Regarding My Wife and Peyton Manning

 

Pause. There was a pause. My wife may deny it, but it was there. Oh, it was there. Our six year-old daughter had just asked my wife a very important question. To provide a little background, my daughter is a fledgling football fan. Mind you, she is also a baseball fan, tennis fan, golf fan, soccer fan, NCAA basketball fan, and Olympic sports fan. She has even begun to get that rabid inquisitiveness and that nervous pace when one of these competitions is on TV. Where did she learn it all? From her mother, of course.

Cari, my wife, is certifiably crazy about sports. Once she was told by her college roommate’s boyfriend that Cari was the only girl he ever met who he would find watching football all by herself. Cari, after all, was raised with five brothers in an age before remote control television sets. As such, she was tortured into standing by the TV and changing channels during commercials for hours on end. Invariably, their programs of choice were sports. Interestingly, thanks to this edifying experience as well as her own high school athletic career, she fell in love with sports. But Cari’s interest and aptitude for sports knowledge is not simply intriguing. At times, it is downright eerie. For example, for years Cari and I have watched professional football together. Now, mind you, I played football for five years and consider myself relatively sophisticated in understanding the rules and nuances of the game. Now here is what will happen when I am watching a game with Cari. Without hyperbole, a rare circumstance will occur requiring facility with the most arcane rule of the game and Cari will spew forth a nuanced judgement or pronouncement that will literally be followed, in thirty seconds, by the commentators or the referees. She just looks at me and smiles. It is my firm conviction that I could retire early, if only she would pursue the role of radio sports talk show host or football color commentator.

But let us now return to the pause. My daughter had asked Cari perhaps one of the toughest questions imaginable outside of where will we go to church, how will we school/educate our children and how will we manage our finances? The question?,

“If Dad’s football team played against Peyton Manning’s football team, who would you want to win?”

That’s when the pause came, followed by the scramble. It went something like this,

quiet, quiet, quiet, quiet, quiet, quiet, then
“Well, Dad’s team, of course.”

Betrayed. Like a knife in the chest. And it was all in the pause. Oh, I’d had suspicions before – like when we pondered the name of our second child. Not knowing the gender of our upcoming baby, we came up with our list. What headed our boy’s name list? Peyton. Not Payton. Peyton. Or perhaps it was her exuberant glee at Peyton Manning’s Super Bowl victory, watched from the hospital bed two day’s after my first daughter’s birth (it was almost like two life events were packed into one weekend). Or maybe her recent conviction that we are going to fly to Denver to see the AFC Championship if Manning’s Broncos are playing in it. Grumble.

But I have to admit. My wife is an extraordinary saleswoman. I have always been a tolerant sports fan. I would enjoy a game in the background, but simultaneously have another task underway during the competition. However, since being with Cari, I watch and cheer more. I never enjoyed golf, NCAA basketball or tennis. Now I do. And Peyton Manning? Well, my wife exposed me to some of the his more human sides…and, darn it all, I kind of like him. He’s got an intense work ethic, a strong self-discipline, great leadership skills, a great sense of humor (if you haven’t seen his Saturday Night Live United Way commercial, watch it here), uncanny athletic ability, and an endearing humility. ESPN’s tremendously moving “The Book of Manning” (viewable here) featuring legendary quarterback Archie Manning with his brood of Peyton, Eli and Cooper further moved me about the character of Peyton and his family. As a result, when Peyton Manning was named Sports Illustrated’s 2013 “Sportsman of the Year”, it seemed clear that it was something I couldn’t miss.

It seems evident that I need not remind people of the incredible athletic achievements of NFL Quarterback Peyton Manning. As a thirteen-time Pro Bowl selection (and one time MVP), seven-time AFC Offensive Player of the Year, four-time NFL MVP, Super Bowl winner and Super Bowl MVP, Manning has space issues at home for all of his trophies. Nor do I need to highlight the impact Peyton has had on Tennessee Volunteer fans (his alma mater), Indianapolis Colts fans (not to mention the city of Indianapolis), and now the post-season prospects of the AFC number one-seeded Denver Broncos. Babies are named Peyton. Children clutch his rookie card. Women (*ahem*) swoon over him. Most of these facts are well-represented in Lee Jenkins’ compelling Sports Illustrated article.

To say the least, in reading “The Sportsman of the Year” article, I never conceived of the degree of perfection Manning expected of himself. As Jenkins relays, Peyton could be found taking thirty pages of notes at his freshman football orientation at Tennessee, endlessly watching tape before and after countless NFL games, perfecting the hurry-up offense, re-enacting entire games with personally recruited players after-hours, sweating the details of solitary “mistakes” from past games, and obsessively researching opposing defensive coordinators and their entire histories against him.

I never completely comprehended the limitations his cervical spine injury and the legacy of four surgeries imposed on him. Prior to surgery, the neurologic damage to his throwing arm led him to be unable to throw an eight yard pass. After the surgery, his pain was better, but his nerve damage persisted. His coaches and trainers were scared for him. According to Jenkins, his former offensive coordinator at Tennessee said,

“He was so out of whack, I had to ask him to quit throwing. He was on his way to hurting himself…He had to rebuild his mechanics from the ground up. He had to relearn everything.”

Manning and everyone around him couldn’t help but think that perhaps he would never recover. And to add insult to injury, in the midst of this physical and emotional crisis, the Indianapolis Colts cut him. The Super Bowl winner and living legend was released from the team he never wanted to leave. Peyton would graciously thank his owners, his team and his fans, he would move to Denver, and he would come back. Incredibly.

While this story of athletic prowess, determination and resilience is enough qualify Peyton Manning as the “Sportsman of the Year”, it is not what is most striking to me. What I think is most important in Jenkins’ essay and most relevant to my purpose for writing this piece for Patheos is the true quality found in the person of Peyton Manning. Needless to say, married to Cari, I have heard tidbits of Manning trivia. His grace in defeat, his uncomplaining nature in the face of personal injury, and his devotion to family. But Jenkins’ article shed a whole new light on Peyton Manning.

Peyton Manning inspires excellence. As Jenkins quotes tight end Jacob Tamme,

“That’s the secret of football with Peyton Manning. How much he demands of himself seeps into everybody else.”

Peyton Manning reaches out to people – personally. As Jenkins writes,

“Throughout his career Manning has written coaches and players who retire, as well as widows of coaches and players who pass away. He writes subjects of documentaries he’s seen and victims of tragedies he’s heard about. He writes his children every six months, even though they are years away from deciphering his cursive. Ashley buys his stationery, cream-colored cards with Peyton W. Manning in block letters at the top…It’s hard to find any coach, teammate or staffer who hasn’t received a note from Manning. ‘I got one when my dad passed,’ says Stokley, “and another when Peyton stayed at my house.’ ‘I got one when I retired,’ says former Colts video director Marty Heckscher. ‘It almost brought me to tears.’ ‘I got one when the Colts let me go,’ says Torine, the former strength coach. ‘It meant more than any paycheck.’”

In his letters, he consoles a fan undergoing neck surgery, a young boy with cancer, a high school football player with a broken leg. He calls – yes, calls – letter writers when driving home from practice. Jenkins records Peyton saying,

“‘I cold-call them,’ he says. ‘I block my number, and they don’t answer, so then you have to call back at night. They think it’s a prank call, but after that, you just take a moment and listen. I’ve always done that…’”

According to Jenkins, Peyton Manning doesn’t simply remember the names of his Indianapolis equipment managers – the guys who wash team jersies and catch his balls; he eats with them, drinks a beer with them, travels with them, and even spent the tearful, intimate final car ride from the Colts practice facility with them. He is a giant who created an economy that richly supports them. But moreover, he is their friend who, even after moving to Denver, still calls to speak with them specifically on the phone every few weeks.

