Guest Author - Kori Ellis
Team: Indianapolis Colts
DOB: March 24, 1976
Peyton Manning - The Early Years
In 1976 in New Orleans, Peyton Manning was born into a football family. His father Archie Manning was the quarterback for the Saints for 11 years and spent 13 total seasons in the NFL.
Peyton's younger brother Eli is the quarterback of New York Giants, while his older brother Cooper's college football career was cut short by health problems.
Peyton Manning - Collegiate Career
Manning played high school football in New Orleans and went on to play collegiately for the University of Tennessee. In his senior year at Tennessee, Manning tallied 3,819 passing yards and 36 touchdowns, leading his team to the SEC title. He finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting to Charles Woodson.
Manning holds dozens of Tennessee and SEC records, including career completions (863), career passing yards (11,201) and highest career completions percentage (62.49%).
Peyton Manning - NFL Career
In 1998, Manning was selected by the Indianapolis Colts as the first overall pick in the NFL Draft. In nine NFL seasons, Manning has amassed a great number of awards and NFL records. Manning has been to the Pro Bowl eight consecutive times.
The quarterback was awarded back-to-back league MVP trophies in 2003 and 2004. In the 2004 season, Manning was an offensive machine, most notably throwing for a record-breaking 49 touchdowns on the year. Manning was also named the Pro Bowl MVP in 2005. His career quarterback rating (94.4) is second all-time.
Despite his regular season individual and team success, Manning had not flourished in the playoffs. Between 1999 and 2002, the Colts were 0-3 in the playoffs with a cumulative score of 81-33. Manning had only one passing touchdown in those three losses.
In 2003, Manning’s playoff fortunes started to turnaround. He had two brilliant playoff games until succumbing to the New England Patriots, the eventual Super Bowl champions.
In 2004, Manning again lost to the Patriots, who would go on to repeat as Super Bowl winners. The story was much the same in 2005, as Manning and the Colts lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers, who also won the Super Bowl.
In 2006 it was Manning’s turn. The Colts defeated the Kansas City Chiefs and the Baltimore Ravens, before meeting up with their longtime nemesis – the New England Patriots. This time it was Manning’s time to shine, as he led the Colts to a 38-34 victory and his first trip to the Super Bowl.
Against Chicago, Manning cemented his legacy. He was named the Super Bowl MVP, accumulating 247 yards on 25-of-38 passes while leading the Colts to a 29-17 victory over the Bears.
Peyton Manning - Giving Back
In 1999, Peyton founded the PeyBack Foundation to help disadvantages youth through community programs in Indiana, Tennessee and Louisiana. The Foundation has donated more than $1.3 million to better than future of underprivileged youth.
Peyton gives considerable time and money to other programs as well and reportedly donated a substantial amount to fund relief and rebuilding efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.