‘It wasn’t his best night’: Manning rips own scoreboard operator after home win
DENVER — Peyton Manning was waving his arms wildly trying to get the home crowd to hush long enough for him to make his customary calls at the line of scrimmage. It didn’t happen in time, and it was because cornerback Aqib Talib was being shown dancing on the big screens in the stadium, enjoying the waning moments of the Denver Broncos’ 35-21 victory over the rival San Diego Chargers.
The noise led to a false start by the Broncos. Manning was livid with the home crowd — or at least it seemed.
"I have no problem with our fans. Our fans are great. I’ve got a problem with our scoreboard operator," the Broncos’ quarterback said at his postgame press conference. "I’m gonna have a little talk with him. I’m not sure what he’s doing."
The assembled media laughed. Manning, however, was stone serious.
"He’s playing music, showing players dancing and getting the crowd fired up when we had the ball," Manning continued. "I don’t think he should be doing that."
Manning also didn’t like when the in-house production crew showed an extended closeup of Rivers’ face after the Chargers scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter. Rivers realized he was on the big screen and was being booed, so he kept walking the Chargers’ sideline and smirking as the camera stayed on him. Shortly thereafter, the screen operator cut back and forth between shots of Rivers and Manning, with the crowd booing the still-smirking Rivers, cheering Manning and so on.
Manning had his helmet on and was looking toward the field, awaiting the kickoff. He was not nearly as oblivious to the screens as it seemed.
"I don’t think we should be showing their quarterback on the sideline. I thought that was kind of disrespectful," Manning said. "Our fans are great, our fans are loud. (But) our scoreboard operator, it wasn’t his best night."
Rivers took it all in stride.
"I really don’t know how to respond to that," he said, "other than if you had told me when I was 10 years old they would show me in front of 75,000 people and I’d get booed and Peyton Manning in the same clip and get cheered, I’d say that’s pretty awesome."
There’s no word on whether any member of the Broncos’ game-day production crew will suffer any consequences, though needless to say it’s not a good move to anger the franchise quarterback.
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