Peyton Manning refuses to say if he holds ill will toward Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay presented us with the topic of the week on Tuesday when he expressed disappointment that his team only won one Super Bowl during the Peyton Manning era. Irsay basically said that the team moved on from Manning in order to become more well-rounded, choosing the pursuit of a championship over lighting up stat sheets in the regular season.
Many people — including Denver Broncos head coach John Fox — interpreted Irsay’s remarks as criticism of Manning. Peyton himself had a chance to say whether he agreed on Wednesday when Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star asked him if he holds any “ill will or resentment toward the Colts.”
“To answer a question like that doesn’t serve me well,” Manning told Kravitz. “I feel like the question is based on the (Irsay) comments, so it’s just easier not to answer anything along those lines.”
Kravitz added that there was something “telling” about Manning’s body language and that he “clearly has some issues” with Irsay in the wake of the comments. Irsay later tried to adamantly defend himself on Twitter. He may have indeed meant that letting Manning go was the best thing for the team’s salary cap situation, but the part about him being disappointed with only one championship was cut and dry.
During his Wednesday press conference, Manning was asked if he is pleased to see that the Colts have been able to maintain success after his departure.
“I guess my focus is on the Broncos being successful,” Manning replied.
When pressed further and reminded by a reporter that Indianapolis made the playoffs last year and is off to a solid start in 2013, Peyton still didn’t bite.
“I agree,” he said. “So does that help your story?”
Manning has been around the league long enough to know exactly how his answers are going to be perceived. As Kravitz noted, he had every opportunity to take the “football is a business” route and say he has no hard feelings toward the Colts — a team he enjoyed a great deal of success with. Instead, Manning refused to reflect on his time in Indy and had no interest in making nice with Irsay. Coincidence? No chance.