Peyton Manning is now retired, so the gloves can come off.
In a preview for the Comedy Central Roast of Rob Lowe, Manning, a panelist on the roast and a friend of Lowe's, made a joke at the expense of Tom Brady and the deflated football scandal that has plagued the quarterback for the last two years.
Lowe, if you'll remember, tweeted in 2012 that Manning was going to retire. Obviously, there was a pretty memorable final act of his career after that premature declaration.
But Manning's choice of material -- or the choice his writers made -- is interesting. For a quarterback so in tune with his own legacy, it's surprising that he decided to come at the only quarterback who outshined him over the last two decades. More than that, Manning knows exactly how damaging the suspension was to Brady personally and professionally, and he still chose to make a joke in a special that will air less than a week before opening day (Sept. 5).
Before he was cleared by an NFL investigation, Manning faced his own end-of-career controversy that left him so angry he could barely make it through interviews regarding allegations made in an Al Jazeera America documentary. While we're not comparing the two situations, we are saying that both hit the quarterbacks in a similar way personally. Manning knows exactly what it's like to -- at least momentarily -- find yourself embroiled in a situation that could have altered the way football fans thought of him and his career.
Maybe he knows something we don't. Remembering how highly Manning values his personal relationships, there's a good chance he ran the joke by the Patriots quarterback or at least gave him a heads up in advance of the special. But if not, Brady certainly has some material to explore during his post-career comedy venture.