This is Peyton Manning. An extraordinary athlete, no doubt. A focused and determined leader, without question. But most importantly, Peyton Manning is a decent guy. In a day and age of egotists and cheaters and complainers and free-loaders, Peyton Manning is a really decent guy. Indeed. Did he give my wife pause when my daughter asked that vital question? Perhaps. Perhaps not. But I know, that if we ever had the opportunity to meet Peyton Manning, my wife would probably swoon. Yes, I think she would. But, you know what? Who could blame her?

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  • Tim Westermeyer

    It’s ok, Cari — I love Peyton, too. And [pause], I’d also root for Tod’s team…

  • Sheila Warner

    I don’t watch football, but I was glad to read this profile of Peyton Manning. Thank you for this. It’s nice to hear about decency in sports.

  • Joejoe

    Peyton Manning has never done anything wrong in his life, according to Peyton Manning. He always throws teammates and/or coaches under the bus when something goes wrong. I honestly have no idea why he’s so glorified. And he’ll be 0-1 in the playoffs yet again this year.

    • Mother of 3 boys

      What planet did you come from Joejoe? Im guessing you still think Woodson deserved that Heisman more than Peyton, that Peyton really didnt break Brady’s single season passing record and The Saints/Drew Brees!s total offense record. OH…and take a few minutes while you are scratching your head and watch The Book of Manning to help you figure out his family’s legacy of the importance of being humble and being a good person.

      • roger

        I join with Mother of 3 boys. Why is it that we cannot celebrate the good and decent without dredging the perceived inadequacies of our heroes? If we start out from the assumption that the biblical passage, “all of us fall short in the sight of God,” is true, then we can focus a bit more on the truly exceptional things some or many do without being so cynical. I read this blog, and I wish I were the better person Peyton Manning displays himself to be. And, if he is only a better person some of the time and falls short some of the time, I can only hope that the message in this blog rubs off on me more. . . and makes me a better person. . . more of the time.

    • Steven Hunt

      0-1? are you sure? i think they just beat the Patriots and are headed to the Superbowl! clearly you just want to spew hate. He doesn’t throw teammates under the bus. Exactly the opposite is true. He’s a great person on the field and off. No one works as hard as he does!

    • AstroLoggie

      I have followed Peyton Manning through college and pro careers, and I was a good friend of his assistant athletic director at Tennessee. His opinion was that Peyton was a transformational leader, and I’ve never seen anything to argue against that description. During his recovery from surgery, there was no shortage of college coaches or former teammates at Peyton’s side. Even when he had reason to throw someone under the bus (you listening, Mr. Irsay?), he didn’t, and I’d defy you to name even one teammate or coach who ever got any disrespect from Peyton.

      • Kevin Cleek

        His idiot kicker?

        • Stacey Rosner

          “His idiot kicker”,is that the worst thing you could find?Then what I say will just blow your fucking mind.Vanderjagt missed a kick that would’ve sent the Colts to a super bowl.If Peyton didn’t say anything at all,you would be calling him a pussy wouldn’t you,yeah you’re one of those people,I know the type?

          • Kevin Cleek

            Chill out homie. I have been a Manning fan since he was a freshman at Tennessee. He weaves an uncanny kind of magic on the field, and even though I’m about sick of professional football, I will drop everything to watch Manning play. The prior poster defied everyone to name even one teammate or coach who ever got any disrespect from Peyton. I could think of exactly one – and I thought it was one of the funniest, most candid remarks Peyton ever made about a teammate. And as for me, you don’t know jack about anything. Go choke on your own bile. Your comments make you a sure lock to “never be in the company of Peyton Manning” simply because the class he displays is well beyond your grasp.

          • Stacey Rosner

            I’ve been to a dinner where Peyton was the guest speaker,he came over to our table because he wanted to meet us,so bite me!

          • Kevin Cleek

            Yeah, but I’ll bet you didn’t use your gutter language in front of him, and he probably left when he realized just how many years of etiquette classes you would need to be able to sit at a table with his family. Go bite yourself.

          • Kevin Cleek

            If he came over to your table it was because he was a guest speaker and it was the polite and classy thing to do. Therefore, your lack of class is only trumped by your narcissism.

  • Lesley Hughes

    Thanks for this….I’m a Grandmother who has called football plays each week in my living room for 60 years..Peyton Manning, IMHO, is the best QB I’ve ever seen ..it’s a joy to watch him play the game…and a joy to read about a young man who is of good character, as well as being exceptionally talented..!!!!

    • Thomas Bender

      You rock.

  • RustbeltRick

    The golf world talked about Tiger and no one else, the basketball world talked about Michael Jordan and no one else, and the football world talks about Peyton and no one else. It’s a bit much. He’s a great regular season quarterback, and he’s also won the same number of Super Bowls as Mark Rypien or Trent Dilfer.

    • Steven Hunt

      thats not the point of this article genius. This is about his character and how well he treats everyone around him. Superbowl rings has nothing to do with it.

    • Brent Wiemer

      I’m not sure rings matter when discussing a single player…if so then Trent Dilfer is a better quarterback than Dan Marino.

    • Kris Stephens

      I can understand that too much talk about one person can be a bit much, but to think for a second that Mark Rypien and Trent Dilfer should even be mentioned in the same sentence with Peyton Manning is just ridiculous! Those two guys won their Super Bowls because they had a great team around them. Peyton almost single-handedly has put teams in the playoffs. Look what happened to the Colts when they lost Peyton. The same cannot be said about the Redskins and Ravens.

      • RustbeltRick

        That’s exactly what I’m talking about. Tell Manning’s teammates that their success was “single-handedly” the work of the passer, and see how they react. Football is too big and complex for one guy, even a Hall of Fame QB, to make a bad team great.

    • Joyce Wood DeVore

      Who?

  • alwr

    When Tennessee lost his senior bowl game to Nebraska, he waited outside the Husker locker room to congratulate Tom Osborne on his third title and his retirement. That was when I became a Peyton Manning fan.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    LOL, that was a fun read. Thanks. Manning is a great player, probably the greatest quarterback ever.

  • roger

    I think your wife should have “owned up” and said, “Dearest daughter of mine. I love your father, my beloved husband. However, if he and Peyton Manning were playing on opposing teams, I would have rooted for Peyton’s team to crush your Dad’s team. Love is love. Marriage is marriage. However, football is something entirely different. Go Peyton!”

    • mk2aw

      well….Peyton Manning had a sexual assault lawsuit settled by the University of Tennessee. Just google it whomever does not believe me. He is a great QB but his public persona is all a front.

      • Ben

        Roger, did you read the articles you googled about Peyton’s “sexual assault lawsuit”? If you had then surely you would know the facts of the case set themselves as this 1. Peyton is a HUGE practical joker 2. Peyton was 20 or 21 at the time, a time when forethought of your actions has little place in most people’s decisions 3.Peyton was planning to play a prank on a teammate by setting the subject up to walk in a door and come face to face with Manning standing in a chair “mooning” the teammate 4. The prank backfired in that the next person who walked through the particular door was not his intended victim but a female athletic trainer. 5. This was not a “garden variety” typical jughead football player sexual assault case, more a case of someone with little to no sense of humor coupled with a higher than average sense of self worth feeling a need to punish someone who had “shamed them” 6.Peyton publicly and privately apologized for his actions numerous times. Please do not only tell a tenth of your story to try and negate all the good expressed in the author’s story

        • R Brown

          Thank you for taking time to tell the WHOLE story and not just bits and pieces that are going to make someone look bad. It seems like in today’s society nothing gets people all hot and bothered more than “dirtying up” a decent person. It seems that some people don’t WANT to acknowledge the good people in this world, and they certainly don’t want them to succeed. But haters gonna hate…

          • Rich Haskew

            You are correct in being informed about what you share about anyone. Peyton is a hero, a dedicated person to make this world a better person, and an example that should follow. Haters share what is intended to make others look bad to elevate themselves, they should take note and know about what they see and say.

