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Peyton Manning shares bevy of Colts stories

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Peyton Manning was a fountain of old Colts stories on Friday, the day that owner Jim Irsay announced that the team would build a statue in his honor and retire Manning's No. 18 jersey.

Some were funny, some were sad and some were about smoking cigars near the jet engine of a live airplane. Here are our six favorite:

1. Peyton Manning realizes just how eclectic of an owner Jim Irsay is:

"On the plane was a Colts staff member named Kenny Hague -- the name doesn't ring a bell to anyone who hasn't been here with the Colts for a while but I did not remember seeing Kenny Hague in the Colts media guide -- I couldn't not gather who he was or where he was from. I was just nervous around him, and I was thinking he's gotta be personnel, executive vice president. Gotta be a big role.

"I said 'Well Kenny, who were you with before you came here?' And he said: 'Well, I was the road manager for Live and the Indigo Girls.' He had an English accent. I kind of relaxed from that point on."

Reaction: I wonder if Manning ever ended up listening to the Indigo Girls? Closer to Fine isn't a bad song.

2. Manning gets to call out Colts for retroactive CBA violations

"Rookie camp started on Friday. I ended up reporting on Tuesday and spending three nights at the Signature Inn on 38th street with Tom Moore and Bruce Arians going over the Colts offense. Jim, I hope the NFL can't penalize you after 18 years -- they should really penalize the Cardinals. It was Tom Moore and Bruce Arians' idea. So go after the Cardinals."

Reaction: In all seriousness, this was probably such a cool football moment. Moore and Arians are two of the greatest football minds the game has ever seen and Manning ended up being one as well. The three of them together, cramming a massive playbook in some budget hotel on the outskirts of town has a great vibe and brings us back to an era before the NFL was truly the sport it was today.

3. Manning sneakily jabs Kelly Holcomb en route to telling his rookie contract signing story

"I can remember when I signed with the Colts I missed three days of camp. I didn't want to miss any camp, but I learned the business side of things. I may have missed some more time if Kelly Holcomb didn't run into Marshall Faulk on a handoff during camp. Marshall Faulk turned to somebody and said get that rookie quarterback in here. So I was on a commercial flight to Indianapolis that night. I met (agent) Tom Condon over at St. Elmo's, and it was his third trip to St. Elmo's (steakhouse) that night which is probably a record. Came here the next morning and signed my contract."

Reaction: Poor Kelly Holcomb. Really? This is where the speech nearly, dangerously veered off into Michael Jordan Hall of Fame speech territory. Manning also mentioned a few talking heads on local television that used to call him out after bad games. If nothing else, we were thrilled to see Holcomb go on to lead the Browns to their only playoff appearance since the reboot.

4. Manning reflects on his time with Marvin Harrison and makes a bold declaration

"I don't think the record of touchdown passes from me to Marvin Harrison will ever be broken."

Reaction: Who is even close? The Manning-Harrison duo has such an incredible lead and the nearest active competitors are Philip Rivers and Antonio Gates. The Drew Brees-Marques Colston duo is all over.

5. Manning calls out center Jeff Saturday for some digestive issues down in Mexico

"I can remember a preseason game going down to Mexico City against the Steelers and my center, Jeff Saturday, catching a little Montezuma's Revenge and me asking the coaches if we could be in the shotgun a little more that evening."

Reaction: Manning blows Saturday up in a big spot. This probably happens way more than we think and way more than we'd care to hear about. Football is 90 percent half mental, as they say.

6. Manning lives dangerously

"We used to smoke a cigar after the game right by the busses near the plane before coming back from a road game. And every time, this lady from the TSA would come by and say you cannot smoke out here by the plane, there's gasoline out here."

Reaction: Rules do not apply to everybody.

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