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Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee says he felt bad for Denver quarterback Peyton Manning when he encountered him walking alone after the Seahawks trounced the Broncos 43-8 in the Super Bowl.

Inslee was leaving MetLife Stadium down a long hallway when he saw the quarterback.

“He’s all alone. There was no entourage around him,” Inslee told a luncheon on Thursday. “I wish I had a camera. It was like the picture of defeat — head down, slow. I felt bad for the guy.

“He gave it his all and he’s obviously a tremendous competitor, and I’ve lost a few in my life, too,” said Inslee, who was a starting quarterback in high school and often uses sports metaphors in his speeches. “So I just went up to him and introduced myself as the governor of the state of Washington and I shook his hand. And I said, ‘I know this is a really tough game for you, but there will be others and hang in there,’ because I kind of wanted to console him.

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“He looked down at me like he was going to break me in half,” Inslee said. “It was sort of like, ‘Whatever, dude,’ and he walked away. My therapy didn’t work too well.”

Inslee told the story Thursday at a luncheon for the state Association of Washington Business. It was about the only laugh the governor got from the audience, which was quieter than a library for much of his speech, which went over his priorities such as closing tax breaks to raise money for education and increasing the state minimum wage.

Andrew Garber

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