          • Louann Ackerman

            Another crazy ass looking for a pay day

          • mk2aw

            His story was not true though. it wasn’t . research it yourself. Peyton had problems with this trainer and bullied her and did what he did to humiliate her…by the way SHE WON THE SETTLEMENT. Greta QB but not a perfect person.

          • Nana

            The thing about he said / she said is that there is generally truth on both sides and a story for both sides that neither completely agree about. Is Peyton perfect, of course not. There was only ONE perfect person to ever live. He’s out of college, he has proven over and over again that he respects and honors people he works with and for. The article was a great tribute to him, his treatment of people and his work ethic and it is has turned into a discussion of one thing that he may or may not have done. We don’t know the whole story and really don’t need to. Let it go. Talk about politics and go after them. He is an honorable person that probably made a mistake. Geez, I guess that means he is human.

          • Liam Mingione

            no perfect person has ever lived. What fantasy world do you live in?

          • Liam Mingione

            unless you were there it’s a bunch of he said she said bullshit, and frankly no one gives a shit. It was almost 20 years ago, I’m sure you’ve done something stupid in your late teens or early 20′s and you’ve probably matured a lot less than Peyton since. People aren’t perfect and I’d be willing to bet my testicles that he’s done a hell of a lot more good than you; so STFU.

        • Drew Fritz

          Mooning someone is NOT sexual assault, you moron.

          • Alyson

            it is,actually.

          • Lauraeliza30

            Mooning is completely sexual assault, you moron. Is it as severe as other forms of sexual assault… NO. But, nonetheless it is still considered sexual assault and harassment by workplace standards and laws.

          • RKM149

            Of course mooning someone at work shouldn’t be allowed, but Peyton was in college at the time. Should we lock up every college guy who has ever mooned someone?

          • mk2aw

            Read the story yourself, it was a lot worse than the “Peyton army” is making it out to be

            http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/colts/2003-11-04-manning-suit_x.htm

          • Mark Smith

            Yes, it actually is. And that’s why the school paid a $300K settlement. Incidentally, the ensuing lawsuit claimed that it was more than just a simple mooning. In her deposition, she said he basically backed his bare ass into her face, and there is corroboration from witnesses, including the guy that Manning said he was trying to “moon”.

            To quote Malcolm Saxon, the guy that Manning said he was trying to moon, in a letter to Manning: “Bro, you have tons of class, but you have shown no mercy or grace to this lady who was on her knees seeing if you had a stress fracture. … Your celebrity doesn’t mean you can treat folks that way. … Do the right thing here.”

            Then in his book, Manning proceeded to talk trash about her and her “vulgar mouth”. Yes, Payton professes to be a Christian, but like so many people who make that claim and others, there apparently are times when he has acted very “un-Christian-like”. It’s not hate, it just is what it is and it will never be what it ain’t.

          • Rob

            Quit crying Mark. Any insurance company will pay a female or other minority money, especially when it’s a large company or University. Legal fees to defend it would meet or exceed that.

          • mk2aw

            Mark the “Peyton is God” army won’t back down, even though he shoved his butt in someone’s face in order to humiliate them. To them he is perfect….HE IS NOT

          • Geraldine Diaz Barnes

            Oh, Shut up already. Let it go. It was 17 years ago. College kid.

          • mk2aw

            Your probably right

          • http://oldfox.info/ Terry “OldFox” Seale

            Despite the inaccuracy of your legal analysis, Drew, what justifies you calling the writer a “moron?”

            Sexual harassment is defined as any behavior that a person does which gives rise to discomfort, fear, embarrassment, etc. in the victim. The standard is so bad that it doesn’t even require the judgement of a reasonable woman. If the woman is offended, whether justified or merely in her imagination, he is guilty. Totally inequitable, but that’s what we have today.

            “Tickle your ass with a feather?”
            “What!”
            “Ah, particularly nasty weather, eh?”
            “Get me Gloria Allred! Right this minute!”

          • mk2aw
          • mk2aw

            Here read the story bud, you can call me every name in the book but it wont change the fact that Peyton did this. sorry it shatters your reality

            http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/colts/2003-11-04-manning-suit_x.htm

        • Chevaux

          Thank you for sharing all the truth. I listen day in and day out to the politicians doing the same mk2aw did. What is wrong with people today! The only thing that makes since is the word of God says” You will be hated because you are mine”. Payton professes to be a Christian, and there will be people that hate him because he is a believer…….

          • mk2aw

            I do not hate Peyton and I graduated from a christian school. It does not change the fact that he humiliated a female and shoved a butt in her face sexually harassing her. call it a prank gone wrong but it is what it is and it cost the university 300,000 dollars …HE IS NOT PERFECT is my point.

          • beks

            No one is claiming he is perfect. The article is highlighting the fact that he is a decent human being compared to other athletes in the spot light. You must have some agenda against Peyton Manning to go out of your way to slander him on a platform that is supposed to be praising him for the things he has done right. What is it to you that people think he is a great person? Why are you making it your personal mission to discredit that? Just stop.. go do something else with your time. And stop posting the article.. Classless to post it once to begin with because you are simply trying to prove your point and be right… but super classless to post it.. what 6 times now?? again… just stop.. and go away..

          • mk2aw

            Its not slander . I am literally posting a USA article and talking about events that actually happened. Why are you going out of your way to defend him? It was all done (the post) in one day . I did not come back 6 different times. I will add classless, to moron and idiot and all the other vileness thrown my way by the Peyton defense force . Oh and he choked in the superbowl but that is another story.

          • beks

            Seems like you are just being a know it all that will weigh in on any topic. And I didn’t say slander. I said what is your purpose for trying to discredit him and bring negative into a positive conversation where no one was claiming he was “perfect” like you said. Just that he is a good guy.

          • mk2aw

            Ok I can accept I’m being overly negative , your opinion on this is correct . I wont argue that .

          • Kendra Vanessa Wilt

            I can’t believe where all these discussions are going. Bottom line to the article is Peyton was a decent human being, actually pretty awesome not only as a great athlete, but thoughtful and full of heart to take a pen & paper to write others a letter or little note. That’s great!! His past is past, no not one of us are free from sin, less we all be liars. We have all fallen short. If we can follow Peyton’s lead…we just get better.

        • mk2aw

          That simply is not true. he had a beef with this trainer. You guys are jumping through hoops to apologize for him and making up stories . i already said he is a great QB but your “perfect man” is not perfect. sorry this bothers you.

          • Kevin Dean

            Peyton is not perfect and you’re an asshole. Solved

          • mk2aw

            I’ll add a-hole to the list of names I am being called here.

        • Dennis Matney

          THANK YOU FOR THE WHOLE STORY, AS A FORMER ATHLETIC I CAN TELL YOU, I HAVE SEEN MUCH WORSE THAN THAT. AND ALL IN GOOD FUN, NOT HARRASEMENT!

      • Brandan Tabeling

        youre an idiot

        • jolie

          Brandan, sadly you are the only idiot here.

