We get a lot of sunshine here in Denver, but today it seems a little brighter than usual. There’s an orange glow after our hometown team won Super Bowl 50 last night.
As someone who trains spokespeople, I can’t help but observe how Peyton Manning, the winning quarterback, adroitly handles media interviews. He has been asked incessantly about his plans for retirement and every time, he has steadfastly stuck to his messages, though he must be tired of repeating them. It is refreshing to watch him deliver his well-practiced refrain that he is staying in the moment and will reflect on his future later.
Always a class act, Peyton illustrated through his positive, respectful behavior before and after the game that taking the high road plays well with the media and fans. It’s also the right thing to do. Contrasted with the often boastful and flashy Cam Newton who glowered at the postgame media conference and abruptly walked out, Peyton is always the consummate professional. Thanking his teammates, his coaches, family and God, Peyton doesn’t offer controversial and provocative remarks. His comments reinforce his integrity and leadership. Being humble in victory and gracious in defeat are hallmarks of a true leader.
Tomorrow a Broncos parade, just blocks from our Linhart Public Relations office, will punctuate our city’s joy and pride. I will celebrate not only a victory for athleticism, restraint and toughness, but a win for respect, civility and grace.
Here’s to Peyton!