Peyton Manning was one of the most focused and serious people on the field during his historic career. But off of it, the QB was a hilarious prankster, going back to his days in high school.
While he lit up the league on his way to being named a 5x MVP, 7x first-team All-Pro, and 14x Pro-Bowler, Peyton Manning was known to be quite the jokester. One very famous memory is when he pranked his AFC teammate at the 2011 Pro Bowl.
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Manning’s joking nature off the field has been pretty well documented. But what isn’t as well known is that Peyton had jokes even in high school.
Peyton Manning used to prank call rival dads in high school
Manning grew up in Louisiana and went high school at Isidore Newman in New Orleans during his early years. His High School teammate Baldwin Montgomery opened up about Manning’s funny side.
“When we weren’t water-ballooning cars at Thad’s house as teenagers, we did a lot of prank calling,” Montgomery said. “This was prior to Caller ID when you could actually get away with calling someone and acting as if you were someone else.
“It was always better to prank call a parent, because they were naïve and gullible and easier to go through with it, versus a peer who was going to recognize your voice.”
Some of the most memorable gags involved Manning posing as a reporter for a publication that specialized in rating high school football players for fans and college recruiters.
“He had this idea that we would call some players’ dads of one of our rival teams and act as if we were of Blue Chip magazine inquiring about their son,” Montgomery said. “So Peyton would get on the phone and call someone’s dad, an acquaintance, and act as if he was someone inquiring about their son.
“‘Hey, I hear your son’s a rising senior and a football player, can you tell me a little bit about him?’ These dads just took it hook, line and sinker. Everybody wants their son to be the next great athlete. So [the dad would say], ‘Oh, yeah, he plays both ways, linebacker, running back. Runs well. Works out in the weight room.’
“We would just pry and ask the most ridiculous questions and get into, ‘What does he power clean? Does he wear a neck roll? Does he wear a Breathe Right?’ Just see how far we could go with it. We got some good laughs out of it.”
It worked until it didn’t. Manning was nabbed when he left a voice message for someone and that person recognized the voice.
“He got in trouble,” Montgomery said. “I think Archie received a phone call, and he had to apologize to these dads for those prank calls.”