          • Kay Headley

            Brandan was directing his comment to mk2aw, jolie.

        • mk2aw

          keep calling me names but it won’t change the fact that Peyton bullied and shoved a butt in a woman’s face against her will and there where many witnesses. read about it here…it cost the university $300,000

          http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/colts/2003-11-04-manning-suit_x.htm

        • Dennis Matney

          SEEN MORE ASSES IN COLLEGE, THAN YOU COULD COUNT, REMEMBER FRAT PARTIES???

      • slinkii30

        I think you have a very negative attitude and that is from 1996. rethink what you say….

      • Randy Wells

        do you know the details of that assault? It was mooning someone in the dressing room. please go away

      • skm

        “sexual assault”? if mooning is truly sexual assault, i’m a lifetime predator. perspective you ding dong. perspective.
        probably a fl gator fan.

        • Roberto581

          skim…..agree with that….except probably a Seminole!!!!

        • K Moots

          More likely one of Sherman’s fans.

      • Melissa Kathryn Morrison

        As a victim of an ACTUAL sexual assault, your comment makes me wish there were a way to revoke your right to the internet. If my rapist had simply mooned me, I would have a much cheerier outlook on the world as a whole. As for this twit who filed a lawsuit because she was mooned, I’m sorry we share the same gender. She’s obviously doing us females no honor. Quit harping on a false accusation (as this should have been deemed, since she wasn’t assaulted, nor was it sexual.) and stop basing your Hate Peyton campaign on something so trivial as showing his bare buttocks. Like you’ve never mooned anyone before? Or should we start rounding up all the frat boys EVER & pretty much anyone who’s ever had a moment of frivolous rebellion & start a class-action?

        • Guest

          Mooning someone is NOT sexual assault, you idiot.

        • John Haws

          Well spoken Melissa. Thank you for your common sense and respectful comment.

          • Melissa Kathryn Morrison

            Thank you. After having my case was dropped without even going to court because of lack of physical evidence (the prosecuting attorney told me it was a “he said/she said” unwinable case) it irks me to see sexual assault trivialized like this. This woman got a day in court for being mooned, but that same closure & vindication was not afforded to me. I’m compelled to speak out against this type of injustice when I see it.

          • http://oldfox.info/ Terry “OldFox” Seale

            he’s right. without strong corroborating evidence (like an eyewitness, recording, or an admission) you have a snowballs chance. Even in cases of famous offenders, where other victims come forth, evidence of “prior acts” cannot be admitted except to prove a modus operandi by the perp. I’ve seen three other rape victims dissed and gagged by a judge to exclude their testimony of the guy’s pattern. “the prejudicial effect of other acts outweighs the probative value.”

            get a gun. if you can’t have it where you live, move to somewhere where you can carry a gun. enough is enough of this marshmallow justice system

        • that_robguy

          Really appreciate your comment Melissa.

        • mk2aw

          I am really sorry it happened to you and I wish the person that did that to you gets whats coming , But you of all people should be sensitive to the fact that Peyton shoved his butt in someone’s face against her will, so much so that the college had to pay $300,000 . it was NOT a false accusation and there where witnesses. read about it here

          http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/colts/2003-11-04-manning-suit_x.htm

          • Kevin Dean

            You really need to get a life of your own. What i hate most about comment boards is reading idiotic comments like yours and then thinking, I’m probably conversing with a 10 year old!

        • mk2aw

          Melissa , I should have stated sexual harassment and not assault . My apologies , my bad but it still is what it is

      • ladycardinal72

        Are you so insecure, you have to post this twice?

      • sharon

        Really- that is the best you have to trash Manning! I’m surprised he didn’t serve time over a “mooning.” Glad you checked your facts before you spatted off your mouth!

      • Debbie Smith-Lawson

        YOU sir, are sadly mistaken. Having Peyton as a leader in our community for all of the years has been a blessing. He is a stand up player that I would be proud for my children, grandchildren, etc. to look up too. Not only that, he is a stand up citizen and the people of Indianapolis thank him and, miss him!

      • Katie Fulmer

        if mooning is a sexual assault, my 7 yr old daughter is a perp. what an idiot! real sexual assault is not to be joked with asshat!

        • mk2aw

          I actally meant to say sexual harrasment not assault but everyne got so worked up over it there was no use explaining it . I’m not even the one that called it sexual harassment , read about it here , it was classified as a sexual harassment settlement and was first reported to the Knoxville sexual assault crisis center

          http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/1997/08/20/oth_213271.shtml

      • Bobby G

        @mk2aw:disqus Crawl back into your cave, troll, and stop besmirching the name of a truly decent, caring man (the very rare exception, not the rule, in sports these days). The trainer who filed charges or sued? She probably saw a big payday and said, Oh my eyes!
        Baseless lawsuits and charges like these are tragic in two ways: They unfortunately tend to create more skeptics, the public and law enforcement alike, when it comes to other females crying rape. They don’t get the immediate credibility they often should, and many times truly guilty perpetrators go free.
        Secondly, and on a much lighter note, it makes people like Peyton afraid to do anything that might resemble innocent, sophomoric fun. Come on, you got mooned? Get over it, and if it really offends you, let the person know then and there, and shove on.

        • mk2aw

          keep calling me names, that is ok… but it won’t change the fact that Peyton bullied and shoved a butt in a woman’s face against her will and there where many witnesses. read about it here…it cost the university $300,000

          • Kethra Keeling-Saouaf

            Only two people know the truth of the events that occurred that day. If he did do it, shame on him. I hope the generosity and humanity that he continuiously demonstrates can amend his one grievous act.
            Have you never done anything wrong? It would be one thing if his behavior was continually belligerent. It is not, so please just give it a rest.

      • Darrell Birkey

        I googled it and discover that you are now guilty of libel.
        There never was a sexual assault lawsuit. The female trainer never claimed she was assaulted. She claimed her character was defamed in his book where he talked about mooning her in the locker room.
        Of course mooning someone is immature behavior, but it is not sexual assault.
        Manning is now a 37 year old husband with a wife and kids and you act as if an immature college prank should forever define his character.
        I suspect that’s he’s a better role model than you are.

      • Rob

        I live in Knoxville. There was NO sexual assault. A greedy, money hungry female trainer who had access to the locker room became offended when Peyton mooned someone and she saw it. It’s crazy at how haters will slander and defame someone because they are a sore loser and their team got beat by Peyton. Get a life!

      • George Orwell

        Please go answer Melissa’s comments below about sexual assault if you have the guts.

        Plus, from another comment below: “I googled it and discover that you are now guilty of libel.

        There never was a sexual assault lawsuit. The female trainer never claimed she was assaulted. She claimed her character was defamed in his book where he talked about mooning her in the locker room.

        Of course mooning someone is immature behavior, but it is not sexual assault.”

