Archie Manning knows something about Super Bowl-losing quarterbacks bailing early.
So maybe that’s why he’s not joining the chorus criticizing Panthers quarterback Cam Newton for leaving his press conference abruptly Sunday night.
Via Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer, the elder Manning compared it to when his son left the field after Super Bowl XLIV without shaking hands.
“It’s really hard, really, really hard,” Manning said. “I like Cam. I’m not going to blast Cam. As a parent you say, ‘I wish he’d have handled it a little different.’ But it hurts.”
When Peyton lost to the Saints in 2010, he left the field without congratulating anyone else. But Archie said Peyton texted Sean Payton and Drew Brees from the locker room that night.
But nothing matched the furor Newton triggered by huffing off the podium after losing to the Broncos.
“He did catch flak about it,” Archie said of his son. “I don’t think until that game I ever had enough sympathy for the losing team in a Super Bowl. You’re really probably the second-best team out of 32 that year, but you come away from that game and feel like you’re 32nd instead of second. I can remember that. I remember how hurt [Peyton] was. . . .
“It’s a hard time, winning the Super Bowl or losing the Super Bowl. Cam, he’ll learn from it.”
Peyton did, and has handled losses gracefully since then. And while Newton said in the aftermath he wouldn’t necessarily change things, it’s hard to imagine the natural process of time won’t lead him a different way.