Peyton Manning graduated from the University of Tennessee, but spent a lot of time on the University of Virginia’s campus during his college years because that’s where his wife Ashley went.
Over the weekend, Manning gave a speech at UVA’s Valedictory Exercises, and it was both entertaining and inspiring. The quarterback talked about his favourite places to eat, and his favourite things to do with his wife at UVA, but there was one thing he never got to do, he told the crowd:
“One regret I have is that I never had a chance to throw any football passes here on this lawn. So if you will indulge me, I’m going to fulfil that dream right now. I’m going to challenge three graduating seniors to catch a pass.”
So three lucky grads got to catch some passes from the five-time league MVP:
Manning also joked about the time he had to throw footballs at kid’s heads for a SNL skit. But the entire speech wasn’t fun and games. Manning also gave some great advice to the graduates. Some of the best quotes (via The Denver Post):
“There are some people who will criticise your generation’s altruism as child-like fantasy. Yet you’re the generation who can put ethics and values back in vogue again. You’re the generation that can challenge leaders in business, government another professions based not solely on the bottom line, but also on what’s good for your community, and others halfway around the globe.”
“The people in charge don’t necessarily have all of the answers, so don’t let expertise silence you. Work to find new solutions to old problems. Think outside the parameters that restrict other peoples’ thoughts. Just because you’re a novice on the job, just because you haven’t faced the same challenges, just because you haven’t climbed the same cliffs, doesn’t mean you can’t contribute to solutions in very significant ways. When you’re chided for your naivety — and you will be — remind your critics that an amateur built an ark. Experts built the Titanic.”
Here’s the entire speech:
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