The Super Bowl is behind us and, as usual, after the “talking heads” have offered their expert opinions it is time for my two cents worth. The day opened with a mixed bag of support in my house. My wife is a dyed-in-the-wool African-American supporter, but during the press conferences leading up to the event, Cam Newton stepped on her former-school-teacher toes. She hates cocky players and Cam fit that bill to a tee.
I had mixed emotions because I wanted to see the brother do well, but I held out hope for Peyton Manning who was playing in what might be his last rodeo. Unless Peyton pulls a Brett Favre and retires and un-retires a half dozen times, this is an opportunity for him to go out on top.
As far as Cam being cocky, I have to remind you that the words “cocky” and “young” are synonymous. Cam is only 24 years old, and Peyton can root around in his closet and find a pair of socks that old. Peyton has been there before and has tasted both victory and defeat, so he knows the drill. In his last winning effort, he was given a winner’s share of the pot and a nice red Cadillac rag top. This time he will probably get a ’52 Ford pickup truck and a box of Captain Crunch Cereal.
On the subject of Cam, he will have plenty of opportunities to reach for the brass ring and hopefully he learned a valuable lesson this time. To give the media more ammunition, he walked out on the after game press conference. I understand. How much fun do you think it is to have to face a room full of people and say, “I just got my butt kicked”?
And, I think the main reason I can understand his behavior is because I have already walked a mile in his shoes. I was a jock wannabe, and all of my successes put a little extra pep in my step. To say I was cocky is an understatement. I remember when my class was invited to attend a ball game at Griffith Stadium. I ran home and put on my baseball spikes and sported them all over the stadium. I was intent on showing everybody that I played the game too. When I think of how stupid I must have looked, I am embarrassed today.
When the press gave Cam a little break, they turned to Peyton. One insignificant comment was about little brother Eli seeming to be bored with the proceedings. As it turned out, Eli was doing the math to see how Peyton could seal the deal after the last touchdown.
On the subject of retirement, it is still a mystery. Peyton talked to former coach and good friend Tony Dungee, and Tony told him to enjoy the moment and work on the problem at a later date with a clear head.
Good luck to both players!