Yahoo! Sports blogger Chris Chase would vote in favor of the former. Chase writes of Manning, "If I care so much, why shouldn't the players?"
Second, isn't it karma that the Colts should lose, after handing the New York Jets (7-7) and the Buffalo Bills (5-10) unopposed wins in the final two games of the season, opting to rest their starters? The Colts had already secured home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Two additional wins would buy them nothing for their efforts . . .
Nothing except glory!
Chase writes,"The desire to win is what sustains greatness," and then he checks off several well-known names — Jordan, DiMaggio, Bird, Williams, Jabbar — who supposedly cared too much about winning to shake hands after a game.
Chase complains: "'It's just a job for these guys,' is a familiar refrain." But this failure of their desire to win proves it is just a job for Manning and the Colts.
The Tao te Ching, that pithy little book of Chinese wisdom, says:
The best athlete
wants his opponent at his best.
* * *
the virtue of non-competition.
Not that they don't love to compete,
but they do it in the spirit of play.
In this they are like children
and in harmony with the Tao.
Give me an Andy Roddick or a Phil Mickelson who, no matter how big the title or how much money is on the line, win or lose, child-like in the best sense of the term, they shake the hand of the other guy, look him in the eye and congratulate him on a fine performance.
That's hard to do. That's emotional strength. Crying, pouting and running off the field, well . . . that's child-like in its own way.