View Full Version : Peyton Manning and the Super Bowl

02-27-2010, 12:33 AM
I want to say here at the outset that I have a great deal of respect for Archie Manning and his sons, Peyton and Eli. I personally shook hands with Archie many years ago, and he was simply most gracious and cordial.

There has been a good deal of talk out of New Orleans on WWL radio about the fact that Peyton Manning did not shake the hand of Drew Brees, or of any other member of the Saints organization/team, on the field after New Orleans' win in the Super Bowl. Instead, Peyton apparently hustled off the field without so much as a word.

This might not be such a big deal if Peyton and the whole Manning family were not Orleanians. Peyton grew up in New Orleans. He and his brother Eli played football and basketball at Isidore Newman High school, an elite private school in Metairie, which might be compared to the southside of Birmingham.

Peyton and Eli grew up hearing their father do the color commentary on Saints radio broadcasts, after Archie had already had a stellar career as quarterback at Ole Miss and as a fabled quarterback for the Saints during their down years. The best the Saints ever did with Archie at the helm was 8-8, when he won the Most Valuable Offensive Player award.

In all the years I ever heard Archie on the radio, I never heard him mention Alabama football. I can't remember just when he became the Saints color commentator, but it couldn't have been long after Bryant had finished his run of six national championships.

I do remember when Archie and Scott Hunter dueled in a game in which Ole Miss and Alabama combined for over a thousand yards in total offense. I particularly remember the expression on Archie's face at the end of the game, when he and Ole Miss had lost it. It was as if he wanted to beat Alabama and Bryant more than anything else. In fact, Ole Miss beat Alabama with Archie in '68, lost this duel of '69, and then won again in '70. Those two wins were not against Bear Bryant's greatest Bama teams.

This was the "Manning experience" I had when Peyton came to Tennessee. Did Alabama beat Tennessee ever when Peyton was the QB? What stuck in my craw for years was that Peyton, after a Tennessee victory at Legion Field, personally led the Tennessee band in "Rocky Top." It wasn't just that he did that; it was that I had NEVER heard a word of blessing of Alabama football from his father -- and then THIS by Peyton.

When Peyton hurried off the field after his defeat in the latest Super Bowl, the New Orleans media and fans seemed to feel like I have felt about the Mannings for many years. Here is this ultra-fine football family, but they don't seem to have respect or manners concerning the fine things that OTHERS do on the football field.

The whole scene of Phillip Fulmer at Tennessee started out with his sort of usurping the throne from Johnny Majors, who in his own right is a legend, and it ended with a sort of Sherlock Holmes investigation of Alabama. Phillip Fulmer showed no respect for Majors, and he showed no respect for Alabama. Neither did his famous quarterback, Peyton Manning, show respect either for Alabama or, later, for his own hometown Saints, the team his father had played for. Nobody's perfect, and no family's perfect. But I would have expected more from the Mannings.

A lot of this may have to do with the fact that Archie was not recruited by Bear Bryant. Archie was a skinny kid playing QB for Drew, Mississippi, during the sixties, on a high school team that won three or four games his senior year. Bear was not interested. The Mannings have seemed to want to make a point ever since.

02-27-2010, 10:26 AM
Meh, no issue between Peyton and the Saints. Who the hell would want to walk through a crows of thousands of people with confetti falling all over the place in search of a congratulatory handshake? I can see it being an issue after a regular season game, but the Super Bowl is such a crazy atmosphere. Brees hisself said Manning contacted him after the game to congratulate him, so is there really and issue here?