The Denver Broncos 43-8 loss at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII was not embarrassing to Bronco’s quarterback Peyton Manning, though many Bronco fans are a bit embarrassed this morning. “It’s not embarrassing. Embarrassing is an insulting word,” Manning said in his post-game interview.
What is embarrassing, however is the rash of idiotic comments appearing on social media today. “Over rated……I would take Tom Brady any day over him. Always chokes on the big games.” Or how about this one, “Who cares about season MVPs? Unless someone has a ridiculous year, they give it to Peyton by default.”
I was hoping the Broncos would win so the poison toward Peyton Manning would be absent from the Monday morning Super Bowl assessment. Since they didn’t win and since they were totally and completely demolished by the Seahawks, we simply have to listen to it.
I have stated in this column before that Peyton Manning’s legacy is intact, regardless of what happened on Sunday night, and this is coming from a long-time follower of the NFL who considered the late, great Johnny Unitas the greatest quarterback of all time, until this season. When the season had ended and I looked at the stats that Manning put up at the age of 37, I changed my mind.
“The guy has the most playoff losses in league history.” He also has a lot of wins, which means one thing; he took a lot of teams to the post-season. And for those who say he can’t win the big one, remember the Colts won a Super Bowl in 2007 with Peyton being named the Super Bowl MVP.
When his center snapped the ball over Manning’s head on the first play of the game, I thought it was just jitters or too much adrenalin. It turned out to be a bad omen for things to come, and with every mistake the Broncos made, the Seahawks gained more confidence and more swagger.
Peyton Manning set a new Super Bowl record with thirty-three pass completions on Sunday. This is really a misleading stat because the hole the Broncos put themselves in, dictated that they were forced to throw the ball more.
Now that the game is over and the talk about Manning’s legacy will continue until next season begins, the next big event in Peyton’s life is the physical he will have with team doctors in March. They could give him a clean bill of health, which would likely bring him back for at least one more year or, they could give him the news that he and all of his many fans are dreading to hear. That would be the news that the condition of his neck had deteriorated and he should retire from football.
Regardless of what happens in March, Peyton’s legacy is intact with me. He is the greatest of all time, and even though he will always have his dissenters he should forget about Super Bowl XLVIII, because one game will not define his career. I would imagine he will take a few weeks away with his wife Ashley and his twins and just relax. He will hurt for a while and a loss like this one will be hard to forget about, but he will not be embarrassed; no, not at all.
Randy Smith has been covering sports on radio, television and print for the past 45 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has written two books, and has continued to free-lance as a play-by-play announcer. He is currently teaching Broadcasting at Coahulla Creek High School near Dalton, Ga.
His career has included a 17-year stretch as host of the Kickoff Call In Show on the University of Tennessee’s prestigious Vol Network. He has been a member of the Vol Network staff for thirty years.
He has done play-by-play on ESPN, ESPN II, CSS, and Fox SportSouth, totaling more than 500 games, and served as a well-known sports anchor on Chattanooga Television for more than a quarter-century.
In 2003, he became the first television broadcaster to be inducted into the Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame. Randy and his wife Shelia reside in Hixson, TN. They have two married children, (Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith.) They have three grandchildren, Coleman, Boone and DellaMae.
To contact Randy: firstname.lastname@example.org