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Did Peyton Manning damage his legacy Sunday?

The football season is officially over.

I know, for many of you, it ended in mid-January.

Here’s a toast for all of you that couldn’t stand the idea of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, the New York Yankees and the Indianapolis Colts all celebrating championships in a 12-month period.

At least something turned up OK for Baltimore-area fans.

Seven of you had the New Orleans Saints winning the Super Bowl over that blue and white team from Indianapolis. Free drink chips to Dwayne, Justin, Jeff O and Jeff F, E Low and Steve 119. Kevin in Iraq gets two drink chips for his backdoor jinx that stung the Colts.

And the free tab for the week goes to … wait for it … good old Rich, who had a 38-19 Saints win (just edging E Low’s 38-20 call). Congrats to Rich for a win in our last Prediction Friday of the NFL season. I’ll let you light up a cigar, Rich, if you promise it’s just a cigar.

Anyway, it was a good game and a fine evening. The post-game shot of Drew Brees lifting his son up with the confetti floating down was classic, though it wasn’t my favorite moment of Sunday involving a toddler.

I am still laughing about the E-Trade commercial with Lindsey the Milkaholic (milk-a-what?) You know a commercial is genius when it is more entertaining than Betty White and Abe Vigoda being tackled in a Snickers’ ad – which was almost impossible to top.

But E-Trade’s Lindsey the Milkaholic did, in my opinion. Yes, I am a simpleton. I admit it.

Anyway, we’ll take one more swipe at the NFL before we move on to baseball this week. The biggest play of Super Bowl Sunday was the Tracy Porter interception and return that sealed the New Orleans Saints’ victory.

Yes, the onsides kick was huge, but if Porter doesn’t make that play, the Colts are still in position to at least tie the game.

The funny thing is, it’s been debated as to whether Peyton Manning somehow diminished his legacy by throwing that pick.

I say he just proved he was human, showed that he was not invincible. I think he was one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history before that and will remain that way.

Quarterbacks throw interceptions, it happens. That’s my thought, anyway.

But I guess I understand why some would suggest that by doing it on the biggest stage at a crucial moment hurts Manning’s legacy and his status at one of the best ever. I don’t buy it. But maybe you do.

Daily Think Special: Did Peyton Manning’s crucial interception in the fourth quarter Sunday damage his legacy?


I don't think it damaged his legacy, just brought back that dreaded P. Manning face we haven't seen all season. I listened to all the commentators about Manning and they mention his 9-9 playoff record, but I still believe he's the best QB alive today. That's enough props for him, I think I'm getting sick.

While I don't think I am personally responsible for jinxing the colts, I'll gladly take those 2 drink chips Dan & pass them along to my favortie posters CBS Jack & Rob K.

Probably won't be hearing from me much until next season, I'll be headed to alcoholics anonymous aka no more football for the next couple of months. It's been a long season, but I'll be walking by making sure the business is still up & running.


He absolutely diminished his legacy. He'e still one of the best in the League, but the truly great don't go 9-9 in playoff games. They find some way to win them.

I would say some would see it that way at least for now.
If he wins another Super Bowl before he retires-no one will remember it but the Saints. Example John Elway

I loved the game.I loved the Baltimore Colts.
Great job Saints and crew.
As Rex Barney would say-
Thaaannk Yooooouuuu!

It just re-solidified his rep as a choke artist.

The interception was just the sentinel play in the larger picture of 'not holding a lead.' That's got to hurt the legacy. Winning matters.

I agree that Peyton "was one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history before that and will remain that way."
Unfortunately that pick makes him fall from top 5 to about 15. Unless Manning wins three or four more super bowls after the age of 32, he will be forever linked to the Neil O' Donnell hall of Super Bowl greatness, not the Joe Montana or Troy Aikman wing.

To state it in simple terms: Payton Manning is no Joe Montana. Not even close.

