Peyton Manning teaches us about playing to win.

By Luke Sklar and Amber Hudson

It’s January and do you know what that means?  NFL fans create butt-dents in their basement couches, downing buckets of beer and towers of nachos, all in the name of watching playoff football.  There are the typical surprises, letdowns, moments of inspiration.  Then there are the WTFs.  Like the one Peyton Manning pulled on Saturday night’s Denver Broncos game against the Baltimore Ravens.  If you missed it, here are the highlights:

It’s the 4th quarter, the game is tied at 35, there’s 30 seconds left on the clock and the Broncos have 2 time outs left.  Rather than attempt to get the ball into position for a game-winning field goal, Manning, one of the best QBs in the history of the game, instead takes a knee.  This runs the clock to 0:00 and sends the game into overtime. Double-overtime in fact.

And the Broncos lose.

So what the hell happened?  I’ll tell you, Manning didn’t play to win, he played not to lose.  There’s a difference.  Look at Matt Ryan, QB for the Atlanta Falcons.  Young Matt Ryan, Matty Ice, put together 2 sharp, confident passes that set up a winning field goal.  He finally won a playoff game; a major monkey off his back.  Because he played to win.

The lesson?  You can’t win if you’re playing not to lose.  Do you have the instinct to know what your amazing at and play to win?  Don’t take a knee when you can be confident and courageous and make that pass to win the game.