The 50th Super Bowl is just around the corner, and it features two quarterbacks that were both first overall picks. Yet, while Cam Newton seems to only be scratching the surface of his potential, Peyton Manning may in fact be on his last rodeo.
The game is obviously of incredible importance, the Super Bowl always is, but when you consider that it may be the last game of one of (if not the) greatest quarterbacks of all time? Well, that’s enough to get any fan excited.
Peyton Manning has had a career that one could only dream of, and holds countless NFL records (though he ties Farve in a huge one, read to find out) and has earned the respect of everyone around him. That being said, Peyton’s last time in the Super Bowl didn’t go so well as the Broncos got dismantled by the Seattle Seahawks. Yet, none of this will matter nearly as much if he is able to end his career with a Super Bowl win.
When it comes to the legacy of Peyton Manning, there are moments of his career that would be foolish not to mention when talking about him. Similarly, there are stories that will amaze you, such as the extent of his amazing memory. There are also moments in his career, such as a “tea-bagging” incident, that could have ruined his career had it happened in 2015.
Not everyone’s image is always going to be clean, but there are no shortage of amazing things that Peyton has done throughout his life. Here are 15 things that you might not know about him.
15. Only QB To Take Multiple Teams To The Super Bowl, Multiple Times
You wouldn’t know it if you talk to a casual fan, but Peyton Manning has had himself some postseason success. People like to crap on him for his inability to win multiple Super Bowls, but at least he does have one to his name. He also led the Colts against the Saints, before trading in his Colt Blue for the Bronco Orange. As a Bronco, Peyton led one of the best offenses of all time to a Super Bowl. Unfortunately, he got embarrassed in what may be the biggest embarrassment in Super Bowl history. Peyton has a chance to redeem himself against the Panthers though, and here’s hoping he does. He is the only QB in NFL HISTORY, to take multiple teams, to multiple Super Bowls.
14. Russell Wilson Met Peyton When He Was 16
This may be more of a Russell Wilson fact, but it’s still a cool fact about Peyton. Manning has put on passing academy’s for most of his career, and on one of those years, one of his camp members was Russell Wilson. Granted, I can’t imagine that was what they talked about after Wilson’s Seahawks dismantled the Broncos in the Super Bowl. Still a great little connection of one legend, meeting another player that is clearly poised for amazing things.
13. Tom Brady’s First Game Was Against Peyton
It’s really unbelievable when you consider that football has been around for 50+ years, and right now we are watching the two greatest of all time play. Peyton and Tom are legends in their own right, but their legacy was far from written when Tom was making his first NFL start. The Patriots handled the Colts easily, winning 44-13. After the game, Brady stated
“You envision the things that are going to happen in a game,
all the possibilities,” said Brady, who went 13-for-23 for 168
yards. “Never did I think it would be the runaway victory that it
I bet he also didn’t see the rest of his career coming. The two quarterbacks combined for 364 yards and 1 TD on the day.
12. Archie Manning Disguised Himself At Peyton’s Games
Peyton Manning obviously comes from a family of athletes, as his father, Archie Manning was also a professional Quarterback. Peyton’s brother, Eli, is also a current NFL Quarterback (and a 2 time Super Bowl Champion). When Peyton was in University, in order to make sure he wasn’t distracted, Archie would attend his games but do-so in disguise. It must have worked, as Peyton went onto being the first overall pick in the NFL Draft.
11. The Role Of His Father
Archie Manning was not a fantastic NFL Quarterback. Yet, the man prided himself on being a Father first, and an NFL Quarterback second. In an ESPN 30 for 30 documentary on the Manning’s, Peyton and Eli talk about how they wouldn’t be able to tell if his Dad won or lost when he came home, he was just ready to be with his family.
When asked if his Father was an inspiration, Peyton recalled how he would take his father’s old college cassette tapes and stay awake listening to them. He could tell you by name the offensive line and their hometowns as they announcer called them out, and could visualize his dad on the field as he closed his eyes on his bed.
It was a powerful story and no doubt shaped Peyton. The legacy of his father… wanting to be like him… taking the time to sit and listen and soak in his dad’s life.
10. His Brother Is Successful
While I could easily make this blurb about Eli, it is also fun to talk about the other Manning brother! Sure, Cooper Manning isn’t in the NFL, but he’s still incredibly successful. He currently has a net worth of 15 million, working as an “American energy trader.”I’ll be honest, I have NO IDEA what that job is, but it doesn’t sound like something to mess around with! Plus, I bet he’s taken way less hits in his life than either of his brother. So whose the real winner?
9. Peyton Bought Into Papa John’s, Right Before Colorado Legalized Marijuana
It’s clear that Peyton Manning isn’t just a genius when it comes to taking down defenses. If you have bought Papa John’s anytime recently, you’ll see that the box also has a picture of Peyton on it. Peyton clearly showed business savy when he bought 21 franchises in Colorado, which reported a 25% increase in sales over the year. When asked about it Peyton stated
“There’s some different laws out here in Colorado. Pizza business is pretty good out here, believe it or not, due to some recent law changes.” You could say that again, Peyton!