Free tab for a week! Man that's cool. Thanks Dan. Please a round of drinks for everyone. Fact: Kolts go 8-8 this season and miss the play-offs if there Q-B is someone like Flacco. That's how good Manning is. Just like Elway and the Bronco's, Payton and the coaching staff carry the Kolts. Yeah, that pass will hurt his legacy. It was a horrible pass in the end of a Superbowl seen by millions and millions of people. Manning doesn't miss many. It's a shame for him because that defender was the only one on that side of the field. Quick fake and pop it over his head, touchdown! One more fact: Kolts lost it when they quit on the perfect season, plain and simple. That wasn't Manning's doing. Anyway, good for the Saints. They proved, in a very good game, to be the best. The Saints beat 3 Superbowl Q-B's in a row,
Warner, the old guy, and Payton. They are the well deserved CHAMPS.

I think storming off the field without shaking hands with Drew Brees (who was trying to get to him) hurt his legacy more than any botched pass ever could.

Peyton's squeeky clean, sportsmanlike, boy next door reputation took a real hit there after the game.

Biggest lesson for next season to Peyton: If your coach tries to throw the perfect season by pulling all the starters in a winnable game, break his nose immediatly.

Dan--Could you check back? Right before the game I posted:

New Orleans--45

Sharper returns an interception for a TD with 1:37 remaining in the 4th quarter.

OK, I had the winner but was off with the score. And I had the key interception for the TD but had the wrong guy.

It was a superb game; the gutsy onside kick to begin the second half goes down was one of the top plays in Super Bowl history.

Just wondering how my post disappeared into the ether.

Thanks for checking into it.

Barkeep's Reply: Barry, no idea what happened. I usually approve every entry myself (which is why sometimes it takes a bit to get them on the site) and I never saw it. Take a drink chip for calling it right and another for the INT call. Sorry about that. Hopefully it won't happen again.

Dan, It amazes me how so many want to apply ridiculous terms like "choke artist" to Peyton Manning. Those people are clueless about the game of football, truly, because the bottom line is that teams win or lose Super Bowls, not individual players.

To make winning the Super Bowl the sine qua non of every quarterback's résumé, while tempting, is ultimately shown to be an unsatisfactory litmus test that collapses under closer scrutiny.

Applying that faulty logic would mean that Terry Bradshaw would have to be considered a greater quarterback than John Elway because he has four rings to Elway's two. Yet Bradshaw played on a team that had one of the greatest defenses ever and a solid running game that made the Steelers a perennial contender, while Elway had to handle more of the load himself in Denver.

Comparing their lifetime statistics and Elway quickly emerges as the better quarterback and consistently places higher on lists of all-time greatest QB's.

Likewise, is anyone going to seriously argue that quarterbacks like Doug Williams, Trent Dilfer, Mark Rypien,Jeff Hostetler, Jim McMahon and Brad Johnson, who were all starters on Super Bowl winners are greater than Dan Marino, Fran Tarkenton, Jim Kelly, Dan Fouts, Warren Moon and Kenny Anderson, none of whom ever won the big one? No one who knows quarterbacks is going to make that argument. (For that matter, sticking to QBs-turned-announcers, was Phil Simms really better than Boomer Esiason simply because he won a Super Bowl? Not really; they had pretty comparable careers.)

Now, this isn't to say that having that ring isn't important, because someone has to be at the very least a competent quarterback to lead a Super Bowl team. But he can do only so much. If someone on his team's defense misses an assignment and allows the winning touchdown to score, you can't put that on the quarterback. If a special team's player can't come up with an on-side kick, there's not anything the quarterback can do about it from the sidelines.

If a receiver runs the wrong route or drops a pass that hits him between the numbers, that's not the play-caller's fault. If a lineman doesn't block a pass rusher well enough, there's no way the quarterback can be blamed...etc .

So many variables, so many plays that add up to a game. As Colts' coach Jim Caldwell said after the game, you can't attribute the loss just to the interception. What about the inability of the Colts' defense to stop Drew Brees in the second half? What about the on-side kick?...etc., etc.

