John Elway and Pat Bowlen wait to reap the benefits from Peyton Manning signing with the Broncos. (David Zalubowski/AP Photo)

Behind-The-Scenes Of Manning’s Decision


This is a must read for any NFL fan. As we awaited “The Decision” from Peyton Manning, all we could do is speculate what he might do. Would he want to go back to the familiarity of Tennessee? Would he want to play in NFC powerhouse San Francisco? Would he want to play under John Elway and John Fox in Denver.

Manning basically had paparazzi following his every move as he waded through his options.

Peter King of Sports Illustrated came out with Peyton Manning’s Long Game which is a behind-the-scenes story of how Manning became a Bronco. It’s a must read.

Fox had Broncos p.r. man Patrick Smyth address two elements he thought would be used against Denver in the bidding—that its defense would hurt Manning’s chances of winning big and that Manning, who’d played his home games indoors since entering the league in 1998, would suffer outdoors in Denver. Smyth came up with two tidbits for Fox to use on Manning.

“Do you realize,” Fox asked the QB, “that the Broncos have played 519 home games, and the average temperature at kickoff has been 60.1 degrees?”

That was Manning’s kind of stat. As was the next. “In your 14 years in Indianapolis,” Fox said, “the Colts averaged 26 points per game. In my 10 years as a head coach [with the Panthers and the Broncos], when our teams scored 26 points or more, our record is 39–3.”

The Broncos had planned to host a dinner for Manning that Friday night, but how to do it quietly? To dodge the media, staffers prepared seven vehicles to leave the complex at the same time. A news crew from Fox affiliate KDVR-TV followed the van that had transported Manning from the airport. When it reached a seafood place, the crew went in and asked a Broncos employee, “Where’s Manning?” Not here. He’d slipped into a black SUV with tinted windows, which had taken him to Cherry Hills Country Club. There he was ready to hear Elway’s sales pitch. – Peter King (SI) 

You can read the article here.

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Tags: Denver Broncos Featured John Elway John Fox Peyton Manning