        • mk2aw

          I did answer her .Shame on her for not standing up for another woman that had something done to her against her will , read about it here

          http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/colts/2003-11-04-manning-suit_x.htm

          • Melissa Kathryn Morrison

            Shame on me for not rallying behind a woman who cried rape when she was mooned? ! Cases like that are exactly why law enforcement has a habit of downplaying REAL assaults when they are reported! How dare she! You are helping to perpetuate a stereotype by glorifying the actions of a woman who helped condemn countless women to fates like mine. My rapist will never be held accountable for his actions because the legal system has been too clogged with false accusations & women who cried wolf. Now, I haven’t been able to get a definite, but was that $300,000 she got for enduring her awful assault court-ordered or was that an out-of-court settlement agrred to be the university? I mean, in all honesty, if I was offered $300,000 to act as though my rapist had never touched me, I’d shove every last nickel of it up the arse of whoever had the gall to offer it! See, that’s the difference. The assault I endured left scars that will never heal for any amount of money. I sincerely hope that poor, poor victim is able to quiet the nightmares as she sleeps with all that money in the bank! Shame on her & shame on you! Please, tell me again how I should support this woman who contributed & is still contributing, quite publicly, to the very mindset that has kept & untold numbers of victims from having their rapists held accountable! The next girl that rapist assaults will I’m sure JUST LOVE to hear your take on it! See, my rapist liked to hit. He also liked it when I screamed in pain. He’ll do it again. And since he got away with it, scott free, he’ll probably brag about it while he’s doing it again. And the next victim may not have the same thick skin that I had. She may not even report it. You see the cycle this creates? She was not sexually assaulted. She may have a case for a minor assault, but the mere fact that she if female & he is male is not grounds for calling this sexual! But you go on telling me how awful it is that I dont believe she was sexually assaulted.

          • mk2aw

            Again I’m sorry about what happened to you but the woman in this case has never yelled rape . Unfortunately you are putting those words in her mouth . It’s simply a clear cut case of Peyton being human and making mistakes and bad decisions , it’s not the end of the world but some of you are calling me idiot , troll and moron and blaming the way they handle real rapes in our justice system on this incident . It’s an extreme over reaction at best and I should never have said sexual assault , it was sexual harassment .

          • Melissa Kathryn Morrison

            Still not sexual. Assault, possibly, but if there was no sexual aspect to it, and I’m fairly sure any homophobic frat boy will tell you exactly how much sexuality there ISN’T in mooning, it isn’t sexual assault or harassment. If she had been grabbed or fondled in her genital region or had lewd remarks made to her about her gender or its corresponding body parts, then I could see sexual harassment. But I’m sure Peyton mooned many a “dude” in his younger years. The original plan was to moon a male, if I read the facts correctly. No sexual intent. If the gender of the mooning “victim” had no influence on Peyton choosing that age-old decision of “to moon, or not to moon”, then it isn’t sexual assault. Bringing the “sexual” aspect into the accusation is what makes me angry. And taking something so trivial to court & claiming to be a victim of sexual assault? That’s more reprehensible than a college boy dropping his pants in a prank that went awry. Claiming sexual assault is crying rape. That’s what sexual assault is. But, fly that flag high & support her. I’ll continue to educate women on REAL rape & how to avoid it, but more importantly, how to get on with life if happens.

  • indydweller

    really great article. I also really enjoy Peyton Manning…I live above the Capital Grille and frequented events with Mr. and Mrs. Manning…they have an open marriage. He went on a couple of dates with a girl I know. His PR people are truly incredible and deserve a major bonus :-)

    • BrendaS

      So your team got beaten by Denver? Jealousy knows no boundaries.

  • kerstynn
  • Ophelia Keith

    AFC Championship, Denver is in the AFC, not the NFC.

  • http://www.notb4coffee.com/ Gayla Baer-Taylor

    Over the weekend, my husband and I watched The Book of Manning. I always knew I adored Peyton for his talent and his class, but after the special, my respect for him grew so much deeper. As an Indy girl, born and raised, I have seethed with disgust at Irsay for letting Manning go – but my loyalties are to Manning. Thanks to your post, my loyalties, respect and admiration have grown, when I thought they couldn’t grow more. Peyton Manning is, was and always will be the greatest quarterback ever!

    • Lynn

      YES!! (From Franklin, Indiana.)

      • that_robguy

        Wow, Franklin Indiana here too. Small world

        • Murph1908

          Whoa! Two people from Indiana reading an article about Peyton Manning? No wai!

          • that_robguy

            Clever…

    • Hugh Morris

      The Colts did him (and themselves) a favor. His future was uncertain and, with his salary, the team would have been gutted. Believe me, I’m sure he harbors no ill will. To quote Don Corleone, it was only business.

    • debi

      I agree that Peyton is a class act and Irsay is sn idiot. He once claimed Peyton could stay with the Colts for as long as he wanted, then cut him because he felt his injury made him uncertain. I say”Go Broncos” you deserve it for taking the chance with Peyton.

    • George Orwell

      The Manning family are a wonderful group. They have had their shares of hardship and are good, decent people. Been a fan of Archie and Olivia and its obvious the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree…

  • Rita Wessel

    and all Ophelia Keith could see was NFC/AFC. Narrow vision. Oh, and I know I didn’t capitalize the first word!

    • Jackie Pearson Bankston

      My thoughts exactly…..who cares which championship they were talking about. This story was about EVERYTHING but that VERY unimportant detail!

  • Don Strasser

    ALL YOU CAN SAY IS A NUMBER 1 CLASS ACT- he is the perfect role model for any young sports person.

  • Brent

    Outstanding-really enjoyed reading it!

  • katiedee78

    I was able to do a number of events where peyton was involved of the years. once, i was responsible for making sure his hired car delivered him from the airport to the hotel. he got off the plane and couldn’t find his driver. I was on my phone with him…walking through the airport…saying he’d just hop in a cab. really? i was out of the office and happened to be right by the airport and he was like, hey, why don’t you just pick me up? so there i was, pulling up at arrivals, with peyton on my phone and saying i’m here. he walked out and jumped in my rental car like nothing was remotely odd about that. i thought about all the people i wished i could call right then.

    …years (and two Super Bowl appearances later) i was doing an event for a charity where he was the host and was the stage manager. I went up to give him notes for the night and mic him up. he introduced himself and while i was mic-ing him i mentioned that i had met him some five years before and about picking him up at the airport and he said “now i remember you!” and we talked about our first meeting…at the end of the night he asked me why he had a car service and why i wasn’t just driving him. i told him it was because that rental was nicer than my real car and he laughed and told me how awesome he remembered my driving in traffic across vegas was.

    football aside, he amazes me as a person. i hear all sorts of things about his “open marriage” and true or not…i just couldn’t care. he’s a good person and kind and thoughtful.

  • Jenni

    I believe he’s one of the good guys. That doesn’t mean he’s perfect, just very very good at anything he does. Take your teammates and WIN that Super Bowl. <3

  • Laura Garrison

    Yes a wonderful person…Peyton and the other guys that recently left the Colts did a lot for our city and it was quite shameful the way he was treated by Irsay. But then again we are talking about Irsay. Glad the Broncos are in the Superbowl and I hope they win it. Thanks for sharing this article. I sure love this guy:)

    • jasonlaw

      I don’t think Irsay treated him badly at all. It was a mutal decision decision and best for both parties. The Colts were rebuilding and by releasing him, it gave Peyton the best chance to win now.

    • Mike Mullen

      I remember Irsay balling when they made the press release. I don’t think it was really something he wanted to do!

      • that_robguy

        It was something that had to be done not only for the organization, but also for Peyton. We were all sad to see him go, but it was a win win.

  • Phil Bridges

    As a lifelong Tennessee fan and UT graduate (Class of 1974) , I was overjoyed when a former Tennessee 1980s FB (Greg Amsler) moved to my home town. I got to know Greg and his wife Nicole and got to throw a football with him in my yard with my young son….also then and now a huge Tennessee football fan (who ended up playing baseball on scholarship at the University of West Florida). Greg shared many stories about his recruitment by Tennessee from a NJ High School, about bowl games, and lots of Tennessee football inside stories which, of course, I really enjoyed. Then Greg told me one day that he was heading to Chattanooga (60 Miles away) to play golf at the Honors Course with Johnny Majors, Randy Sanders, and Peyton Manning. Talk about a foursome! Greg brought back for “my son” a framed scorecard from that golf match autographed by all four. Guess who had the low score. You guessed it….Peyton Manning.

