DENVER (CBS4) – It’s been a busy offseason for Peyton Manning. He was hanging out with New York Yankees great Derek Jeter on Sunday and he’ll be a guest on the “Late Show with David Letterman” Monday night.
CBS4’s Vic Lombardi finally got a one-on-one interview with Peyton after he cornered him at the John Lynch Salute the Stars Luncheon. The day before Lombardi interviewed Peyton’s father Archie Manning at the Jewish Family Services Luncheon.
Lombardi found that Archie was great — a tremendous storyteller — just like his son. But there’s one thing Peyton possesses that simply can’t be taught. Peyton remembers practically every pass he’s ever thrown.
“Peyton has got a great memory, a great recall,” Archie told Lombardi. “He can flat remember.”
Peyton remembers one pass that his friend John Lynch stole from him more than a decade ago.
“I didn’t get everything I wanted onto the throw, but yet I think I made the perfect throw. I can see it … it’s going right into his (the wide receiver’s) hands, and then John Lynch comes and intercepts that pass,” Manning said.
Peyton has given a lot of speeches this offseason. He connects with people almost as easily as he connects with his wide receivers. There’s not much he hasn’t done on a football field, but it’s what he’s done off it that makes his father most proud.
“I think the most rewarding thing to me as a father — they opened up with the Saints in Indianapolis on Thursday night to raise their flag and the night before on a Wednesday night they dedicated Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital,” Archie said. “He had worked with the hospital since he had been there, and that was quite an honor for him and I told him it was his finest hour.”
Every year Peyton goes back to Indianapolis to the hospital that bears his name, raises some money and sings some country music. Everything he does he does to the max, and that’s his father in him.
“I think he’s always reminded us that you have to have a good work ethic, you have to stay committed to something and see it all the way out, give a 110 percent effort,” Peyton said. “So that’s held up very true in all aspects of life — not just in sports but in life as well. So I’m very grateful to him for all the good advice he’s given me over the years.”
Peyton is never seen getting overly rambunctious after a win — or too low after a loss — even in a devastating defeat like in the Super Bowl.
“It’s not embarrassing at all; I would never use that word,” Peyton said after the loss to the Seattle Seahawks. “The word ’embarrassing’ is an insulting word in truth.”
Archie said he wasn’t surprised at Peyton’s answer.
“That was a good answer. I don’t think anybody in the Broncos organization should be embarrassed when you win 13 games in a regular season, beat two quality playoff teams and you win a championship,” Archie said.
Peyton is 38 years old and still throwing a football for a living. He’ll never take that for granted, and he’ll never stop trying to get better; even if that means a little less passing and a little of the running game.
“The more balanced you can be, I think the better chance you have to be successful. I know that’s a focus for the offensive coaches to try to be more balanced … not be one-dimensional,” Peyton said. “I think we will do that with the back that we have.”
“It’s like he’s done the last two years. He’s going to try to do the best he can each and every game, just keep getting better, and having fun playing,” Archie said. “He’s always had fun playing.”
Looking ahead to next season, Peyton knows the Broncos will have their work cut out of them.
“I think you look to see when your home games are, when you’re on the road, how many consecutive road games you have, those West Coast games that you have, who you play the next week,” Peyton said. “So you look at that just from a preparation standpoint … and I think it’s a tough schedule. It was good that it came out when it did because as we’re starting the offseason program we’re going to have to step it up even more, be even better than we were last year because the schedule is tougher.”