Peyton Manning is one of the most likable athletes in professional sports so it is easy to overlook how insanely competitive he is both on and off the field.
It’s that competitiveness that has Manning on the verge of breaking the record for most touchdown passes in NFL history. It has also helped him remain one of the best players in the NFL despite being 38 and having been through multiple neck surgeries.
The intense anecdotes include what he went through to keep playing after neck surgery, his sneaky first quarterbacks meeting in college, and his crazy work-ethic in high school.
Even when he gets a day off from practice to rest his ankle he still wears a helmet to listen to play calls and watches game film in the ice tub.
In high school, Peyton would practice at 4:30 or 5:00 every morning with his father, Archie Manning, and his brothers, Eli and Cooper.
He once showed up to the Colts practice facility at 4:00 am after a night game because he wanted to get work in before an 8:30 am charity engagement.
Manning once trash-talked Tiger Woods on a golf course so badly that Woods used it as motivation to regain his no. 1 ranking.
During Peyton's first quarterbacks meeting as a freshman at Tennessee, the other quarterbacks were an hour late because Manning locked the doors to the building.
Manning roots for rookie quarterbacks to do poorly so that somebody will break his record for interceptions in a season by a rookie (28).
Instead of retiring at the age of 35, Manning chose to re-learn how to throw a football after his second neck surgery and even had secret practices so nobody would know how bad his throwing had become.
To prove he could still play after the neck surgeries, he had some then-Colts teammates fly to Duke University and they replayed every play from the 2009 AFC Championship Game win over the Jets.
Manning has become good friends with Tom Brady and the two stars constantly pick each other's brains on how to beat other teams.
He is a stickler for details. According to his former coach, Tony Dungy, if Peyton says he is going to do something at a specific time, 'you can set your satellite by it.'
Despite a friendly personality, he is not afraid to get in the face of a teammate, even Jeff Saturday, one of his good friends.
Now, in the twilight of his career, Manning has been even more open about his emotion, chewing out teammates in front of everybody.
During a preseason game, Manning received a taunting penalty and was later fined for getting in the face of an opponent who had put a helmet-to-helmet hit on one of the Broncos receivers. Manning later called the fine 'money well spent.'
He asked networks to turn down the volume on field mics so that it wouldn't be so easy for people watching TV to hear his signals.
After throwing 4 touchdowns in a cold weather game, Peyton addressed the critics of his cold-weather play by saying 'Whoever wrote that narrative can shove that one where the sun don't shine.'
When the Broncos play on Sunday Night Football, Peyton will watch the NBC broadcast to see if Tony Dungy gave away any signals and then Peyton will change those signals.
Before signing with the Broncos, Peyton asked for a media guide because he wanted to be able to recognise and know about not only potential teammates but also Broncos employees.
Even after wins, he is always intense when he has his uniform on as demonstrated by the death stare he directed at the owner of the Broncos last season.
Peyton cursed out Tampa Bay Bucs coach Greg Schiano after he rushed the Broncos on a kneel-down play.
When he runs a bootleg he won't even tell his teammates because he doesn't want their actions to give away the play to the defence.
He hates to alter his routine so much that he will make the media wait following a Monday Night Football game so that he can keep his regular Monday evening date with a cold tub
He is driven to be the best at everything, and is considered by many to be the best sports host 'Saturday Night Live' ever had.
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