Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning ripped sports Authority Field’s scoreboard operator Thursday after his team’s 35-21 victory over the San Diego Chargers. The 38-year-old chastised the “disrespectful” stadium employee for showing Chargers quarterback Phillip Rivers’ face and inciting crowd noise while the Broncos had the ball late in the fourth quarter.
“I have no problem with our fans, our fans are great. I’ve got a problem with our scoreboard operator. I’ve got to have a little talk with him,” Manning told reporters at a postgame press conference. “I’m not sure what he’s doing. He’s playing music and showing our players dancing and getting the crowd fired up when we have the ball. I don’t think we should be doing that. I don’t think we should be showing their quarterback on the sideline. I thought it was disrespectful.”
The Broncos scoreboard operator’s antics had a noticeable impact on the game. He placed a video of Denver cornerback Aqib Talib dancing on the sideline, prompting loud cheers from the crowd and contributing to a false start penalty, Deadspin notes. Soon after, a visibly agitated Manning waved for the crowd to quiet down.
Earlier in the game, the scoreboard operator switched back and forth between shots of Manning and Rivers, inciting the crowd to cheer and boo. Again, the Broncos had possession of the ball at the time.
But the crowd noise didn’t stop Manning and the rest of the Broncos offense from turning in a dominant performance against the Chargers. Wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders had a career night, recording nine catches for 120 yards and a career-high three touchdown catches. Running back Ronnie Hillman added an additional 109 yards on the ground as the Broncos improved to 6-1.
Manning threw for three scores and now has a record 513 career touchdown passes. He’s thrown for 22 touchdowns and 2,134 yards this season.