Denver Broncos rookie Montee Ball was seven years old when the Indianapolis Colts drafted Peyton Manning.
For as long as Ball has been aware of the NFL, Manning has been an iconic figure.
So it should be no surprise that he reacted with the giddiness of a teenager when Manning sent him a text message for the first time.
Manning sent Ball a text message draft night last April welcoming him to the team.
Ball told PFT’s Michael David Smith about the moment:
“I was hanging out with my family, back in Madison at a hotel and I was getting a bunch of texts. I’m scrolling through them, reading and reading them, and then I get to this last one, and I’m reading congratulations and all this stuff, then I get to the bottom of it and it says ‘P. Manning’ and I went, ‘Wow.’ I was like, ‘Mum, Dad, Peyton Manning just texted me.’ I knew it was real just because of what he said in the text. It really hit home for me because he was congratulating me and he said, ‘Really looking forward to having you here because we’re looking for you to help us.'”
Ball called the experience of playing with Manning “overwhelming.”
This sort of generational divide exists many NFL locker rooms.
In an ESPN profile last year, Tom Brady said he has to ask his friends what music their kids are listening to so he can relate to the young guys on his team. Clearly, the dynamic is there for Manning as well.
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