There really is only one Peyton Manning.
In the year since he played his last snap, stories about who Manning was on and off the field have continually been shared as the football world collectively misses seeing “The Sheriff” hit the field.
The latest telling anecdote comes from retired umpire Butch Hannah in a profile by Mark Wiedmer of the Chattanooga News-Free Press.
Hannah shared a particularly polite exchange with Manning that started in 2014 when Manning’s Denver Broncos were playing the Miami Dolphins. Hannah called back two Broncos touchdowns, but they still pulled out a 39-36 win, though a frustrated Manning showed another side of himself to the referee.
“Late in the game, the clock about to run out, Peyton mistimed a snap and they had to run one more play,” recalled Hannah, who’s known Manning since refereeing him in college. “Peyton said something off-color to me, which was not at all like him.
“I told him, ‘Peyton, you’re better than that.'”
A few weeks after the game, Hannah surprisingly received a FedEx package at the NFL head offices that had a personal letter from Manning.
“He said he wanted to apologize for his reaction to me that day against the Dolphins,” Hannah said. “Would I please accept his apology? That’s the only time that’s happened to me in all my years of officiating.”
Manning didn’t leave the incident alone at that point, approaching Hannah again before a preseason game the following season.
“He asks me, ‘Did you get my card?,'” Hannah remembers. “I said, ‘Peyton, you’ve got to let this go.’ He says, ‘You have no idea how upset I was with myself.’
“That’s the kind of son Archie and Olivia raised.”
– With h/t to 247Sports
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