  • DKH

    A beautiful young girl has bone cancer and has her treatments at Peyton Manning Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana. Several months ago, she received a phone call from Peyton, and he ask her how she was doing. How awesome was this for a recent high school graduate.

  • mschmidlen

    I just recently moved away from Denver, after 30 years there, and I had an EXTREME dislike for Peyton when he played for the Colts for his surgical accuracy & success against an always lacking Denver defense. For the last 2 years, I’ve grown to LOVE the guy, on & off the field! I had a conversation a couple of months ago with the manager of a Papa John’s location near my house, who shared a story about meeting Papa John & Peyton at a grand opening of a location in Centennial, CO that they attended, along with the regional manager for the area. They had baked a couple of special pizza’s for the occasion prior to their arrival and had them out. Peyton anxiously waited to eat & sheepishly asked if he could have some pizza, which he wolfed down :), as though they were saving it for someone “special”. NO pretense there whatsoever.

  • Kevin Kinsey
  • grevyturty

    Christ, grow up you sports idiots. Your nonsense is just getting tiresome now. Bread and circus indeed. You should be ashamed. Fucking disgraceful childish morons.

    • MaryMitch

      If someone is going to admire ANY person – athlete or not – Peyton Manning is a good one to pick. Did you even read the article?

      • grevyturty

        He’s just another athlete. Grow up.

  • lshep999

    That was a beautiful article…… I love Peyton Manning.

  • jk

    Class act.

  • Carol Grant

    No matter what happens Peyton has gained his fans from the person he is not only football.WE take our hats off to Archie and Mrs. Manning for raising a hell of a man and the best QB ever.(sorry Eli) just the facts!!!

  • mk2aw

    Peyton Manning had a sexual assault lawsuit settled by the University of Tennessee. Just google it whomever does not believe me. He is a great QB but his public persona is all a front.

    • Brandan Tabeling

      you’re still an idiot. go find something to do with your time.
      Perhaps donate time at a childrens hospital like Peyton does, maybe you’ll learn something google cant teach you

    • BrendaS

      How many times are you going to talk about this? Too bad you don’t know him as well as you think you do.

  • Valerie May

    I am another wife ( and UT graduate) who loves to watch Peyton Manning because of Who he is – a role model for all of us! I frankly don’t know a lot about sports in general but he has been worth following. Character Counts!!! A good guy! Go Peyton! … no matter what team you are on!

  • Sarah C

    This is such an amazing writing for an all around amazing person. I was one who was not familiar with the game of football. Being from Indiana, basketball was all I had ever known. The Hoosiers, Bob Knight, Mike Davis and those boys in red were life. The color blue was forbidden from being worn in our house growing up because it represented Kentucky basketball. Our high school didn’t have a football team. I had literally never watched a football game, even a minute of it, until I moved an hour north of my hometown (30 minutes south of Indy) where Peyton, Marvin, Edgerrin, and Reggie graced the TV screen. I slowly learned the different positions, what their responsibilities were, and how the game worked all around. I learned about downs, interceptions, and touchdowns. All because of Peyton. I loved watching him play the game. I loved watching his intensity, his drive, his anger when something didn’t go his way. I watched as he turned this entire state into a football nation. My red shirts slowly faded and were replaced with blue and horseshoes. I watched as he turned a childrens’ hospital into a place where children get well and are happy to see his name on the outside and his photos inside. I got nervous when I heard the news of his injury. I knew, along with everyone else, that Peyton doesn’t get hurt and that he would be back. I cried intense, real tears when he spoke the words that I, as a Colts fan, will never forget “Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart. I truly have enjoyed being your quarterback”. It was so surreal to me. I was at the game when he came back to play the Colts this year, and it was really the game of a lifetime. I am so happy I got to experience it. So, thank you for writing such an amazing piece showing what an stand up kind of person he really is. I wish him all the best and I while it may seem cliché, I will be rooting for orange on February 2nd, because I know that nobody in this game deserves it more than him.

    • Penny H.

      Sarah C, I could have almost wrote that. I too, grew up on IU basketball and Bob Knight. Mike Davis and Kelvin Sampson ruined IU for me for years and I am just getting back to a love of IU basketball with Tom Crean as the coach. In those years where my love of IU basketball faded, I learned about football. I started learning about flags, downs, the red zone, etc. I still have a lot to learn, but it all started because of Peyton Manning. I just can’t understand why some people hate on him. I have seen what he did to help Indy. Lucas Oil Stadium truly is the “house that Peyton built”. I remember when St Vincent Hospital joined with Peyton to name their children’s hospital, “The Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital”. I read an article that stated St Vincent took a risk to name their hospital after a sports star. A lot of bad things can happen that would be embarrassing (arrests, addictions, etc.). There was no hesitation though, because Peyton Manning is just a genuine, good person – football and fame aside. While I wish Peyton had always remained with the Colts (and I also cried during that news conference announcing his departure), I think he has another chance at a Super Bowl ring with Denver. The Colts will be back because we have the best quarterback to arrive in the NFL since Peyton. I am a Colts fan AND a Peyton Manning fan. I will be wearing my #18 Bronco’s jersey come Feb 2.

  • Hugh Morris

    I met PM once,early during his second season in Indianapolis. The Colts trotted him out for a charity event they supported, hosted by Mr. Irsay. Like dozens of couples, my wife and I met him briefly and got a photo. That moment remains crystal clear for us because of the genuinely sincere effort he made to remember our names. I remember telling him (in anticipation of a two game road trip) to “get one on the road”. He processed that and repeated it back to me, calling me by name. I was and remain more impressed than I can explain. Nothing in this article comes as a surprise to me.

  • ReaAnn Fletcher

    Excellent blog post! I used to “love to hate” Peyton Manning. Being a Crimson Tide fan when he played for Tennessee, he was an arch-rival. A GREAT arch-rival. Later, being a Denver Broncos fan (when I got married and relocated to Denver), I loved to hate him as the unstoppable QB of the Indianapolis Colts. Then John Elway and the football gods delivered him into the loving arms of Denver Broncos fans and I really got to know him. I love everything about the man. He’s a CLASS act. And he’s the best QB to ever play the game. He’s a football genius and for those of us ladies like the author’s wife who eat, drink and breathe the game of football, Peyton’s definitely swoon-worthy. My husband knows how much I love him but he also knows I marvel over Peyton Manning’s “beautiful football mind” and that I’d “swoon” if I ever met him. I would truly consider it a brush with greatness.

  • Angela Lewter

    Well, I DID meet him when we were both students at UT Knoxville. Unfortunately I was rushing to turn in a college paper at 7 am in freezing weather, having stayed up all night typing, wearing my PJ’s, crazy hair, no makeup, etc. I actually crashed into him as we were both going through the library door. He was very gracious, saying “Excuse me” and making sure I was ok before smiling and heading on his way. My roommate and I commiserated over my lost chance at making a half-decent impression on a future gazillionaire and all around nice guy. Still have a soft spot for him!

  • Realist

    My best friend’s son had leukemia and Peyton signed a helmet to be auctioned to help raise money for his treatment. Her son wanted that helmet so bad but they needed the money more, I wish I could have bought it and then given it to him. The young man beat cancer and is now in college. Thank you Peyton for helping.

