Much of the hype leading up to yesterday’s game was about Peyton Manning and the fact that he is one of the all-time great quarterbacks in NFL history. Did he need a win yesterday to cement that reputation? Probably not.
But he was clearly the subject of great expectations; expectations he failed to meet. (Give credit to Seattle’s defense.)
This year, Manning has been at the top of his game. No one disputes that. But whether you’re an elite athlete, musician, bond-trader or bricklayer, every now and then you can have a bad day at work. For us mere mortals, not that many people notice when we screw up. Manning’s misfortune is that his bad day was viewed by millions of people, although much fewer at the end of the game, I suspect, than at the beginning (Downton Abbey had excellent ratings.)
I hope that all of us are judged not on the basis of our “worst day at the office” but on the totality of what we do. Prometheus stumbled; Peyton did, too. Manning’s human, and so are the rest of us.
Having said that, I thought the great Renee Fleming was spectacular singing the national anthem. And so was half-time dynamo Bruno Mars. But then again, they didn’t have Seattle’s defense swarming them.