So many game balls. But where to put them all?
Peyton Manning set another record. 71,840 career passing yards, surpassing Brett Favre's 71,838. But the man didn't get to enjoy it. Perhaps he had a feeling the Denver Broncos were going to have a dreadful afternoon against the Kansas City Chiefs.
He threw four interceptions and was eventually replaced by Brock Osweiler in the third quarter. He was 5-of-20 for 35 yards, no touchdowns, and those four interceptions at that time. That may be another record for him – a record low. But let's look at the positive. Forget about this, shake it off.
Peyton is so much more than all of this. There are so many more highs than lows in his career. And for every high, there's a game ball to represent it. Broncos linebacker DeMarcus Ware sums it up nicely. “Game balls are how you remember things sometimes. You can look right at them and remember everything right away. They’re painted, got the date, the score, the teams. They’re a story every time. And Peyton? He’s got a lot of stories.”
Today's story was of Manning adding one of the most difficult NFL records to achieve to his overflowing résumé. This milestone, just one in a long list that includes most passing yards in a season, most career touchdowns, most touchdowns in a season, most 4,000-yard seasons, most 300-yard games and most games in a career with four or more touchdown passes.
Ware thinks Manning will need a very large room for all those balls. “Peyton is probably winning 10 game balls a year, 10 a year at least… so he’ll be right up at 180 when this year is over. I usually get maybe seven game balls every year, and I’ve got them all in a bin and someday I’ll build some place to put them so I can sit and look at them, enjoy them, remember the games. But Peyton, he would need a museum”.
The future Hall of Famer will forever remain humble though, precisely why his teammates will always have his back. Linebacker Todd Davis says, “Peyton would never talk about any of that... He’s got too much humility for that. But we all know the numbers and there isn’t anybody in this locker room that doesn’t want to help him set every record that can be set. We’re all going to look back someday and say we were there. And a game ball from that day, if you can do that, then that’s even better”.
Manning is, as always, looking at the big picture. “It might be a quarterback's record, but I look at all those as a number of people contributing to all those wins. I've always just been appreciative of all the efforts and all the hard work… It's why you appreciate a win.”
When all is said and done though, tackle Ryan Harris has one important question: “How many animals have lost their lives to make those balls? I think he's got a decent farm by now”.