Fans’ relationships with their teams can be complicated. No one learned that lesson better than Peyton Manning, who grew up in New Orleans as a fan of his father Archie’s Saints. But decades later Manning found himself lining up against the black and gold in Super Bowl XLIV chasing an elusive second championship trophy.
And the interception he tossed to Saints cornerback Tracy Porter, who returned it for a legendary defensive touchdown to put the game out of reach, ended Manning’s Saints fandom. He briefly noted his fractured relationship with his childhood hometown team during Monday night’s “Manningcast” coverage on ESPN of the Giants-Buccaneers game.
“You grew up a Saints fan and you abandoned them,” Eli chided his older brother.
To which Peyton drily replied, “When you lose to them in the Super Bowl, you tend to abandon them.”
That’s understandable, I guess. The years of work Manning put to get into that position ultimately went to waste, and that’s got to be tough to accept. All that negativity is going somewhere, and this case it went towards the team he grew up cheering for. It would be nice to see him feel happy for his dad’s old team on some level, but at the same time he’s allowed to feel a certain way about it. Maybe Manning can reconcile with the Saints some day once he’s not feeling so hot under the collar.