By the way, Dan, I disagree with you on the biggest play of the game. The pick-six was the nail in the coffin, but the on-side kick gave the Saints the crucial momentum swing they needed.

I believe that Sean Payton pulled a bit of a Bill Belichick on that one. Sure, he said he wanted to give Brees another series--and I believe that--but I think he was also a little afraid of kicking off and allowing Manning to march the Colts down the field for an opening-drive touchdown, which would have put them up 17-6. Sure, that wouldn't have clinched anything, but up to that point the Saints weren't moving the ball all that well on the Colts.

He might have thought that had the Colts score and then held the Saints to a three-and-out, then put up another seven, all of a sudden the score is 24-6 and the game is starting to get out of hand. Gutsy, but debatable call that almost backfired: If Hank Baskett doesn't bobble the ball, then Payton looks like an idiot and the Colts probably end up hoisting the trophy. Very lucky bounce.

Bottom line: Despite the luck factor, the Saints deserved to win. I don't believe they're overall the better team, but they were better when it counted, so congratulations to New Orleans. Brees seems like a genuinely decent guy (like Manning), so it's easy to be happy for him.

As for all the Indy haters out there, it's time to let go of the decades-old grudge. You've exacted your fair measure of revenge with this Super Bowl loss, and now it's time to grow up and put all that behind you. Simply put, there's much too like the Colts to let the hatred continue.

Wow. . . . can't believe we're going to say 18 solidified his rep as "choke artist" and put him in the same converstion as Neil O'Donnell. Really?? Last time I checked, Neil only went to one Super Bowl and they lost that one. Peyton is 1-1 and there seems to be another legendary future HOF QB who also went 1-1. His name?? Brett Favre. Nobody seems to be crucifying him and tarnishing his legacy because of that. Get a grip people, if I'm choosing my QB between those two 1-1 QB's I'll take 18 every time.

Kevin - thanks for the drink chip and for the shout out. By the way, it's "CSB" for "Connolly's Sports Bar", not CBS for that TV network. Be safe and keep an eye on us even if you don't write again until next football season.

If this is Peyton's last Super Bowl win it will tarnish his legacy a bit, but that's not all his reputation is built on. Not that I am saying they are equals (at least I wouldn't dream of doing so in this place), but our own beloved Johnny U didn't exactly acquit himself so well in Super Bowl III. That interception he threw that killed the Colts last chance at a comeback did not in the least diminish his reputation. (Yes, I know he was injured that season and not at full strength that game, but as a kid I just knew that once we put Johnny U. in the game that finally things would be right with the world and he would lead our team to a comeback win.) Nor was he done as a QB because two years later he led the team to their first Super Bowl title.

So if Peyton can take his team to another title or two this will be a blip on his resume. But I do agree with Frank and rvn - it keeps him from being considered on the same level with Montana, which I think was probably the case already because of his playoff record. Though you have to wonder how much of that is also attributable to the defense of their respective teams, not just to the QB.

Even though I was rooting for the Colts it was nice to see the Saints win for their city and end their long history of futility.

No one will remember that pick if the Kolts win another Super Bowl. I think the game plan for them was so very conservative, plus the Saints had all the right attitude. Most valuable player award should have gone to the Saints offensive line. They were great.

I so tired of a 9-9 playoff QB being called SAINT MANNING. Brees, Big Ben, and Tom Brady are all better.

That's a very stupid question :"did it damage his legacy". Why would losing a Super Bowl damage someones legacy? He doesn't do the best in the playoffs (heck, he didn't win big games while at Tennessee). But he has one a Super Bowl and certainly could have one this one too. We're also talking about a four time MVP too. If he doesn't win a fifth MVP does that damage his legacy? Everything he does from now on only enhances his legacy.
If he beats up his wife or gets involved in human trafficking then he damages his legacy...Not likely though.

Just enjoy having an all time great play in your lifetime.

