After a season in which he had so very much to be proud of, the Super Bowl that was to be more coronation than football contest never materialized for Peyton Manning, and after the 43-8 thumping, he was asked if he was embarrassed.

That simple question about a rout raised his hackles.

“It’s not embarrassing at all. I would never use that word,” he said. “There’s a lot of professional football players in that room, that locker room, who put a lot of hard work and effort into being here and into playing in that game. The word embarrassing is an insulting word, to tell you the truth.”

It also was a legitimate question. Although there’s a great deal for him to be proud of, the simple fact is that he was pressured constantly and beaten badly by a great defense playing at the top of its game.