First off, I would like to say how much Peyton Manning impressed me yesterday. I’m not talking about his play or the fact that he put his team on his shoulders after throwing an interception to Samuel for a TD that put his team down 21-3 in the first half and completed the largest comeback in AFC Title game history (because no one should be impressed that Peyton Manning was able to do it) but with the way he handled himself during the post game press conference after the most emotional and meaningful game of his career. During the press conference, Peyton was understandably asked if this game was retribution for him, if this victory against the Patriots in the AFC Title game was his revenge or vindication against Brady and Belichick. Everyone would have understood if he said yes and proceeded to explain how the giant monkey that had lived on his back for the last 4 years had been lifted but Manning was PERFECT.
“I don’t get into monkeys and vindication,” he said. “I don’t play that card. I know how hard I worked this season, I know how hard I worked this week.”
Thats just one of the perfect lines Manning uttered yesterday and it exemplifies just how great a person he is. Refusing to be labeled despite the fact that he had been labeled for the last 4 years and for the last 72 hours especially…he spent most of the time criticizing himself for his interception and complementing his teammates for a job well done. No monkey, no vindication, no revenge…Peyton made no excuses, gave no explanations. He’s just plain great.
Now I cannot imagine any circumstance where the Colts could possibly lose the Superbowl to the Chicago Bears. The amount of momentum the Colts and especially Peyton Manning are entering the Superbowl with is overwhelming and reminds me of a certain Red Sox team just a couple of years ago. When the Red Sox came back from 3-0 to beat the Yankees, they had so much momentum that the World Series was merely a formality. That is how I imagine this Superbowl will go. Despite the fact that the leagues best offense will face the leagues best defense, I just find it hard to imagine Peyton Manning getting to the big game (especially considering the record setting way he did it) and coming up short.
Colts win and I guarantee no matter what his stats are (although chances are they’ll be pretty good) Peyton Manning takes home the Superbowl MVP.