Did the interception damage Mannings legacy- only to the extent that he missed the opportunity to enhance his legacy by winning, but no Manning is still one of the best ever.
As I recall the Bengals David Fulcher dropped a sure interception in the end zone late in the 4th Qrtr in SB 23, just a play or 2 before Joe Montana threw the winning TD pass. Had fulcher held onto the ball, would Montana's legacy been damaged??

Kevin...take care of yourself.

I think it damages his legacy in that he won't be included in the All-Time, All-Time greats, reserved for QB's who led teams to multiple SB victories AND were regular season MVP's. Bradshaw, Montana, Elway, Brady & Aikman (did I missa any?).

Manning is still lumped in waith guys like Favre, Warner, Griese. Manning is still one of the all-time greats but it's about the rings baby...the rings.

Let the man finish his career before we start to talk of his legacy - right now it is a bit premature, in my opinion.

What I would like to know is why I haven't heard about the lackluster coaching job put forth by Jim Caldwell. When the Saints recovered the onside kick they showed him and he looked befuddled, which was the same look he had every time they showed him. I don't think he had any type of game plan and, like the media, figured since he had Peyton Manning the game was in the bag.

Jim Caldwell has no business being head coach in the NFL - he couldn't win at Wake Forest - 24-54 in 7 seasons.

Dan, Thought you should / would like to know you were mentioned in USA Today, check it out. Oh yea, you know I only went there for the SI Swimsuit Cover

No, he didn't hurt his legacy. It's a team game and the QB can only do so much to influence a game.

Did Brett Favre hurt his legacy a couple of weeks ago when he ended the game by throwing a late interception by throwing across his body, which a veteran QB should know that you just don't do. No.
Was Elway's legacy tarnished for going 2-3 in the Super Bowls he appeared in? No; I'm sure not many people now think about his 0-3 SB record before he ended his career with 2 straight SB victories. Was Jim Kelly's legacy tarnished by going 0-4 in the Super Bowls he appeared in? Again, No. I think it's widely accepted that the teams the Bills lost to were way better than the teams he was playing for (though the first SB appearance was the most evenly matched one of the four). The team was still good enough to go to 4 straight SB's, which is pretty much unheard of.

The only person who's legacy was tarnished by the SB, in my opinion, was Dan Marino's since he went 0-1 in his only Super Bowl appearance. He was a ridiculous QB but the Dolphins weren't good enough to get back to the big stage after that one appearance. I think if they had made it back, his legacy would've been viewed differently. The fact that Manning has gotten to the SB 2x now, I think his legacy is secure regardless of the playoff and/or SB record.

For all you losers out there who think Payton damaged his legacy, I have one question for you... Would you want him on your team?

Thought so.

Manning's legacy as one of the greatest at his position won't suffer from this performance. But, saying he's the greatest of all time is a stretch for several reasons. First, he and his generation of QBs benefit greatly from relaxed rules designed to favor the passing game. Secondly, he's average in post season play with a 9-9 overall record and 1-1 in te Super Bowl, so he's not yet in the same class as Brady, Montana, Bradshaw, Elway, Aikman and Unitas when it comes to championship play. In fact, he has as many Super Bowl rings as his brother, Eli, Brad Johnson and....Trent Dilfer! Like Dan Marino, who never won a Super Bowl, but was certainly on of the greats, Manning's place in history is secure. However, Unitas is still the standard by which every QB's performance is measured.......

He had a brain-Favre---

Peyton Manning is an excellent quarterback but I don't even think he is in a league with Ben Rothlisberger. He also is a little mean spirited if you ask me. If you go back to the Superbowl won by his little brother Eli, you will see that Peyton was not happy at all. He actually seemed downcast that his little brother was getting all the accolades and probably was secretly hoping he would fail. It doesn't surprise me that he was less than cordial with Drew Brees after the game.

