Peyton Manning is one of the best quarterbacks of all-time, a great leader, a gentleman off the field and a family man. He gives to charity (including building a hospital), signs countless autographs, is a role model for kids and has never been in any kind of trouble. So why is there seemingly so much dislike and disdain for a guy that does everything the right way?
I understand that I’m a fan of the Denver Broncos and I’m going to be biased, but I am constantly amazed at the constant criticism of a player who is doing things that fans have always demanded from a professional athlete. I don’t know the exact reasons but I have a few thoughts on the subject.
Is it because he under performs in the playoffs/Super Bowls?: My guess is this is where most of the criticism comes from and some of it is fair, but not to the level Manning receives. It’s true he’s been ousted in the first round of the playoffs more than he would like, but his teams are in the playoffs EVERY SINGLE year. It’s also important to remember that Manning’s teams are almost always one of the top two seeds meaning he doesn’t get to play a lesser wild card team in the first round.
As for the Super Bowls, he’s been to three and won one so let’s not pretend he’s never won a title. Dan Marino is celebrated as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time, yet he only played in one Super Bowl which he lost and never really got close to another one. Many gush over the fact that Jim Kelly led the Buffalo Bills to four straight Super Bowls, even though he lost all of them. Call me crazy but I’ll take Manning’s current 1-2 Super Bowl record over Marino’s 0-1, or Kelly’s 0-4.
Is Manning too good in the regular season?: Is it possible that people hold Manning’s postseason record against him even more because of how great he is in the regular season? Even last season, many “experts” like Keyshawn Johnson constantly downplayed the season Manning was having because of past playoff failures. Granted the Super Bowl was a dud but Manning was pretty special in the playoff games leading up to that point, including throwing for 400 yards in the AFC Championship Game.
It’s insane to discredit a guy because he’s too good in the regular season; Manning has his teams in the hunt every year and as a Broncos fan, I’ll take that over fighting to go 8-8 every season.
Is it the commercials?: Manning, as we all know, is in what seems like every other commercial; do people just get tired of seeing him? If that’s the case, then that’s fine but I still don’t know how that leads to ripping him for his on the field performance.
Plus let’s be honest, Manning’s commercials are a lot better than anything that anyone else is doing. They are funny and Manning is not afraid to make fun of himself.
Those are some of the reasons that I can come up with as to why Manning receives so much negative attention. Is it everyone that feels this way, of course not but that sentiment is out there. Maybe after he retires, Manning will receive some of the love that Marino and Kelly seem to enjoy.
In the meantime Manning will just keep winning games and putting the Broncos in position to win a championship. As for the constant criticism, I echo Denzel Washington in the movie Philadelphia; someone is going to have to explain it to me like I’m a five year-old.