Peyton Manning didn’t give any insight into his future after winning Super Bowl 50.
When asked about his possible retirement, he simply quipped, “I’m gonna drink a lot of Budweiser tonight, Tracy.”
He also mentioned Budweiser again during the trophy ceremony.
At first, the NFL world assumed that this was a paid endorsement for Budweiser. However, an Anheuser Busch (which owns Budweiser) spokesman said it wasn’t a paid endorsement:
Regardless, people are starting to wonder if Manning was giving a hint about retiring. As Darren Rovell wrote in 2010, active players cannot endorse alcohol.
However, Manning has mentioned Budweiser products before, saying after a press conference that he wanted to get his hands on a Bud Light.
As BI Sports editor Cork Gaines says, soon-to-be-retired players don’t care about the weight they gain by drinking lots of Budweiser:
Conspiracy theory: In the past, Peyton joked about Bud Lites. Now he is joking about Bud Heavy. Retired players dont worry about weight
— Dr Cork Gaines (@CorkGaines) February 8, 2016
His father, Archie Manning, didn’t offer much insight either, saying after the game “I think Peyton’s done in Denver. He may be done everywhere. So that’s my — you know what? I don’t stick my nose in it, so I don’t know that. I don’t know that.”
As Deadspin’s Timothy Burke wrote, this may have just been a middle-finger to the NFL, not a retirement hint, since he’s broken NFL rules before.
Nobody knows what Peyton is going to do, perhaps not even Peyton. But if Super Bowl 50 was indeed his last game, making a subtle hint about his future by talking about drinking beer after winning a championship would be a great way to go out.