How We Vilified The Wrong Quarterback After The Super Bowl. Fight The Real Enemy: Peyton Manning
Rick Chandler 09:40 am, February 09th, 2016
They carried Cam Newton out on his shield on Sunday. Meanwhile, Peyton Manning was transported to Disneyland on a pallet of $100 bills and misplaced hero worship.
Newton got a lot of heat for how he conducted himself following the Panthers' 24-10 loss to the Broncos in the Super Bowl, but hardly any of it is warranted. He stuck around and shook hands on the field, and showed up to his post-game press conference, even though he was ripped for being pouty and despondent, and walked out soon after arriving.
But that's because he could hear the Broncos shouting and celebrating on the other side of the curtain the NFL had set up between two interview stations. A curtain? The league makes how much from the Super Bowl? (please calculate your answer in the form of Google stock). And the best they can do is a thin layer of fabric to separate interview rooms?
But here's the thing: Newton's emotions were real. Manning was the fake. We're vilifying the wrong quarterback here. Manning was the no-class, money-grubbing automaton who defiled the Super Bowl with his post-game antics.
1. Channeling his inner Gordon Gekko, Manning's first move following the game was to ... kiss Papa John. Eww.
There could have been no greater metaphor for Manning and his approach to life. He's only stayed in the game this long to make as big a killing financially as he can. His ownership of Papa John's franchises is fine, but how is Papa John even on the field? Answer: The NFL is in business to make money, and football is a distant second place. They don't even try to hide it anymore.
2. Manning's second move was to mention Budweiser twice during his first post-game interview. Manning also has a stake in Anheiser-Busch, naturally.
So we crush Cam Newton, whose actions were heartfelt and whose emotions were real, if a bit immature. And we deify Manning, who has reduced the game to a Madison Avenue board meeting: just another commercial amidst all the others that day. Newton's emotional collapse was all about the game. Manning's celebration was all about the Benjamins. Both were heartbreaking to watch.
What have we learned here, kids? Greed is good. Honest emotions are to be mocked. And it's OK to throw around steroid accusations if you have a big head and are black (Barry Bonds), but not of you have a big head and are white (Peyton Manning). OK, see you tomorrow.
"I will kiss the Trivago guy... for one ba-million (hiccup) dollars." --Peyton Manning, drunk on Budweiser