So you get to the SB -- that's great for the legacy -- but there are only two possible outcomes at that point. I think losing it, especially in that fashion (10-0 lead and pick six to drive the dagger), says 'he's great but coulda been greater.' what else could it say? sure, bounces going the colts way might've told a different story. and if Marino had a running game, he would've won 12 SBs. great, whatever. and if SBs were played on nintendo it wouldn't even matter who won. which poster said that Kelly going 0-4 in SBs didn't hurt his legacy? huh??/? does anyone think Jim Kelly is the best ever?

He did hurt his legacy with the INT because the last I checked an INT is not good for the offense, especially when down by seven.

The unfortunate thing is Manning was actually having a good game. The real goat (player) was Reggie Wayne. Not only did he have a lazy slant on the INT (did he even slant), he was in a bad location on another pass and dropped at least four others. Wayne is a better WR than anyone currently donning the local purple but he really sucked.

The other stupid notion that will haunt Manning is his 9-9 record in the playoffs. It is a stupid notion because there were years Indy made the playoffs solely because of Manning, then when the team is exposed, he takes the brunt of it with a loss.

It reminds me of Elway's reputation before his last two years. The Broncos only make the playoffs because of Elway, then Elway gets the blame when he can't do it all.

Getting back to Manning, where are the Colts with Sorji or Painter? They wouldn't have 12 wins. They might not have even eight wins. So Manning takes an above average team to the brink of a perfect season, has his team lose the Super Bowl, and he is labeled a choker.

Talk about lack of perspective.

He certainly deserves his share of the blame for the INT and because of when it happened and the short-sightedness of some observers, it will be magnified.

By the way, it wasn't Manning who sent Stover out to kick a 51-yarder. Last I checked, it wasn't Manning who botched the onside kick. But, hey, legacies are by themselves very myopic. One can ignore whatever they want as much as focus on what they want.

Again----he choked--he had a brain-Favre---loser qb on a loser team---long die the colts.

Sheila Mills wrote:
Peyton Manning is an excellent quarterback but I don't even think he is in a league with Ben Rothlisberger. He also is a little mean spirited if you ask me. If you go back to the Superbowl won by his little brother Eli, you will see that Peyton was not happy at all. He actually seemed downcast that his little brother was getting all the accolades and probably was secretly hoping he would fail. It doesn't surprise me that he was less than cordial with Drew Brees after the game.
Sheila, Everything you write about Manning here is so out of line with the Peyton Manning I know, and I've been a fan of his since he came into the league more than a decade ago.

Peyton's always been a booster of his little brother and was happy to see Eli get the win, so I don't know where you have that perception as it's inaccurate. There's zero chance that he was secretly rooting against Eli.

As for the post-game exchange with Brees, I didn't see it, so I can't comment there, but I do know that the two are friends. Drew's even mentioned how he's received text messages of encouragement from Peyton at times in his career, so I think if the exchange was brief, it was more out of disappointment from Manning and his knowing that Brees needed to get ready for the trophy presentation rather than trying to be less than cordial, as you put it.

As for Rothlisberger being a better quarterback, so far the statistics say otherwise, not to mention that Manning is his own coach on the field, whereas Big Ben isn't. If you want to go to who has the most Super Bowl rings, he has Peyton there, but as I noted in an earlier blog, there's only so much a quarterback is accountable for in any game.

I have been a Peyton Manning fan ever since he walked on to that field in Knoxville his freshman year. Having said that I believe he did show a flaw in his character by not shaking hands with Drew Brees after the game, and leaving the game before it was complete was totally uncalled for. Given all the hardships and sorrow in the world it is unacceptable that a multimillion dollar quarterback in the US would act in such a way. I know he was disappointed and so was I but he is a leader on his team and he needs to show leadership, even in losing. I am really disappointed in Peyton because I know that life is a lot more than football and he should know it as well.

Regarding Peyton's costly interception , it goes to show that even the so called ELITE QBs can mistakes and lose games . If folks gonna get on Flacco everytime he messes up , they ought to do the same when Peyton does also.

I am glad the Saints won SB because......we had some Colts trollers come in here and laughing/tauting at us everytime their Colts beat the Ravens .

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