Colts QB Peyton Manning
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Recent posts by Keith Schleiden
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — One of the more interesting stories leading up to Super Bowl week was how the NFL was handling the Colts and Saints players who were elected to play in the Pro Bowl. The plan was for them to head down to Miami a day early, ahead of their teammates, and to participate in the hoopla prior to the annual all-star game. The reason it became an issue was the Pro Bowl was being played prior to the Super Bowl, instead of the week after, as is the norm.
This did not sit well with Colts GM Bill Polian, who now famously went off on the whole deal. He called the situation "stupid" and "a disruption." And if you know the temperamental pro football genius, you know he probably would have used more colorful language had he not been speaking over public airwaves.
Frankly, I can't say I completely disagree with Polian. It was a minor disruption for both teams, although nothing that will affect the outcome of the Super Bowl. We're talking about a handful of players who had to jet to Miami without their teammates one day early — seven days before the NFL title game. It may not be the perfect situation, but it's only a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of things.
When asked about travelling to South Florida without the majority of his teammates during his initial Super Bowl press conference on Monday evening, Colts QB Peyton Manning displayed his usual class — not to mention the humor that often accompanies one of his million or so television commercials.
"Not traveling with the team, like we've done all year, we have dealt with circumstances in a positive way," Manning said. "We were told what the expectations were for coming to the Pro Bowl. I don't know, I got to fly on a private plane with six of my best friends and teammates. We had Ruth's Chris Steakhouse food on the plane. We took a private escort right into Miami. Shook a few hands, had to wave, did one interview, and made $45,000. I can think of worse things to put yourself through.
"I will say, if it was just one guy, if it was Jeff (Saturday) alone, or Reggie (Wayne) by himself, I don't believe that guy (would have enjoyed it). The fact that we were together, we felt like a team. We got to go eat dinner after that. We enjoyed it, made it a positive. But we're glad everyone is here now, ready to go."
Controversy over ... until the next one comes up.