Peyton Manning biography
NFL quarterback Peyton Lee Manning was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1976. The son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning, and the older brother of New York Giants QB Eli Manning, Peyton is one of the most prolific passers in NFL history. He's won the MVP award a record four times and led the Indianapolis Colts to victory in Super Bowl XLI.
Peyton Lee Manning was born March 24, 1976, in New Orleans, Louisiana. The second of three boys, Peyton is son of former NFL quarterback Archie Manning, and the older brother of New York Giants QB, Eli Manning.
Stoked by a competitive fire that surpassed even that of his two brothers, Peyton seemed destined to be a great quarterback almost from the time he could pick up a football. At Isidore Newman High School, Manning led the football team to a 34-5 record, throwing for more than 7,000 yards, and was largely viewed as the nation's number one football recruit in his senior season.
In the fall of 1994, Manning enrolled at the University of Tennessee. There, his dominance continued. Over his four-year career, Manning torched opponents with a big arm and dead-on accuracy, setting an astounding 42 conference, school and NCAA records. In all, he passed for 11,201 yards, registered 863 completions, and connected for 89 touchdowns.
Along with his physical gifts, the 6'5", 230-pound Manning also developed a reputation as a voracious student of the game, poring over game film to analyze his opponents.
In 1998, the Indianapolis Colts selected Manning with the first overall pick in the NFL draft. For a franchise whose recent years were defined by hard luck and high loss totals, Manning was quickly embraced as a savior.
His rookie year, however, was far from perfect. Moments of brilliance were often followed by bouts of struggle as Manning experienced some expected growing pains. While establishing new NFL records for completions (326), attempts (575), passing yards (3,379) and touchdowns (26), he also threw an NFL-leading 28 interceptions for a team that struggled to a 3-13 finish.
Those early lumps, though, soon gave way to a level of success largely unmatched in league history. Over the next 13 years, Manning became arguably the game's best quarterback and the face of a high-powered Colts team that regularly contended for the NFL's top record.
After winning his first MVP award in 2003, Manning went on to capture the award three more times (2004, 2008 and 2009), becoming the first NFL player ever to achieve that distinction. In addition, he holds the honor of becoming the fastest player to pass for 50,000 career yards and 4,000 completions.
For the first decade of his career, Manning was dogged by suggestions that he couldn't win a big game. In 2007, he silenced critics when he toppled his longtime rivals, the New England Patriots and quarterback Tom Brady, in the AFC title game, and then went on to beat the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI. In the Super Bowl, Manning, who threw for 247 yards, was named the game MVP.
In addition to athletic exploits, Manning has proven to be a valuable brand off the field. He's been praised for his comedic timing and has appeared in several funny television commercials for Sprint, MasterCard and Gatorade, among other brands. In addition, he's hosted Saturday Night Live.
For the first 13 seasons of his career, Manning largely avoided injury, starting every game for the Colts since the start of his rookie season. But on September 8, 2011, Manning's season was derailed when doctors performed a spinal fusion on him to repair a damaged nerve in his neck that had caused his throwing arm to weaken. It was Manning's third neck surgery in 19 months, and it cost him the season.
It also cut short his career with the Colts. With their leader on the sidelines, Indianapolis posted the worst record in the league, securing the franchise the number one pick in the 2012 draft, which they eventually used to select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck.
Intent on starting over with their quarterback of the future, the Colts released Manning. In March of 2012, the former Colts QB signed a new five-year, $96 million contract with the Denver Broncos.