Peyton Manning turned 39 on Tuesday. Celebrate his birthday with a look back at Lee Jenkins's 2013 profile of the Denver Broncos quarterback.
Peyton Manning turned 39 on Tuesday, but he wasn't always so mature. Sports Illustrated's Lee Jenkins profiled Manning in 2013 and found that the quarterback wasn't always as stoic as he is now.
Sportsmanship wasn't always his specialty. When Manning was five and his coach pitch team lost every game by about 20 runs, the coach would invariably tell the boys it was a tie. "He thinks we're stupid," Manning griped to his parents. "It was not a tie." When he was eight and Archie coached his youth basketball team, they sparred because Archie drafted his friends' sons even though many of them couldn't shoot. Archie vowed never to coach him again. When Peyton was 12 he had a new basketball coach with a curious substitution pattern. After one loss, the coach told the team, "The reason we didn't win the game is because you weren't ready to play." Manning pointed a finger in his face. "No," he protested, "the reason we didn't win the game is because you don't know what you're doing." Archie drove him to the coach's house that night, in tears, to apologize.
Contrast that image with the scene in the visiting locker room at Sports Authority Field after the Broncos' 38-35 playoff loss to the Ravens in double overtime. Manning, coping with another round of January heartbreak, waited to congratulate retiring linebacker Ray Lewis. He held little Marshall's hand, setting the example that his dad set for him.
Even from an early age, it was clear Manning wanted to be the one calling the shots.