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Peyton Manning

Football Player

Born: 24 March 1976
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana
Best known as: The veteran quarterback of the NFL's Denver Broncos

Peyton Manning quarterbacked the Indianapolis Colts to a 29-17 win over the Chicago Bears in the Super Bowl of 2007, reaching the pinnacle of a long career in which he was often described as the best quarterback in football. The son of NFL quarterback Archie Manning, Peyton was a star at the University of Tennessee for four years before turning pro. He was chosen by the NFL's Indianapolis Colts as the first overall draft pick in 1998. In the years since, Manning has compiled a brilliant record that puts him among elite NFL quarterbacks like Brett Favre and Steve Young. His work habits -- studying game films at all hours and memorizing the playbook down to the last comma -- are legendary. Off the field, Manning's average-guy appeal has made him one of the NFL's more visible players, and he can be seen advertising a variety of products on TV and in print. Peyton Manning's critics long argued that his prowess on the field was overshadowed by his team's habit of coming up short in big playoff games; despite season after season of stellar play and winning records, Manning and the Colts did not advance to the Super Bowl until 2007, after the 2006 season. That year he led the Colts to the championship and was named the Super Bowl's most valuable player. At the end of the 2009 season he led the Colts to the Super Bowl again, where they lost to the New Orleans Saints, 31-17. Peyton Manning signed a new five-year contract with Indianapolis in 2011, one worth $90 million over five years. However, he had neck surgeries in May and September of that year -- the latter a "one-level cervical neck fusion" -- which kept him off the field for the entire 2011 NFL season. Facing a $28 million payment due to Manning on March 8th of 2012, the Colts cut their star player on March 7th of that year, drafting Stanford phenom Andrew Luck to replace him. Manning joined the Denver Broncos the same year, taking over as quarterback and leading them to the playoffs. In 2013, Sports Illustrated named him its Sportsman of the Year, saying "For two decades Peyton Manning has methodically elevated the standards of everybody from NFL quarterbacks to video-room interns to offspring named in his honor." That year he set a new record for touchdown passes (55) and receiving yards (5477) in one season; the Broncos made it to the Super Bowl, but were dominated by the Seattle Seahawks, 43-8.

Extra credit:

Peyton Manning wears jersey number 18… Archie Manning played for the New Orleans Saints, the Houston Oilers and the Minnesota Vikings in a career that lasted from 1971 to 1984 … Peyton Manning’s younger brother Eli Manning plays quarterback for the NFL’s New York Giants. Peyton Manning was the Super Bowl MVP in 2008, the year after Peyton won the award; they’re the first brothers to quarterback Super Bowl-winning teams… Peyton Manning is 6’5″ tall, according to NFL.com… Peyton Manning and his wife Ashley were married in 2001. They had their first children, twins, on 31 March 2011: daughter Mosley Thompson Manning and son Marshall Williams Manning.

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