By Nicholas Muhl
Before the first kickoff of the 2014 NFL season, fans, analysts and even his peers knew that Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning would break the 500-career touchdown mark this year. Barring a serious injury, the NFL veteran now in his 16th season, would become only the second quarterback in league history to throw for over 500 career touchdowns, finally joining Brett Favre in that exclusive club.
This past Sunday, Manning finally completed the highly anticipated moment, throwing for the record-breaking touchdown pass with 4:43 remaining in the first quarter.
Peyton celebrated the touchdown connection to Broncos Tight End Julius Thomas the same way he has always celebrated throughout his career: a couple helmet nods and slaps with his teammates, and a humble walk back to his sideline. Manning was met with cheers from the Denver fans and many handshakes by his teammates when he reached the sideline. For a few moments he accepted praise but then Manning did as he has always done, rushed to meet his offensive coaches and break down the next offensive series.
Manning has always been known for his work ethic and the way he carries himself. Following the record-breaking moment the game’s TV analysts, Joe Buck and NFL Hall of Famer Troy Aikman, took a moment to speak of not just how great a player Peyton Manning is, but congratulate him on such a great achievement as a person. They noted how humble Manning has always remained.
David Dechant, Digital Media Coordinator for the Denver Broncos interviewed Manning following the game. Manning commented on receiving a game ball after the victory, “anything that comes the way, I really accept it on behalf of a number of players.”
Dechant noted to include this is his article on DenverBroncos.com.
Woody Paige, writer for the Denver Post and a ESPN contributor, also made note to comment in his own article on Manning’s character. This time referring to the ball he threw to break the record.
“After the game, Manning was his normal humble self. When asked if he keeps the footballs that set records, Peyton said: “You know what. I’ve never kept a football .”
In recent weeks the NFL has been the topic of many headlines, many highlighting the leagues recent issues with players being in trouble with the law. In an NFL season that so far has been shrouded by negativity in the media, it was a great moment for the analysts and writers to take a moment to highlight a man that has been nothing but a positive influence for the NFL and a celebrated figure in the eyes of fans around the world.
It’s obvious the NFL prefers for the media to highlight players like Manning that portray the league in a positive light. While it’s the job of the media to keep the public informed, I think many fans too, prefer to hear more stories like this one.