The NFC loaned center Jeff Saturday to the AFC for a play in one of the coolest moments you’ll see in a Pro Bowl.
Saturday played his first 13 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts, hiking the ball to Peyton Manning time after time, including in the Colts’ Super Bowl XLI victory over the Bears. After so many games and memories together, Manning and Saturday spent this season apart, when Manning went to the Denver Broncos and Saturday went to the Green Bay Packers. Saturday announced this week that he was retiring after the Pro Bowl.
So in the first quarter, we witnessed something you’re unlikely to see again – a player lining up with the other team for one play.
Saturday, in his blue NFC jersey, lined up at center with the AFC for a play in the first quarter. He snapped to Manning, as he has done thousands of times in his life, and then marched off the field to the NFC sideline with the ball, a great sentimental moment that was a bit like Alex Rodriguez pushing Cal Ripken to shortstop in Ripken’s last MLB All-Star Game.
“After doing it that long with him, we figured it was our last run together, might as well get one more,” said Saturday, who played more center for the NFC after his moment with Manning, in a sideline interview with NBC. “It was something special I’ll always remember.”
There’s plenty of reasons to believe the Pro Bowl is a joke, but that was a great moment and a nice sendoff for Saturday, who is finishing a fantastic career.
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