NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Peyton Manning is not interested in talking about where his career stands in football history.
Not right now, anyway. Not when he’s still playing. And certainly not less than a week from playing in the Super Bowl for the Denver Broncos.
As collected and measured as he is while standing in a pocket, Manning coasted through the circus that is Media Day, opining on his family’s favorite beer, politely evading silly questions about reality TV — and avoiding any wild pronouncements.
Reporters repeatedly brought up the word “legacy” as the 37-year-old Manning, a four-time NFL MVP who broke records by throwing for 55 touchdowns and 5,477 yards this season, sat through his hour-long session Tuesday.
Hardly surprising that he never took the bait.
“I’ve been being asked about my legacy since I was about 25 years old. I’m not sure you can have a legacy when you’re 25 years old. Even 37,” Manning said in response to the first such query. “I’d like to have to be, like, 70 to have a legacy. I’m not even 100 percent sure what the word even means.”
Then, in about the closest thing to a stumble, Manning continued: “I’m still in the middle of my career.”
At least one of the dozens of assembled media members gasped, “middle?!”
Realizing his miscue, Manning chuckled and went on.
“Let me rephrase that,” he resumed. “I’m down the homestretch of my career, but I’m still in it. It’s not over yet. And so it’s still playing out. This has been the second chapter of my career.”
Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks will be Manning’s third appearance in a Super Bowl.
The other two came with the Indianapolis Colts. He helped that franchise win the NFL championship game in 2007, then lost in the 2010 Super Bowl.