They talked about an epic of a football game that served as a goodbye -- but Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis, and not Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, will play next week. (Photo by @Csteele)
Peyton got flak for not talking to CBS commentators after the game. It was the same way people criticized him for walking off the field after the Super Bowl loss to the New Orleans Saints without shaking hands with his opponents. To some, these acts signify a lack of sportsmanship, as if perfunctory words in the first moments of defeat make Manning a better man.
A photo like this is the measure of both athletes. Two of the all-time greats -- one on the highest high of his career, another at the lowest low -- just talking football.
Manning and Lewis exchanged postgame words on the field too. Lewis was giving a scripture-spouting interview to CBS (he makes Kevin Garnett sound introverted) when Manning approached and congratulated him. The linebacker appeared sincerely touched by the gesture and let Manning know it by giving him a slap on the helmet. Only, the slap was from Ray Lewis and he was really hyped, so instead of a tender, "good job, bro" slap it became a vicious Harbaugh-on-Schwartz type of congratulations. Peyton didn't appear to mind, bad neck and all.