Peyton Manning Pulls a Belichick, To a Very Different Reaction

Two years ago, Bill Belichick famously rushed off to the locker room with a second remaining in Super Bowl XLII, rather than offer congratulations on field to the champion New York Giants. That the Colts attempted to convert a 4th and 2 with the lead on Sunday wasn't the only way they cribbed their rival's coach; Peyton Manning made a beeline to the locker room in lieu of the requisite display of congratulations to the victorious Saints. ↵

↵The postgame handshake is a pro forma bow to sportsmanship that means little to the players and coaches involved. However, should someone neglect this sporting nicety, the oversight is then used by writers as a cudgel to reinforce an irrelevant media enforced standard of honor. See also: James, LeBron. ↵

↵

↵What I take exception with is the way many members of the media were quick to crucify Belichick for what they saw as a brusque and cowardly departure, while excusing Manning's behavior as only indicative of his admirable disdain for losing. Because the differing reactions are done only to fit the narrative created for each personality - Belichick as spiteful misanthrope, Peyton as uber-focused competitor. When really they did the same thing for the same reason. ↵

↵

↵Manning later offered a text message kudos to Drew Brees, which is sufficient humility by my lights. In the future when a superstar player fails to give the concessionary photo op at midfield or center court, my only hope is that it is met with the indifference such a meaningless snub deserves, and not a reaction that is predicated on how the media views the losing player or coach in question. ↵

↵

This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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