The Booing of Peyton Manning

In 2013, the Denver Broncos shattered records for scoring.  They started off the season with a blistering “revenge game” against the Baltimore Ravens that featured Peyton Manning throwing for 7 touchdown passes (a single-game record) in a fashion that would characterize the season.  With such a start, it’s no surprise the team broke season records for scoring and Manning broke season records for touchdown passes.

I got the chance to go to the sixth game of the season.  The game was against the Jaguars, a team that had several poor outings on the year.  I, along with all the fans in the stadium, expected one thing—a blowout. The first half, however, was bland.  A couple of touchdowns carried the Broncos with a two-point lead heading off the field at half-time.  Manning and the Broncos heard a chorus of boos as they went into the locker room.  

At that point, it may occur to you that Broncos fans were spoiled.  They had grown comfortable with a certain level of performance, and they were disappointed that this level of performance was not attained.  Manning and the Broncos came back out in the second half, did their jobs, and beat the Jaguars.  It wasn’t a blowout, but it was a win that would contribute to their home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

When we are in the spotlight, we may find ourselves in similar situations.  After establishing a reputation for excellence, others may be disappointed in our efforts when we barely meet requirements.  In such cases, we must be resilient and aware of what the real impacts of criticism may or may not bring.  The future Hall of Famer was not on the hot seat.  His job security was safe.  His team was in the lead, and he had to focus and finishing strong in that game.

Other times, we may be spectators.  As we root for our colleagues when they have the ball, maybe we should do a better job of holding back criticism until it’s truly warranted.


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