    • whocares85

      I love Peyton and the Broncos, but do not particular like Orange because it reminds me of the Gators and Auburn Tigers, even though their colors are mostly blue, and so is Tennessee’s but he played his College games with them. My team is GA. Dawgs. which I dare say not many of them love Tennessee. But that aside Peyton is a fine hunk of humanity and is doing his best for a team, State, Nation and all humanity, good as well as bad. Let up on him folks and let him play his game. GO BRONCOS, BEAT SEAHAWKS AND ESPECIALLY RICHARD SHERMAN. He should be kicked off their team for his antics and trash talking. Oh yes I know it is a free Country and free speech is allowed but most people I dare say did not approve of his trash talking and humiliating of the ‘LADY REPORTER, he did not have to GET IN HER FACE; there were much more apporiate ways to get his words across to her as well as others. The post was an exceptionly good piece of writing. Loved it.

    • whocares85

      Payton should have gone out and bought the kid a Helmet, autographed it and presented it to him, but he probably did not know of the kids desire for the helmet. Maybe he will learn of the kids desire for an autographed Helmet from him and he will honor the kids desires.

      • Realist

        the auction of the helmet brought in greatly needed funds and the Colts also sent a few items that really helped his family keep their home, so i’m so thankful for Peyton’s help. Because of his helmet being in the auction more people came to the fundraiser and bid on all the items. The young man understands this and knows how much more that Peyton gave to his family than just a autograph.

        • whocares85

          Oh well, since I just now went back and read your post again I really did not need to post a comment such as I did, sorry… I will say that at the time he should have gone out and purchased a Helmet, autographed it and gave it to him, just think of how proud he would have been to get his own personal autographed Helmet from ‘Peyton Manning’ in that moment of time. Again sorry I made the first comment as I did.

  • WandaZZ

    I find it ironic that Peyton, the man who saved the Colts franchise, is working for Elway, the man who caused Baltimore to lose the Colts. I love Peyton, but that other guy is a selfish creep, no matter how talented he was.

  • Gwyn Weyant

    Okay Manning is a great football player. But he is only human. And any human that chooses after having neck surgery and possible paralysis over his twin boys. Doesn’t have a lot of brains in my book.

    • OldMule

      He consulted with a TEAM of doctors about the safety of his return. Middle linebackers, who are involved in violent collisions on every play, have had this same surgery and returned to play. The miraculous thing for him is that his throwing arm was nearly paralyzed, and he has come back from it.

  • Dee Albertson

    My husband met Peyton in Nashville one evening about 6 years ago at an ATM. Of course my husband had on his Colts shirt & approached Peyton, asking him for a photo. Peyton gladly had his wife take a picture with my husband! Very awesome !!

  • Tammy J Mccrary-Kincaid

    If you know ANYTHING about Peyton Manning other than he’s a Quarterback and has a brother & his Dad played then should know that the Mannings are a great role model family . They love each other and pass it on. Peyton may get the most publicity but that’s because he gets out and GIVES not just money but of himself. s good person and a great role model yeah ok he was once a kid in college who wasn’t. PLEASE be the first to cast a stone if you be with out a mistake! He is a person that should be given the RESPECT he deserves! Not just for football but fir his life outside it as well. I read all the posts & a couple man me tear up. So sweet and careing. So Peyton LOVE him or not you have to RESPECT the Man!!!!

  • Melissa Pass

    My Daughter has been a patient at Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital since she was born. The day she had her first open heart surgery he was walking around visiting the children. He came by my Daughter’s room and asked how old she was and what her health conditions were. She was only 6 months. He started to tear up at her story. He said he would pray for her but that he couldn’t handle seeing the babies sick. He didn’t go into her room but his kindness to me was amazing. I love Peyton and was heartbroken when the Colts let him go but he is a resiliant man and will continue to do great in Denver.

  • Joyce Wood DeVore

    To put it simply…an excellent blog about an excellent human being (excellent QB too) who may not be absolutely perfect, but does a damn sight better than most on this planet of ours as well as on the field.

  • higggs

    good story, I believe that when he wins the super bowl ..he will retire…and go out on top..

  • David Harrison

    The OC during Peyton’s time with my Vols was David Cutcliff. He is now the head coach at Duke. Peyton did go to Duke (not Knoxville) to work with Cutcliff before and after the surgery. Coach Cut and Peyton have always been close.
    I will be pulling for Peyton to win that second super bowl. The guy is a class act. I have two pictures of him above my desk and always wanted to meet him. I’m nobody – so I figure the odds are about the same as winning the lottery. He is #18 to most of you – but he will always be #16 to me. GO VOLS! GO PEYTON!

  • dsross

    Great article — i agree with your wife and I live in Alabama! I am surprised that you left out his faith – a while back I googled his wife because I had never seen a picture of their family. I found a video of an interview that she gave to a local news station in Indianapolis – they were asking about their charity work. The interviewer asked her why they were so committed to giving back. Her answer paraphrased was — Peyton and I have been blessed by God beyond anything we could imagine and we feel the full responsibility of that. We believe that one day we will stand before our Lord and Savior and we want him to be able to say “Well done, my good and faithful servant!” Awesome! #givingGodtheglory

  • jrfatheree

    Growing up watching Johnny Unitas, I have always believed he was the BEST QB ever to play in the NFL until Peyton Manning came along. There are some future hall of fame qbs in the league; Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and others who have retired like Dan Marino, Dan Fouts, Joe Montana, Troy Aikman, and others, and then there is Peyton who stands alone above all the rest.

  • bjh

    THIS ARTICLE STARTED OFF SO GOOD BUT WAS WAY TOO LONG

  • Sonia Clift

    I am from Knoxville, TN. I am 73 years old, a wife, mother, and grandmother. I have always loved Peyton since he was in college at UT, Knoxville. I love him as a hero for the youth of then and today, someone they can look up to as a role model. He is a people person, he has done commercials for our St. Mary’s Hospital with one of the sisters (nuns) at the hospital. He has been a household name for years now and we love and respect him for all he does for people around him. He has accomplished something that no other football player has for me (except for my own boys playing), I actually sit down and watch a game with him in it and am happy when everything is going good and sad when things don’t work out for him. He is like one of my own children, and I want him to always do good. He is my super HERO in the sports field. I am so glad I have gotten to see him play and know the kind of person he is to those he plays with or lives with daily. I appreciate what he does for others, how he helps people, especially children, and his dedication to his faith and family. God bless you Peyton Manning, I love and respect you as a man and as an adopted Tennessee fan. I have one wish, I would love to meet you face to face and let you know how I respect you and the life you live. I would love to give you a motherly hug and let you know that I pray for you before every game I watch on TV. Thank you so much for being who you are and allowing we as mothers, grandmothers, wives, and regular people to love and respect you for who you are inside. I am Sonia Clift.

  • ShakuS

    Great post. I’ve always liked Peyton Manning and rooted for him, even though my knowledge of football is pathetic. Just goes to show that I have really good taste in heroes. Go Manning!

  • carla

    I completely lost all respect for Peyton Manning, when after the Super Bowl between the Saints and Colts, he walked off the field straight to the locker room without so much as a compliment, comment, gesture, etc.. to Drew Brees or any other Saint gor thst matter. Considering that New Orleans is his hometown and his daddy was the Saints quarterback ss he was growing up, he took the terms immaturity and disrespect to a whole new level!

  • Brenda Brown

    What a great piece of writing.

  • nanapamiam

    I am surprised this article became less about the man’s relationship with his wife and daughter and more a way to promote payton.

  • Kristi Truman Howery

    I’m totally that wife. My son is named Peyton. Go Broncos!

