Friday February 5th, 2016

Peyton Manning has always been a savvy football player, but early in his career, things were much harder for him off the field.

Michael Silver’s Sports Illustrated cover story from November 1999, Thoroughbred, delves into Manning’s early success as a leader of the Indianapolis Colts, helping the team to a 7–2 start in his second season.

As told by Manning’s older brother Cooper and his then-girlfriend and now-wife Ashley Thompson, Peyton had a pretty difficult time doing anything that wasn’t football.

From the SI Vault:

Cooper calls his brother “somewhat of a domestic idiot. My mom went up to his apartment after training camp this year, and she caught him turning his underwear inside out so he wouldn't have to use the washing machine. A couple of weeks ago he called my wife and asked her how to heat up soup.” Amazingly, that’s not even Manning’s worst soup-related display of cluelessness. Once,when he was sick, he called Thompson to ask her how to open a can of soup. “He didn’t know what a can opener looked like,” she says. Another time Manning placed a long-distance call to Thompson from his dorm room and expressed a desire to have Chinese food delivered. Flustered by the process, he persuaded Thompson to call a Knoxville restaurant from her apartment in Charlottesville and make the order for him. Last year Manning complained about the poor reception his television was getting. When Thompson showed up a month later for Indianapolis’s season opener, she says, the set wasn’t hooked up to the cable wire.”

FARRAR: Count on Osweiler to be ready if Peyton gets pulled

Also relevant: Manning’s use of Polaroid photos, featuring preordained outfit combinations, to dress himself in the morning.

Manning and the Denver Broncos will get dressed for Super Bowl 50 against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

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