Peyton Manning’s interview with Lisa Salters of ESPN is about as candid as we can ever remember seeing him when discussing anything about football or his career in general…
If you haven’t seen the interview with Peyton Manning and ESPN, it’s worth the seven minutes of your time. I have never seen Manning look so dejected, and at the same time so mad and speak so candidly.
In case you missed it, a report has surfaced that Manning — along with a number of other professional athletes — is being accused of receiving and using HGH back in 2011 when he was rehabbing his neck surgeries with the Indianapolis Colts. Manning not only vehemently denies the allegations, he’s pretty ticked off at the people responsible for what he calls ‘defamation’ and rightfully so.
Look, it’s not clear that Manning did or didn’t use HGH — the evidence that we have is his word against that of the accusers, but we also know that Manning has never failed any NFL mandated drug test, so the evidence against the accuser is looking more and more in Manning’s favor.
I have no idea what Manning is going through right now, but you can see it on his face — he’s tired. Tired of rehabbing, tired of answering questions about his health, tired of answering questions about whether or not he ‘deserves’ to be the starter if and when he gets healthy, and tired of wondering what he has left to offer in the NFL.
Manning is just…tired.
It’s the way he looks, it’s the way it feels, but he continues to work harder than probably anyone in the league. Just after the interview with ESPN, Manning was going to have a throwing session with a handful of employees of the Denver Broncos, including practice squad receiver Jordan Taylor. Manning is allegedly looking good in his workouts and according to what he says in this report, he feels like he could probably play as early as next week if the team needs him to.
If you watch this interview, you’ll see that Manning is certainly fed up with the non-football aspect of his career. He loathes that someone would accuse him of cheating in order to get where he’s at today, especially with the countless hours he has put in to achieve the greatness he has.
I certainly believe Manning in this case. It would have been easy for him to accept and use HGH when his neck injury was career-threatening, but there’s no question he put in the time required to get himself back to full health. Heck, it was even added into his contract with the Broncos — by him — that if he failed a physical before the start of the new league year, they could opt out of the contract with no strings attached.
He’s always been the type of athlete that strikes me as a high integrity person off the field, so I don’t believe he would do what he’s been accused of, and he certainly doesn’t like it one bit.