Did Manning and Wayne display poor sportsmanship?

Following their 31-17 loss to the Saints on Sunday night, Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne jetted off to the locker room like losing players of the Super Bowl always do. But what was noteworthy about their exit was that they ran off without shaking hands with their opponent.

From FOXNews.com:

Manning reacted stoically Sunday night after wide receiver Reggie Wayne dropped his team’s last gasp — a fourth-down pass in the end zone late in the fourth quarter. With hands on hips and his helmet still on, Manning returned to the sideline and stared at a video-board replay. He then headed toward the locker room before the final seconds expired in New Orleans’ 31-17 win.

Was it poor sportsmanship for not shaking hands with Saints players? Sure. But after what had just transpired in Super Bowl XLIV, I wouldn’t want to look back either.

The Boston Globe reports that Manning ran into Darren Sharper on the way out of his postgame press conference and congratulated him “profusely” while shaking his hand and giving him a hug.

“I’ll certainly talk to Drew,” Manning said. “I certainly know how it was three years ago when we won. There’s not much consolation for the guys who didn’t win. There’s the stage getting set up and there’s the celebration. That’s the time for the Saints to celebrate. It’s their field. They deserve the moment. I certainly congratulate all their players, their organization. I will speak to Drew Brees, speak to Sean Payton. They deserve all the credit.”

Manning is all class and I don’t think he was being a poor sport. Sure, it would have been better had he and Wayne sought out Brees and the Saints on the field, but what’s the difference in them congratulating them immediately after the game or a day later? Showing your respect is the most important thing and it sounds like Manning and Wayne are or did do that.

Neither of those players have history of being poor sports, so I don’t think much should be made out of this.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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