In the Denver locker room Sunday night, after his 246th NFL regular-season game, Peyton Manning asked, “Where’s Demaryius?”
Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, someone said, was on his way out to the field to do an interview with NBC.
“We gotta get him back,” Manning said. “Get him back in here for a second.”
Someone went to intercept Thomas, and while he was being summoned, Manning found a blank piece of white paper in a notebook, wrote “509” on it with a black Sharpie and ripped the page out. He had a plan to commemorate setting the all-time touchdown-pass record with the 509th of his career, thrown in the second quarter to Thomas; Manning usually does have a plan. Now Thomas was back, and Manning posed with the ball, the piece of paper and the pass-catcher for the record-breaking touchdown pass. You know, like the old days. When Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points in an NBA game in 1962, he wrote “100” on a piece of white paper and held it up for the cameras. A few more photos, and then he gave the ball to Pro Football Hall of Fame vice president Joe Horrigan, who was there to ferry it back to Canton this morning.
“I land at 3:15 in the afternoon,” Horrigan said. “Hopefully, it’ll be on display by 4 p.m.”