“We were told what the expectations were for coming to the Pro Bowl,” Manning said. “I got to fly on a private plane with six of my best friends and teammates. We had Ruth Chris Steakhouse food on the plane, took a private escort right into Miami, shook a few hands, had to wave, did one interview and made $45,000. I can think of some worse things to put yourself through.
“I will say, if it was just one guy, if it was just Jeff (Saturday) alone or Reggie (Wayne) by himself, I don’t think that guy would have. The fact that we were together, we felt like we had a team. We got to eat dinner after that. We enjoyed it, made it a positive. But we are glad everybody is here now and we are ready to go.”
OK, so I ask this … Is Manning a little like Derek Jeter? Has he become the guy you can root against, but has become pretty hard to hate?
The guy might be playing the quarterback position as well as anyone has. And while he’s not perfect, it’s tough to see where anyone wouldn’t see him as likable.
Now, for me, it’s off to media day. My buddy Mike Silver might have said it best: “Media day–the most overrated event in sports journalism. At least, to people on the outside… We go, we take notes, we write… Gripping” …
This, folks, is the height of self-importance in the sports journalism business. And how many people really care about how many cameras or notebooks were there, I don’t know. What I do know is there’ll be plenty of back-slapping going on.