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In a turn of events few could’ve seen coming, the inaugural Pro Bowl Games ended in a bit of controversy on Sunday following a play that evoked quite a reaction from AFC coach Peyton Manning.
With his team trailing, 35–33, with 40 seconds to play, Manning darted off the sideline to call out what he believed should’ve been a penalty on the NFC during the last of Sunday’s three flag football games. The play in question came after the AFC was flagged for holding and saw Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins kneel on the one-yard line to allow the clock to run out.
“You can’t run! Can’t run! That’s a penalty,” an irate Manning exclaimed as he approached the nearest official to plead his case. Unfortunately for the Hall of Famer, his protest ultimately fell on deaf ears, though it did provide another hilarious moment as Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson smiled and waved at Manning in the midst of the madness.
To make matters worse for Manning, the non-call was immediately followed by a celebratory Gatorade bath on the field for the NFC coach, Eli Manning, after the clock expired. Needless to say, Peyton clearly didn’t like the thought of losing, even if it was just a meaningless exhibition with his brother coaching on the other side. But, in Peyton’s defense, it’s like the old saying goes, “Once a player, always a player.”