After Super Bowl XLVIII, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was asked if he thought the 43-8 loss to the Seattle Seahawks was an embarrassment. Not only was the question offensive — it put the normally at ease Manning on the defensive.
“It’s not embarrassing at all. I would never use that word,” Manning said postgame. “The word ’embarrassing’ is an insulting word, to tell you the truth.” Peyton looked visibly frustrated by the question. An embarrassment? Yeah, of riches. It would be inaccurate to say Peyton doesn’t deserve a slice of the blame here. He looked out of sorts and never really was able to get the Broncos’ offense rolling. Reporters, fans and analysts took skewers to Peyton this morning, but he’s still a Hall-Of-Famer and he’ll be just fine.
Especially when you look at the bottom line — the money.
Peyton Manning earned $48,000 just for showing up yet will pay $56,000 in New Jersey taxes. Luckily for Manning he has over $12 million worth of endorsement deals and a base salary of $15 million to comfort him while he sulks over the New Jersey Massacre. In comparison, Russell Wilson — who won the game for Seattle in my eyes — was unjustifiably snubbed for MVP and will make just $662,000 in 2014. Talk about a bargain.
Many feel Russell Wilson is just a game manager, but those people need to reevaluate their logic on leadership. Wilson is not only a gifted ‘game-manager’ he’s a freakishly gifted once in a lifetime athlete who will likely command $100 million in his next contract. Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco won a Super Bowl and earned himself a $120 million deal with $52 million guaranteed in March.
Everybody can take their shots at Peyton, but he’s still laughing all the way to the bank here. And Russell Wilson won just as much here too. According to Forbes, Drew Brees, Peyton and his brother Eli Manning are the only NFL quarterbacks making $5 million a year off the field. But that could change soon as Russell Wilson looks to become the media darling after a big win.
Sometimes even in defeat you can still win where it counts, and in victory you can achieve more than you ever knew.