Can you really blame Peyton Manning for walking off before shaking the hands of the Super Bowl XLIV Champion New Orleans Saints?
Seriously guys. It's not like he blew the game. It's not like he made his first ever mistake with less than five minutes left on the game clock.
Who could have guessed that Reggie Wayne would run the hook route at 50 percent when he had been running all his routes at least at 72 percent? If you guessed that would happen, then there is no way you could have guessed Tracy Porter could jump the route that the Colts have made their name on for the past four years.
In all seriousness, all the Peyton talk is pretty outrageous. As much as it pains me to say it being from Boston, the guy is a legitimately a really good guy, or as good as a guy that you have never met can seem.
He deserves to be the center of the conversation for top five all time in the NFL. He has come back from countless deficits in the fourth quarter.
When is the last time you have heard his name in a negative context? The only thing he does other than football is commercials or a few appearances on TV shows, most of which are fairly hilarious.
With those few serious things out of the way, let me continue.
So he doesn't shake hands with Drew Brees, who can be heard saying "Let me find Peyton. I gotta find Peyton," as he was being mauled by the media after the game. I wouldn't have. You probably wouldn't have either.
But Peyton went out of his way after the game to give the Saints all of the respect they deserved. His press conference was talking about how they were the better team and congratulating them. He found Jonathan Vilma on his way back to the locker room from the press conference and congratulated him excessively.
Just because he threw one bad pass doesn't take his name out of the greatest ever conversation. People loved to see him lose and loved to see the Saints win, but he definitely deserved to be there. He is a classy guy, and not to take anything away from Drew Brees because he is the most deserving quarterback in the NFL as far as who should win a Super Bowl in their career, but Peyton deserves another one some time.
Not that I want that to happen, seeing as how they would have to beat the Patriots to do it, but he is a classy guy who loves to win. He also hates to lose. Almost as much as he loves to win.
So keep your head up Peyton, you guys will be back. And for everyone else in the league—Tom Brady, Bill Belichick—learn a lesson or two from Peyton. Lose with some dignity, concentrate on football not your image, and maybe you will deserve to win another playoff game or two, or even the Super Bowl.