After watching the NFL season and the first twelve hours of 24, I can't help but notice the parallels between New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and fictional President of the United States Wayne Palmer.
|Palmer vs. Manning||
|Code name||The Citadel||Elisha|
|More successful older brother||David||Peyton|
|Who endorses||Jack Bauer's renegade anti-terror efforts, Allstate Insurance||Direct TV, Gatorade, Adidas, MasterCard|
|Rose to his prominent position because of...||People blindly hoping he'd be like his brother, only with less terrorism||People blindly hoping he'd be like his brother, only with more postseason success|
|Succeeded||President Charles Logan, who resigned from office in disgrace. Logan's wife was very outspoken, and a little bit crazy.||Kurt Warner, who loses his job to a hotshot first-round QB every year. Warner's wife is very outspoken, and a little bit crazy.|
|Tortures...||Suspected terrorists||New York Giants fans|
|Natural rival||Arabs||Philadelphia Eagles|
|Imposing backup||Hardass vice president Noah Daniels||Fatass second-string QB Jared Lorenzen|
|Disciplinarian named Tom||Chief of Staff Tom Lennox, who wants to roll back most of the civil liberties protections guaranteed by the Bill of Rights||Coach Tom Coughlin, who requires his players to arrive to meetings five minutes early|
|Over the heads of his associates||Rhetoric about civil liberties||85% of his passes|
|Ally named Pierce||When armed commandos attack Wayne, he is saved through the intervention of Secret Service agent Aaron Pierce||When Eli was making a playoff push in 2005, he was aided by the strong linebacker play of Antonio Pierce|
|Standard unit of time||60 minutes||60 minutes|
|Which in reality lasts||60 minutes||Three hours, fifteen minutes|
|Past incompetence||Blew brother's re-election campaign by having an affair with a married woman, while her husband (Wayne's boss) recovered from a stroke. The boss died, his sister-in-law was murdered by Wayne's mistress, and the mistress subsequently killed herself.||Threw three interceptions against only ten completions in a 23-0 playoff loss to the Carolina Panthers.|
|Notable giveaways||Unspecified major concessions to the Chinese government in exchange for the release of Jack Bauer||44 interceptions and three lost fumbles in three seasons|
|Unbalanced trades||Wayne turned over Jack Bauer and $25 million to Abu Fayed in exchange for the location of known terrorist Hamri Al-Assad||The New York Giants traded QB Philip Rivers, a 2005 first round pick, and third round picks in 2004 and 2005 to San Diego in exchange for Manning|
|Trade aftermath||Fayed detonated a suitcase nuke in Valencia, killing upwards of 12,000 people. Meanwhile, Hamri Al-Assad had rejected violence, and was pursuing political solutions to his goals||San Diego went 14-2 in 2006, while three of the players obtained in the Manning trade went to the 2007 Pro Bowl. Meanwhile, the Giants lost their first playoff game in consecutive seasons|
|Uninspiring quote||"I don't know if I'm the right man to lead this country."||"You feel pressure when you're in a situation where you don't know what you're doing."|
|Lives and dies by...||A bomb||The bomb|
If the Wayne-Eli connection continues, expect the government to continue its lackluster anti-terror efforts through at least Hour 18. Then, in the fourth quarter of the day, Wayne will return from the hospital and govern his best, making good reads and aggressive orders. He'll be aided by CTU's replacement for the late Agent Curtis, wide receiver Plaxico Burress.
Unfortunately, the first part of the day has been so screwed up that his late heroics will be useless. The three remaining bombs will explode, killing Jack Bauer and half of California before midnight, but Wayne will do an excellent job directing the "hurry-up" early-morning relief effort.