Peyton Manning was one of the most focused and competitive people on the field during his historic career. And this dates back to his time in grade school.
Peyton Manning had one of the most prolific careers in NFL history. His accumulated list of accolades is lengthy, but includes items like 5x MVP, 7x first team All-Pro, and 14x Pro-Bowler. And despite his easygoing persona, Manning reached his level of greatness by being incredibly competitive both on and off the field.
Peyton Manning is one of 10 QBs selected to the #NFL100 All-Time Team!
🏆 2x Super Bowl Champion
🏆 5x NFL MVP (’03, ’04, ’08, ’09, ’13)
7x First-Team All-Pro, 14x Pro Bowler
🏆 Set single-season NFL records for pass yards (5,477), pass TD (55) in 2013 pic.twitter.com/KXFZK6Huas
— NFL (@NFL) December 28, 2019
This trait of Manning’s personality has been present ever since his early years in school.
Peyton Manning was forced by Archie Manning to apologize to his coach.
Peyton Manning was on a basketball team when he was in grade school, and a teammate’s dad was the coach. The guy was a lawyer who lived in the Mannings’ neighborhood, and though he didn’t know a lot about coaching, he was focused on the kids having fun.
But Manning was not cool with such an easy attitude about losing. The coach tried to give the team a pep talk in the wake of defeat, sort of: “Well, we didn’t play our best, but we’ll get ‘em next time.”
Peyton stood and countered with: “No, the reason we lost is you don’t know what you’re doing as a coach.” Manning still cringes at the memory.
“I was dead wrong,” he said.
What’s more, young Peyton was in trouble with his own father, Archie.
“My dad couldn’t hear what I was saying,” Manning said. “He just saw me pointing my finger at the coach, and he could tell that I was out of line. Made me go over to the coach’s house that night and apologize. I remember I was crying. I was bawling and my dad was saying, ‘I’m not going to let you play next week.’
“The coach was very nice, accepted my apology and said, ‘No, I want you to play.’ It was a good learning lesson for me of what’s right and what’s wrong, being coachable and keeping your mouth shut. That was the most valuable lesson in that. My dad straightened me out real quick.”
It’s that competitiveness that has helped Manning remain one of the best players in the NFL despite being 39 years old and having been through multiple neck surgeries that had left him with a sub-par arm. And even though it sometimes got him into trouble, his attitude did serve him and his quest for greatness well.