Peyton Manning was fined $8,268 for taunting an opponent during a Denver preseason game against the Houston Texans, according to ESPN. The normally cool but intense Manning confronted Houston safety D.J. Swearinger–and was probably guilty of swearingering at him, insiders say. Prior to this incident, Manning had never in his long career been called for a taunting charge.
Manning took advantage of having thrown a 29-yard second quarter TD pass to Emmanuel Sanders to voice his displeasure with Swearinger, who earlier in the game had delivered a hit to Manning’s teammate Wes Welker resulting in a concussion. Manning told ESPN that he accepted the fine, calling it “money well spent.” (That’s because it’s like regular people being fined a nickel, but nevermind.) What he didn’t tell ESPN is that he wasn’t really so mad about Walker–what Peyton Manning’s really pissed off about is last year’s big game, when the future Hall of Famer had “one of the worst defeats a quarterback has ever absorbed in the Super Bowl.” That kind of public thumping will change a man–even turn him into a taunter, apparently.