Eli Manning probably should have known better.
Manning should have known that the television cameras would be peeping into the Manning family box at Super Bowl 50, and that any and every reaction he had as brother Peyton Manning was playing for the Denver Broncos would be dissected.
Was he excited enough? Was that blank facial expression proof that he’s jealous of his brother? This is all kind of dumb when you think about it, but it’s no surprise the clip, after Denver’s game-clinching touchdown, went viral. The Eli Manning reaction Vine passed 60 million views on Tuesday morning. Because, obviously, we can all tell from a quick glance what Eli Manning is thinking and feeling.
TMZ Sports ambushed Eli Manning at the airport to explain his reaction that went viral — with the line that Eli was “finally breaking his silence” … welcome to 2016, everyone — and he gave a pretty understandable answer.
“I was just focused on whether they’d go for two, and I knew the defense had to step up and make some stops,” Eli Manning said.
Eli would have been better off if he just gave a quick fist pump after the touchdown. He wouldn’t have become a trending topic.
Why people like to frame the Manning brothers as having some standoff at the holiday dinner table over Super Bowl rings is strange. They’ve never once shown anything but support for each other. Peyton spoke fondly of sharing a moment with Eli in the locker room after the Broncos won Super Bowl 50, and it reminded him of being with Eli after his younger brother’s first Super Bowl. Eli Manning had no good reason to root against his brother in what was likely Peyton’s last NFL game.
Even after the game, the fourth question of Peyton Manning’s postgame media conference was about getting bragging rights back with his second Super Bowl ring to tie Eli.
“We don’t do that. That’s not what we do,” Peyton Manning said, clearly perturbed by having to talk about some form of this topic for years. “Maybe you guys and your brothers do that, but we don’t do that.”
But as long as there are Vines to be contextualized by amateur body language experts, who cares what they say?
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