finally traded him to Denver.
Fortunately for the Chargers, Manning hasn't been drafted in baseball. But he has still threatened to sit out the season, if selected by San Diego.
And I say let him.
Why not? It's not like he would play even if the Chargers drafted him and he wanted to play there.
How many rookie quarterbacks play significantly in their first year? One, maybe two, and that's either mop-up time or out of desperation.
San Diego still has a relatively talented quarterback in Drew Brees. When I say relatively, it means that lately, Brees couldn't throw it in the back of parked dump truck from 12 yards. Now, if the dump truck was wearing an opponent's jersey. Then, Brees could throw through the partially open cab window.
Brees' numbers last season are far from awe inspiring. He did throw for 2,108 yards and 11 touchdowns in 11 games, but he also completed only 57 percent of his passes and threw 15 interceptions. In his career with San Diego, Brees has thrown 31 interceptions compared to just 29 touchdowns. Not exactly the ratio that a coach is looking for.
Because of Brees' ineptitude, the Chargers were ready to make Manning the top pick in the draft - a high honor that most players would gladly take. Except Manning doesn't want it.
Don't misunderstand this, Manning still wants to be the first player taken and receive the type of money that comes with being the top pick - he just doesn't want San Diego to have the top pick.
In the Manning family's perfect world, the New York Giants would make a trade for the top pick and Eli would be headed to New York.
But I say to hell with the Mannings' wish for a perfect world. Their world isn't so bad now. Archie was a college legend at Ole Miss, Payton is already an NFL star for Indianapolis and Eli is likely to be a star for whatever team he plays for, even San Diego. What more can they want? Their own tropical island?
Part of the reason why the worst teams get to the top picks is because they need the most help. That is the way every draft is set up. You don't give the best team the first pick so it can continue to dominate. You give it to the worst team so that it can build itself with the best incoming players. Manning shouldn't have been such a good player and he wouldn't have to worry about going to San Diego.
Archie Manning has said that he feels that the Chargers just aren't "a good fit" for Eli. And that may be true.
Let's be real honest here. San Diego hasn't exactly been a juggernaut in the league the past 10 year since it went to the Super Bowl. It is far from a utopia for any quarterback. San Diego's offensive line is manned by decaying, beaten up has-beens who couldn't block a line of shoppers at K-Mart let alone an NFL defensive line.
And then there's head coach Marty Schottenheimer's offense which could be summed up by this: run up the middle, counter up the middle, draw up the middle, punt.
The guy isn't winning any awards for offensive creativity. It's like playing football against someone on Playstation, who runs the same three plays all the time. Only, his plays are halfback traps and dives, not Hail Marys and deep crossing patterns in five-receiver sets.
You almost expect the guy to roll out the wishbone formation at some point. Schottenheimer's idea of passing is running a toss sweep.
And then there is the Chargers' recent draft success. Every NFL pundit and fan blames the drafting of Ryan Leaf as the root of all of San Diego draft ills. Leaf, who was drafted after Payton Manning by the Chargers with second pick of the 1998 NFL draft, didn't exactly pan out. But people need to stop beating the Leaf issue to death. Yeah, it didn't help much, but neither did trading the top pick of 2000 draft to Atlanta for the fourth pick and kick-returner named Tim Dwight.
Let's see, San Diego passed up on Michael Vick for LaDainian Tomlinson and a guy that plays less than half the snaps in the game. Tomlinson is a pro bowl player, but in Schottenheimer's system he carries the ball close to 30 times a game. The guy will be broken down and out of the league in three more years. Dwight, well, he's not exactly a household name. And Vick, oh I don't know, he's just the best player in the NFL.
Still with all that, Manning should go to San Diego if he's selected. It's not his choice. That's how the draft works. He wants to be the first player taken and the Chargers have the first pick. He can't change that.
But San Diego can't take the chance of drafting Manning and having him sit out a year and then reenter next year's draft. They will most likely trade the pick and draft Phillip Rivers or Ben Rothelisberger, instead of drafting Manning and letting him rot for a year without game competition.
Manning will get his wish, play for the team he wants and all be right in his perfect little world, while all I'm stuck with is a bunch of lottery tickets and a restraining order from Jennifer Garner.