Jay C. Brandriet
Peyton Manning was more than a great quarterback. He’s arguably one of the ten best football players ever. He changed the game.
He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this last Sunday. His speech reminded us he’s a caretaker and historian of the NFL.
Manning had invited legend Tom Brady, to attend the ceremony.
As Peyton was building up to mentioning Brady, he was making light of how the speeches at this event are becoming rushed.
“Speaking of rivals, my good friend Tom Brady is here tonight. And by the time he is inducted in 2035, he’ll only have time to post his acceptance speech on his Instagram account.”
By mid joke, the crowd was showering Brady with noise. There was a large smattering of boos. Tom turned back with an embarrassed smile and said, “What’s up with that? What’d I do wrong?”
Many people (not coincidently a lot from the East coast) called this a lack of respect and classless.
Disrespectful? Not in the traditional sense.
This was Peyton’s primary rival.
Manning was kind of Wilt, and Brady is kind of Bill Russell.
The stadium that night was filled with Colts, Broncos, Steelers, and Raiders fans.
What did you “do wrong” Tommy? You deliver these franchises losses for a living.
Peyton is an engaging, commercial figure we can all see chilling in our living room.
Tom is not as popular in that way.
Some think “Deflategate” mattered.
Many are jealous of the games ultimate winner.
When Kobe Bryant was booed intensely on the road, he saw it as a badge of honor.
The most obvious reason for this reception? Tom is still on the clock. He’s an active player hunting YOUR team.
The majority of those fans who were pushing back on Brady that evening, will be balling their eyes out when he’s being honored in the Hall.
When being inducted, there is closure. The player is no longer in anyone’s way. Our brains and hearts tend to focus on what we DID love or respect about that athlete.
They would have given Patrick Mahomes or Aaron Rodgers grief in that setting as well.
Tom Brady getting booed made sense.
Jay C. Brandriet