Peyton Manning may have been one of the most serious personalities on the field, but off of it, he was something of a jokester as his high school coach Billy Fitzgerald found out.
Manning went to high school at Isidore Newman in New Orleans, Louisiana, and during his time there, he actually played some baseball, and he was pretty decent at it too.
His head coach, Billy Fitzgerald, was something of a legend as he had won five state titles for the team in basketball and another two for baseball. Billy and Manning often had competing mindsets, both of them never afraid to back down from the other, leading to some pretty tense moments between the two.
Peyton Manning getting the baseball team fired up before taking the field tonight. #Vols
— Trey Wallace (@TreyWallace_) May 15, 2021
One time things went a little further as Peyton Manning tried to prank one of his Newman teammates, but things backfired when his coach ended up on the receiving end.
Peyton Manning Had His Coach Billy Fitzgerald Walking Out Of The Shower With A Less Than Ideal Towel
While on the baseball team, Manning and his teammates were on the road for a game, and so the night before they ended up staying in a motel.
Their coach, Billy Fitzgerald, reminded everyone to get a towel as they’d have to shower before the five-hour bus ride back home. As a joke, Manning decided it would be funny if he came out with a wash cloth for his teammate Nate Stibbs.
Stibbs wasn’t humored, but he figured he’d deal with the situation after the game. The game itself didn’t end up going too well for Newman as they blew a huge lead which had Fitzgerald absolutely enraged.
The team silently hit the showers, humiliated after their disappointing loss. Meanwhile, Stibbs was carrying out his grand plan to make sure he didn’t end up having to dry himself up with a tiny wash cloth. He swaped his towel out for a fullsized with someone who he assumed to be a freshman.
Instead, he swapped towels with a furios Fiztgerald. As Fitzgerald walked out with the small tower in his hand, he looked around angrily to see who would would have been foolish enough to do such a thing.
“I remember looking over at Peyton sitting in the corner, and he was just hunkered down,” Stibbs would recall. “He wouldn’t look at anybody. And I remember thinking, ‘You almost got us killed because of your little prank.’ We still tell that story every time we get together once a year. It’s etched into all of our memories.”
In Peyton Manning’s defense, well, his defense was that it wasn’t his fault. “That was on Stibbs,” Manning would say after. “I was simply pulling a prank on my friend. It should not have gotten to the head coach. So that’s all on Stibbs. I’m not taking the heat for that one.”