  • that_robguy

    Peyton really put Indy on the map. He is loved here. With the Colts out of it, I think most are rooting for him to win the SuperBowl and finish the best season any QB has ever had in the NFL.

    • Golfendude

      Most Tennesseans like myself are wishing the same.

  • Andrew O’Brien

    Go Hawks! (Peyton might be a good guy, but holy cow Russell Wilson is exactly the kind of guy you want in your city as a role model. Just watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zW0ASHGSgig )

  • psh

    peyton has an open marriage. kinda shady

  • Sara

    Wait, wait, wait. Let’s go back to the beginning of this blog. Why did your wife say she would want your team to win? It makes me really sad that she does not feel she can even cheer for a team opposite yours.

  • Gary Lee

    Manning has real class. Sherman only has talent.

  • MikeeK

    It’s hard to imagine that such a classy guy would have such a whiny wimp “but I don’t wanna get millions to play in San Diego..DADDY – help me” little brother.

  • Cary Dominguez

    It must be a Cary (Cari) thing! Love it!

  • V T

    In 2007 when St. Vincent Children’s Hospital changed it’s name to Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital my daughter was a patient there. She was given the honor of introducing him at the press conference. Having already met Peyton many times during our stays there it was nice for her to be able to introduce her “friend” from that podium.

    As a mother, I was more excited to meet Olivia Manning. She raised well mannered, kind, considerate, southern gentlemen. It was nice to chat with her during our time together at the press conference. The entire family was just so friendly and down to Earth. It was such an experience for us. We made sure that each of them had a “Sydney” bracelet so that they would always remember our daughter.

    The following evening was the NFL season opener. Defending Super Bowl Champions hosting New Orleans in the dome. We received special VIP seating from the NFL on the stadium floor for the game. A perk to being the kid all over every newscast for the last two days in regards to the hospital name change. Anyway, we spotted Archie and Olivia being escorted to their suite to watch the game. I got their attention and said hello. They both came to the sideline to show Sydney that Archie was wearing her bracelet. We also spotted it on his wrist as they were boarding the plane to leave Indy that weekend. Just parents supporting a sick child. Beautiful people.

    Sadly, cancer took my daughter just a mere 3 weeks later. The Peyback Foundation of course, sent flowers to her service. It was a very kind gesture. What was most amazing to me, however, is Peyton’s sincere condolences that he was able to convey to me in person at another event about 2 weeks after her passing. We were attending a fund raising event for the hospital that evening at the Colts complex. This time my son was the center of attention as we were called back to the offices to meet with Peyton. He had a specially autographed copy of the Kids Sports Illustrated just for my son. Peyton was being featured on the cover in the next issue. It had not even hit the stands yet. That was his personal copy. He then approached me, took my hand and told me how sorry he was for my loss. He wanted to meet with us before he got out to the conference room where the fan hysteria would start. There is no doubt in my mind that he has never forgotten my child. He is just such a kind, kind, man.

    When it came time for Peyton to say goodbye to Indianapolis I cried right along with him during his speech. He never wanted to leave this city. He and Ashley had planned on raising their family here. It was such a sad time. I’m so glad that the Colts fans never turned their backs on him. The emotion that was in that stadium this year when Peyton returned was so overwhelming. He will always be a Hoosier to us.

  • #18

    my son and i have had the opportunity to meet Peyton, Eli, Cooper and Archie at the Manning Passing Academy, these guys are great with the young men that come to the camp. I have had the opportunity to speak with him and he is approachable and down to earth. He deserves all he has, he has worked hard for it. This is the type of guy kids should look up to..

  • Dianna

    Several years ago a friend’s daughter crashed into Peyton’s car (this happened in New Orleans while Peyton was home for a college break). Peyton got out and surveyed the damage. When he realized the young lady was under the influence, he called a tow truck for her vehicle, called and paid for a cab to take her home, and stayed with her vehicle until the tow truck came. My friend and her daughter are totally illiterate when it comes to sports and sports figures; she just heard me talking about Peyton Manning one day and then shared her story.

  • Stephani Huckins Hardin

    This is truly the kind of human being that our children need as a role model. One who appreciates the gifts God has given him, and seems to understand that they are given to him by a higher authority. Has he made mistakes, absolutely, but if you listen to his press conferences and from everything you read, he takes full, personal responsibility for his actions, on and off the field. You never hear him blame the referees for blown calls, or coaches for poor play selection, he just holds himself personally accountable and this is motivating to his teammates and an entire city. As the mother of two young men, it has not always been easy to find role models from the sports world for them but I wish I had been a bit more open minded (rather than a Denver Bronco “homer”) to this unique human being.

  • horseradish

    a real gentleman–go Broncos

  • Kristi Zehr

    Now I respect Peyton even more!!!!!

  • Barry Currin

    I met Peyton over the summer, momentarily forgot the English language, but managed to recover and blog about it. http://beaverdamusa.com/meeting-peyton-manning/

  • Denise Norman

    I remember sitting in the stands at a Tenn Vols football game, when Peyton Manning was a freshmen. I looked at my then boyfriend, (who later became my husband). If we ever get married and have a child that’s the name I want to use. It was never spoke of again until we had our first child, some 3-4 years later. A boy who I hope and pray can follow in the steps of one of my most admired men in my life. A man who I have a huge amount of respect for he and his family! I never knew alot about thIs fella with the awesome name. That I would later lay claim to on Dec 31st, 2002.
    Soon I would watch the Book of Manning. Now did I not only have a respect for Peyton but also a greater respect for his mother and father, and of course his brothers. I can see now how Peyton Manning is the way he is..his parents. My hats off to have raised such a beautiful family.
    I hope one day that my Peyton can one day meet his name sake! But it wasn’t always this way.. I only liked the name, but now I can truly be proud to say, my son’s name sake! Everything he stands for, I hope my son can live up to the name and make his Tenn Vols football family proud, I have no doubt!
    Good luck to you Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in this year’s SuperBowl!

  • mk2aw

    Edit******

  • Jessica

    Dear Judgey Judgerson (i.e. all of you people railing on him for mooning someone in college): You mean….he made a…a….MISTAKE?!?!…in *gasp* COLLEGE?!?! Egads! I guess that means he’s a terrible person for the rest of his life! I can no longer have respect for him. I mean, gee, here I thought he was a class act. I can’t believe this. My world has crashed around me. Peyton Manning is…is….HUMAN!
    (P.S. For those of you don’t understand sarcasm…this was it.)
    Peyton Manning has obviously moved beyond this level of immaturity. He is a gentleman and a class act NOW. Why all of the senseless bashing over something that happened 20 years ago? Are you simply looking for an excuse to hate him? If so, please find something relevant to the person that he is NOW and let go of a childish prank gone wrong that happened two decades ago. That is in the past. That is obviously not who he is NOW.

  • Patricia Goode

    Peyton, I know I may never meet you here just keep going with God and we will meet in heaven. Proud of you and. all you do.Patricia from Tennessee

  • Kim

    I enjoyed your article very much, Tod. And Cari, good job on your answer. :) Pause or no pause. :) You’re a good mom.

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  • LuFisherBody

    After Peyton left Indiana.. I wrote a small post on his page to inform him of his littlest fan passing away.. who was named after him. There was no hesitation on his part to make sure there was heartfelt condolences from him to the little guys family and at the funeral. What a gentleman.. no big fan fair.. just heart felt caring. I respect and care for him always, and thank him and his family for all they do for many of the people, and children of Indiana.. even today. Thank you to all the Manning family.

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