Two-time Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning has until early August to prepare his acceptance speech and make other plans related to his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Realistically, of course, he could have started planning the day after his retirement following the 2015 NFL season.
Regardless, Manning has already revealed one of the details about his upcoming big day in Canton, Ohio.
Peyton Manning was an easy choice for the Hall of Fame
Peyton Manning headlines the 2021 class of inductees for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Manning, who won Super Bowls as the quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos, will go in alongside two others who were in their first year of eligibility, Green Bay Packers defensive back Charles Woodson and Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson.
Rounding out the class of recent players are former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Denver Broncos defensive back John Lynch, now the general manager of the San Francisco 49ers, and former Pittsburgh Steelers guard Alan Faneca. Also going in is former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Drew Pearson, elected as a senior inductee; former Steelers scout Bill Nunn, enshrined in the contributor category; and former Raiders and Seattle Seahawks coach Tom Flores.
Manning was a five-time MVP and a 14-time Pro Bowl selection in the NFL. He finished with 539 touchdown passes in the regular season and another 40 in 27 playoff games. He spent 13 years with the Colts, missed the 2011 season while recovering from a neck injury, and finished up with four seasons for the Broncos.
Peyton Manning was working the phones
The 48-person selection Pro Football Hall of Fame committee normally meets the day before the Super Bowl to determine who will be enshrined. Because of the pandemic, the timeline shifted to mid-January, with the choices kept from the public until the eve of the Super Bowl.
However, David Baker, the president and CEO of the hall, began touring the country shortly after the meeting to notify the honorees personally, Yahoo Sports reported. Upon learning the results of the vote, Peyton Manning began reaching out to thank people who had helped him along the way.
“I called John Elway,” Manning said, according to the Denver Broncos website. “I called Dan Marino, Troy Aikman, Brett Favre — just to kind of let them know and to say how thankful I am to be on the same team as them and kind of the role and the impact they’ve had on me, either (from) studying them or talking to me after a game, whatever it may be.”
Naturally, Manning also tipped off family members and called to thank a handful of former teammates that included Von Miller, Reggie Wayne, and Jeff Saturday.
“If you had to do this whole thing alone and celebrate a win by yourself or suffer a disappointing loss, it just wouldn’t be worth it,” Manning said. “So, the fact that I’ve gotten to do it and share it with so many people — family members, coaches, those type of people, the fans — that’s been the best part of it.”
Archie Manning will have a role in Canton this summer
Reaching out to Hall of Fame quarterbacks like John Elway and Brett Favre certainly made sense for Peyton Manning. But one retired quarterback stands out in his mind above all the rest: dad Archie Manning, a talented signal-caller who had the misfortune of playing on some of the worst NFL teams ever.
Archie Manning will be the presenter when Peyton steps on the stage in Canton in August for enshrinement.
“My dad was my favorite player growing up,” he said. “He was my favorite quarterback. He’s had the greatest football influence on me, even though he never was my coach. Pickup football, knee football in the den, backyard football. … He’s my favorite quarterback. He’s going to present me, which it’s only appropriate because of the impact he’s had on me.”
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.