USA TODAY Sports
Peyton Manning after accepting the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award from Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers: "I, ah... I feel pretty confident me and Andrew Luck will be up here to present this award one day, together."
One of the more awesome moments of Super Bowl Week, leading up to what would eventually be a 34-31 Ravens victory in Super Bowl XLVI, took place at the NFL Honors Show the night before the big game. There, awards like Coach of the Year and Most Valuable Player were given to former-Colts interim head coach Bruce Arians and Vikings All Pro runningback Adrian Peterson, respectively.
The best moment came when, for the 2012 NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award, former Packers great Brett Favre and current Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers stepped out on stage together to present. It was the first time the two had been seen together since Favre's very nasty, very public separation from the Green Bay franchise in 2008. The two had played against each other from 2009-2010, when Favre played for two seasons with the Vikings.
Favre and Rodgers were hilarious when introducing the award, joking about Favre's waffling back-and-forth on retirement when he was in Green Bay, and how it affected Rodgers. The bit ended with the two shaking hands and Favre making a gesture to, seemingly, hug Rodgers only to back away and continue shaking hands. The audience laughed, and on cue Rodgers noted, "That was awkward."
More laughs. More applause.
When it came time to present the award, the honor went to Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who was in attendance along with his father, Archie, and his brother, Giants quarterback Eli Manning. When Manning took the stage, he first stated how it was an honor to receive this award from Favre and Rodgers, calling both, "two of the best quarterbacks of all time." He also stated that how wonderful it was to see them onstage, together.
"It's great for football," Manning said.
Then, Peyton did what Peyton has often done in settings like this: He brought the house down with laughter. After noting how great it was for Favre and Rodgers to give him the Comeback Player Award, he tossed out another joke that, like so many good barbs, had a strong nugget of truth embedded:
"I, ah... I feel pretty confident me and Andrew Luck will be up here to present this award one day, together."
The camera then cut to an incredibly embarrassed Andrew Luck, sitting in the audience at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre.
Like Favre and Packers, the breakup between Manning and the Colts was not pretty. Though, to be fair to Jim Irsay, he handled it much better than Ted Thompson, Packers general manager, did in 2008.
Manning's award and his comments served as a finale for what was a crazy 2012 season for the Colts and for Manning himself. Manning was a finalist for the AP NFL MVP Award while Luck came in second in the Offensive Rookie of the Year voting. Both men quarterbacked their teams to the playoffs.
Check out the awards moment here: