Among the best moments after Peyton Manning's Super Bowl victory were his multiple mentions of what it is he was going to do after the ceremonies were over: Drink beer. And not just any beer, Peyton specifically references Budweiser.
Social media immediately raised red flags, because not only did Peyton mention it in his post-game, on-field interview with CBS sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson, but again on the stage with Jim Nantz after being presented the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
Wolfson asked Manning, "Is this your final game for your career?"
Manning responded with, "I'm going to drink a lot of Budweiser tonight Tracy, I promise you that."
When Nantz asked a similar question, Manning replied, "And I'm going to drink a lot of beer tonight, Jim. Budweiser. Von Miller's buying."
The value of both mentions of Budweiser is about $13.9 million, according to a firm that analyzes the value of brands.
First things first, did The Sheriff sell out?
Budweiser's head of communications adamantly denied that on Twitter last night.
Hi Internet. For the record, Budweiser did not pay Peyton Manning to mention Budweiser tonight. We were surprised and delighted that he did.
— Lisa Weser (@LisaWeser) February 8, 2016
— Budweiser (@Budweiser) February 8, 2016
However, Manning does stand to profit from it. According to the trade publication Beer Business Daily and as reported by the Washington Post, Manning owns a stake in Budweiser distributor in his home state of Louisiana.
It's not the first time Peyton has mentioned specific alcohol products. See the below press conference, although it appears he needs the heavy stuff for after bigger games, as he mentions Bud Light here:
Now that that's settled, on to the retirement hint: NFL policy prohibits active players from endorsing alcohol. So is Peyton done, having just vehemently broken the rules, twice.
If you want even further off-the-wall evidence to support this theory, how about staying in shape, Peyton? Budweiser has more calories than Bud Light, and someone who is planning to retire may not care about the extra weight gain as a result.
Or it all could just be a giant diss to the NFL. If you read Peyton's body language while he's on stage with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell during the Lombardi Trophy presentation, he barely looks at him, not coming even close to making eye contact.
But our Dave Furst throws a wrench in this theory, on good authority:
I know for a fact Peyton drinks Miller Lite.
— Dave Furst (@DaveFurst) February 8, 2016
Things that make you go "Hmm..."