Now Slay will get a chance to play against Manning -- and possibly intercept him. And if that happens, Slay made it sound like it would be a bigger deal than normal.
“It’s going to be my first time ever playing him, so I’m letting you know now, if I get a pick from him, he gotta sign that,” Slay said, smiling. “He gotta sign that. I gotta have that. Signature, right then, on the spot. I’m going to have the pen in my pocket. I’m going to his sideline if I do it, like, hey, holler at me.
“I know it’s just a turnover, but hey, this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance here.”
Slay said if it happens, he isn’t going to let anyone else touch the ball until he gets back home. The 24-year-old said he would actually get a case for the ball, which would also be his fourth career interception and second this season after his picked off Philip Rivers in the opener.
“I ain’t giving it to the trainers,” Slay said. “I’m taking that with me. Everything. To me. Gotta have that.”
To be clear, Slay has a very easygoing, fun demeanor and was laughing as he was saying this, so he was probably joking about getting Manning to sign the ball -- at least right away.
It’d be a big deal for the Lions, too. In three career games against Manning, the quarterback has thrown 10 touchdowns and two interceptions, with both of the picks coming on Oct. 29, 2000, when Slay was nine years old. Manning is 3-0 against the Lions.
So it makes sense on many levels that would it mean so much for Slay to pick off one of the all-time greats.
“It’s a lot. It’s a lot. It’s Peyton Manning, you know,” Slay said. “There’s not another Peyton Manning out there. Unless he got a Peyton Manning, Jr. Other than that, shoot, goodness.”