(NBC Sports) - Before Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh, Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning declined comment to Carolyn Manno of NBC on the NFL Network report regarding his lack of willingness to be a backup. After the game, Manning reversed course.
Here’s the quote from Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com, as it appears on the front page of the website, without alteration: “I asked Peyton Manning on his way out of locker room if he had any response to a report this morning he had mad [sic] Broncos aware he didn’t want to be a backup. His response; ‘it’s bull*** and it’s insulting.’ I asked if that was on the record he said; ‘yes, I can’t say it any plainer than that.'”
The NFL Network report focused primarily on the obvious reality that Manning doesn’t want to be a backup. The notion that Manning has made that known to the team and/or would somehow refuse the assignment was implied in the clunky exchange from Ian Rapoport in New York through the NFLN studio in L.A., by which Rapoport’s report became something it never was.
But that’s the risk of taking a fairly obvious fact and massaging it into news, especially when the touching and rubbing creates the impression that it’s something more potent than the self-evident truth that a guy who has never been a backup in his entire life would be content to be one now.