We’ll say this for Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. They have a lot more class than your New England Patriots. Manning famously waited in an empty locker room to congratulate Ray Lewis after Baltimore upset the Broncos in Denver on Saturday, and it wasn’t the first time on this day Peyton patiently waited on his old pal.
He did the same in the first quarter of the playoff game . . . and then in the second quarter . . . and the third and fourth, too. He did it all day, and for that, Lewis and the Ravens will forever be grateful. You can rip on poor Peyton if you want, but you can be sure he won’t be hearing any derisive comments from Brendon Ayanbadejo. The Ravens scrub hasn’t been tweeting lately, but we’re just going to assume that he thinks Peyton is a wonderful guy and a good sport.
You want to talk about random acts of kindness: Manning’s reputation was on the line in this game. His team was the No. 1 seed in the AFC, nearly a double-digit favorite. He was riding an 11-game winning streak and coming off a bye week while the Ravens had flown 1,700 miles after outlasting Indianapolis a week before.
It would have been so easy for Manning to come out in the hurry-up offense and just crush the life out of those Ravens. Get to the line of scrimmage, snap the ball, run the play and do it again and again. No mercy, no let up. Don’t let the Ravens catch their breath in the thin mountain air. So why didn’t he? Who knows? Even CBS’ Dan Dierdorf was perplexed: Why was Manning giving the Ravens time to get off the mat over and over again?