Among many accomplishments, Peyton Manning is known for two things: setting NFL records and having a great sense of humor. Throughout his career, we’ve seen him display both. He’s been great on the field and great on TV.
Recently, there was a confluence of these two aspects of Peyton’s personality when he challenged this year’s flock of rookie QBs to break one of his records. For a notoriously competitive athlete such as Manning, this seems counterintuitive. How could he want his name to be moved down in the record books?
His reasoning — and his sense of humor — becomes all the more apparent when it’s revealed which record he was asking those rookies to break.
Peyton Manning has a great sense of humor
Manning has never been one to shy away from being funny in public. Whether it’s comedy sketches or his advertisements, he’s had no trouble poking fun at himself or his image as an NFL quarterback. Here are a few examples:
- At the height of his career in 2007, Manning hosted Saturday Night Live. SNL is essentially the most famous comedy show of all time, and Manning is decidedly not a comedian, so that seemed like a bit of a challenge for him. He excelled in the role, however, performing hilariously. His United Way sketch stands out as a classic.
- Manning has had a series of funny TV spots for MasterCard, including one where he coined his famous catchphrase “Cut that meat!”
- He appeared in several funny Nationwide Insurance ads, including one memorable appearance where he sang the phrase “Chicken parm/you taste so good” to the tune of the Nationwide jingle.
- He’s also appeared in a number of hilarious TV spots with his brother Eli, such as their commercials for DirecTV or their ESPN SportsCenter ad.
What records does Peyton Manning hold?
On a serious note, Manning’s litany of NFL records is nothing to laugh at. Manning holds (or has held) several NFL records for a QB, including:
- 71,940 passing yards (second, recently surpassed by Drew Brees)
- 539 touchdowns
- 5,477 passing yards in a single season
- 200 overall wins (including playoffs)
- 93 games throwing over 300 yards
- Seven passing touchdowns in a single game
- 56 game-winning drives
Along with his two Super Bowl victories, those records reflect Manning’s greatness as an NFL QB. But not all his records cast Manning in a good light.
Despite his successful career, Manning had something of a rough rookie season. The struggling Colts threw the young Manning right into the fire on their way to a 3-13 season. He threw only 26 touchdowns, a total he copied in his second season and never dipped below until his final injury-plagued 2015 season.
He also threw 28 interceptions. While this was indicative of the trust the Colts placed in him — few rookie QBs would get the chance to keep throwing the ball when they had thrown so many picks — it remains a record for NFL rookie QBs.
What Manning hilariously said to rookie QBs
The Sporting News reported that newly drafted Denver Broncos QB Drew Lock attended Manning’s Passing Academy. Lock said that he and all the other young NFL quarterbacks were given an assignment by the former Colts and Broncos great:
“It was all of the quarterbacks that were there at the Passing Academy, and he was talking about how he had a rough first year when he was there. He goes, ‘You know, I set the all-time interception record [for a rookie QB], and I’m waiting for one of you to [expletive] break that for me! If anyone wants to do it, please go right ahead and get that done for me!'”
This is a great example of Manning’s willingness to poke fun at himself and his penchant for holding NFL records. There may be a bit of truth to it though, and while Manning no doubt wishes this year’s crop of rookie QBs good luck, he may also hope they break his most ignominious record.