Sometimes he has to actually hold his head in place
DENVER–Following his team’s humiliating 43-8 defeat in Super Bowl XLVIII at the hands of the Seattle Seahawks, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning called in to the ESPN radio program, Mike & Mike, to address the loss. Responding to host Mike Greenberg’s query as to what he felt contributed the most to the Broncos’ performance, Manning was magnanimous.
“Give all the credit to the Seahawks,” Manning said, “They came in with a great gameplan and they executed it perfectly. I really couldn’t find any holes in the coverage downfield. Plus, as you know, I’ve been playing with a goddamn broken neck.”
Mike & Mike co-host Mike Golic shifted the conversation to the Broncos’ performance on defense. Leading up to the game, many pundits pointed to the unit as a point of strength against a suspect Seattle offense. But reality was much different, as the defense was scored on drive after drive.
“The defense didn’t have its best day,” Manning agreed, “We all have our good days and our bad. Some days my head feels like it might actually fall off of my body, on account that my neck is largely comprised of some tossed off butcher scraps and a couple of leather belts. Other days it seems like my head is on a swivel, because there is also an actual swivel in there.”
When Greenberg asked Manning if he felt that the neck surgeries he underwent two years ago had any effect on his performance in the Super Bowl, the quarterback refused to place blame on any physical ailments.
“The Seahawks simply outplayed us,” he said, “They were the better team. They came out looser than we were. Sometimes it’s easy to play loose when you aren’t one hit away from spending the rest of your days in a wheelchair. There’s an advantage, I think, to having complete range of motion with your head and being able to survey the entire field, and Russell Wilson used that advantage perfectly.”
Before he ended the call, Manning was asked about his future in the NFL. Many have speculated that this past season would be his last.
“As long as I’m having fun and I’m healthy, I’ll keep playing,” Manning said, “The doctors tell me that as long as I completely avoid physical contact, and limit the number of times I nod or shake my head, I should be fine. I’ll put it at 98% that I’ll be back next year.”