8. He Sends Hand-Written Notes To Other Retiring NFL Players
Peyton Manning has always seemed like one of the classiest players in the NFL. One of the best examples of this, is the fact that he sends hand-written notes to players that he greatly respects once they retire. John Lynch is a legend, and one of the recipients of these notes:
“I was so touched that the very first letter I got when I retired was from Peyton,” Lynch said. “It was a handwritten note that meant more than the gift ever was. He sent a case full of Silver Oak. It meant so much to me because of the respect I have for him. I still don’t drink it, so there’s a case of Silver Oak in my wine cellar to this day from him.”
When Peyton was asked to elaborate on who gets a letter, he stated:
“I don’t know who qualifies for a letter, necessarily,” Manning said. “It’s probably just somebody I played against for a long time. I don’t have to know you real well. The other guys on my list now, I’ve got [Baltimore center] Matt Birk, [Green Bay receiver] Donald Driver, and [Tampa Bay cornerback] Ronde Barber; guys who played the game the right way.”
I am sure he will have his eye on a few legends as they look to hang up their cleats right alongside him in the near future.
7. He Is Tied With Brett Farve With 199 Wins
You better believe this is going to be a storyline leading up to the Super Bowl, and made into a huge deal whether he wins or loses. Manning is currently tied with Brett Farve with 199 career wins, tied for first all time. This is written like a Disney movie, if Peyton can win the Super Bowl he gets the record and gets to retire on the top of the world. If he loses, he’s either going to have to give his body one more season of Football or know that he finished one game short of what is an unbelievable record to hold.
6. HGH Allegations
With a story that is continuing to develop, there was a report that Peyton had used HGH in the past. Peyton is confident in his statement that he supports an NFL investigation into an Al-Jazeera America report that linked Manning and others to human growth hormone.
“I do welcome it. It’s no news to me,” Manning said after practice. “I still stand by what I said then that it’s garbage from the first day that it came out, garbage today.”
It is clear that it is not something that is troubling the legend as he prepares for what may be his last game. It may still be frustrating to some fans that something that could end up being an impact on his legacy is seemingly going largely ignored, whereas last year, deflated ball storylines were EVERYWHERE.
5. Peyton Manning Allegedly “Tea-Bagged” A Female Trainer
This is an absolutely unbelievable story, that I assure you if it happened with social media in 2015, there might be no recovering Peyton’s image. It was reported that back in 1996, Peyton Manning pulled down his shorts and sat on a female trainer’s face during a physical examination. The story barely became anything at the time, but after Peyton released a book in 2002 (which talked about it), the trainer lost her job as a program director at Florida Southern College. Manning ended up settling with the trainer out of court in 2003. Peyton needs to be thanking his lucky stars that one of the worst things that could have come out of university, came at a time where you couldn’t go and tweet about it.
4. He Met His Wife Before Freshman Year
Peyton Manning had an outstanding college University career that led to the Colts drafting him first overall in the NFL Draft. I am sure he would say that he could not have done any of this without the support of his wife Ashley, who he met before starting his first year at University. The two have twins together, a boy and girl. Manning has always maintained an incredibly positive public image and that is largely in part due to the tremendous support that he receives from his close family and friends.
3. People Love Him On SNL
Peyton Manning has many reasons as to why he is an incredible NFL quarterback. One thing that may not help him on the field, but is evident, is that Manning is also incredibly charismatic and hilarious when given the opportunity. Peyton has hosted SNL a few times in his life, and when he hosted it on March 24th the episode “earned the show’s highest household rating in more than 10 months” which is saying something, especially given that the show often looks to different actors or musicians to host each week. Peyton’s numbers were stronger in the markets that he played in, but there is no doubt that Manning is loved by most of America.
2. The Role He Had In Indianapolis
The Colts are an incredibly fortunate franchise. When they were a pitiful team, and in need of a quarterback, they chose Peyton Manning over Ryan Leaf and the decision helped make them a competitive team for years. At least until Peyton got hurt, missed a season, and then they drafted the best young quarterback in football, Andrew Luck. Yet, even though Manning is now a Bronco, it is important to remember the impact he had on the city of Indy.
A curator at the Indiana State Museum stated: “”There is no Super Bowl held here without Peyton. There is no Lucas Oil Stadium without Peyton. Without Peyton, the Colts would probably be in L.A. right now.”
Hard to argue with that!
1. His Amazing Memory
If you’re going to be able to make it in the NFL, you need to be sure that your memory is always going to be sharp. There is a tremendous story that explains just how incredible Manning’s memory is though. Tennessee (where Peyton played College) has had the same video coordinator for two decades. He was out having some lunch when he received a phone call from the voice that he knew was Peyton:
“I pick up the phone and I go in the corner where it’s quiet, and I’m all, ‘Hello?’ and no ‘Hi, how ya doing?,’ nothing,” Harrington said. “This is what he says: ‘In 1996, Tennessee played Ole Miss in Memphis, in the third quarter we ran a play called Flip Right Duo, X Motion, Fake Roll 98 Block Pass Special. I need you to find that play, I need you to digitize it and I need you to send it to me at Denver, in my email.’
“Exactly where he said it would be is what he said would happen.”
Are you kidding me, Peyton?! He would have run thousands and thousands of plays since that one, how do you even begin to remember that? Truly Hall of Fame stuff.
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