Peyton Manning was the ultimate pitch-man right up until the end of his playing careeGetty Images

When Brock Lesnar officially arrived as a legitimate UFC competitor back in 2009, beating Frank Mir in seven minutes, he unleashed the greatest post-fight speech of all-time.

“Frank Mir had a horseshoe up his [expletive],” Lesnar said. “I pulled it out of him and I beat him over the head with it.”

Lesnar then looked down at the UFC ring mat, which had a Bud Light logo on it.

“I’m going to drink a Coors Light tonight. That’s right, a Coors,” Lesnar said. “Because Bud Light don’t pay me nothing.”


Afraid that he had not yet made enough of a statement, Lesnar told the sold-out crowd and Pay-Per-View audience that he “might even lay on top” of his wife that night.

Lesnar’s speech felt organic. It felt cool, because it was so raw. It did not matter that Coors Light probably paid him $250,000 to rip their competitor and pump up their product.

Peyton Manning’s multiple plugs on Super Bowl Sunday did not feel as organic. They felt shallow and weird, quite honestly.

This was supposed to be the crowning achievement of Manning’s brilliant career. The guy who had all the numbers in the world but lacked the Super Bowl rings to be regarded in the same light as the all-time greats, won the big one in what was likely the last football game he will ever play. Despite atrocious numbers for a Super Bowl winning QB, he did shut up his critics. He played near-mistake free football this postseason and earned that second Lombardi.

As confetti fell from the Santa Clara sky, Manning was able to find a familiar face in the sea of people flooding the Levi’s Stadium field.

Yup, it was Papa John. And Peyton gave the cardboard pizza peddler a big ol’ smooch.

He then proceeded to drop the key word “Budweiser” twice in postgame interviews with millions and millions of eye-balls still focused on the TV across the world.

He even managed to get his Disneyland plug correct. Since the game was on the West Coast, “Disneyland” (in Anaheim, California) was the resort Manning was set to go to on Monday, fulfilling the old “I’m going to Disney World!” spot used by the Super Bowl MVP (did Von Miller get to go, too?!) each year after the big game. A man with less of a marketing brain than Manning surely would have said the more common “I’m going to Disney World!” phrase, but Manning is the all-time sports leader in commercial spots. He wasn’t going to flub that.

There were no tears from Manning on Sunday night and a lot of what transpired felt oh-so forced. He could have easily promised to lay on top of Ashley Manning when he got back to the hotel that night, but that would have gone too far off the script.

Johnny trainwreck

The Johnny Manziel story is like something from a long ago sports era. Plenty of guys used to flame out on drugs and alcohol in the 1980s and ‘90s, but once sports agents and pro sports franchises realized how much money was at stake to protect at-risk players, they surrounded troubled guys with endless safety nets. Manziel has been one of the few to fall through those nets and his story gets darker by the day.

Manziel hit his ex-girlfriend, Colleen Crowley, so hard that she ruptured an eardrum, according to Crowley’s lawyer. That news came out on Monday.

Tuesday,’s Michael Silver said that the Browns made up a story that that Manziel had a concussion for their Week 17 game against Pittsburgh to mask the fact that he had shown up drunk at practice earlier in week.

Cringing at what Wednesday’s Manziel news might bring.

Latest From ...