By Eddie Small
JIM NANTZ: Congratulations, Peyton. It’s been an incredible season, and to cap it off with a Super Bowl victory must feel great. There’s been a lot of speculation this might have been your final season. Are you ready to retire?
PEYTON MANNING: You know, my old coach Tony Dungy used to say ‘never to make an important decision while you’re so emotional,’ and I’m very emotional right now. So I’m going to hold off on any decisions at this point and just enjoy the victory, thank the man upstairs and drink a lot of Budweiser, the King of Beers.
NANTZ: Ah, ok, it’s just … it seems this would be an ideal note to go out on. You just won the Super Bowl, everybody loves you, you’re getting pretty old, your neck is still attached to your body …
MANNING: Those are great points, and I’ll certainly think about them over the next few weeks, but now I just want to relax, thank the man upstairs and celebrate my victory with some ice-cold Budweiser and Papa John’s pizza.
NANTZ: You know your brother Eli has nothing to hold over you anymore, right? You’re older, taller, more popular, and better at football. I mean, a few minutes ago, your dad admitted you’re the favorite child, and I had just asked him about the new Star Wars movie. So if it’s sibling rivalry that’s keeping you in the game, I just…I don’t get it.
MANNING: You know, I’m very proud of my little brother Eli and his lack of neck surgeries, so I’ll be talking to him a lot during the offseason as I try to make up my mind. But for tonight, I just want to thank the man upstairs and maybe ask if he wants to celebrate with the team and me by drinking some Budweisers, eating some Papa John’s and signing up for Nationwide Auto Insurance.
NANTZ: I bet one of my coworkers that you would die in the middle of this game. I really thought your head would just pop off. I’m glad I was wrong, but I really, really don’t think I’d lose that bet if we made it again next season.
MANNING: Gosh, that’s so great. You know, every day I’m alive really is a blessing, especially when I get to spend so much time surrounded by my family and friends and Budweiser and Papa John’s and Nationwide and Wheaties breakfast cereal.
NANTZ: Remember when Brett Favre was going to retire, and everyone liked him, and then he didn’t retire and got involved in that whole sexting scandal that probably wouldn’t have happened if he had just left the game? Wouldn’t it be really nice if that didn’t happen to you?
MANNING: Budweiser, Papa John’s, Nationwide, Wheaties, Gatorade.
Eddie Small likes the Pittsburgh Pirates much more than any other sports team or athlete, Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos included. Let’s Go Bucs!