Peyton Manning, 14 ((Photo: Jake Roth, US PRESSWIRE; Inset: via Denver Post)
Chris Chase, USA TODAY Sports
Three days before Peyton Manning made his NFL debut, Peyton Manning was born in a Denver-area hospital.
The young Manning, now 14, has been getting attention for his name all his life, especially since the man he shares it with signed with the Broncos.
Peyton shared his story recently with The Denver Post, revealing that having the same name as a famous football players has it perks, but also its downsides. Peyton can't get a Facebook account with his real name, for instance.
Young Peyton can blame his parents, who thought it would be a neat idea to name their son after the more-famous Manning when he was a senior at Tennessee.
You'd figure the couple were huge Volunteer football fans but no, they simply thought the name was "full of strength and character."
"I would never have named him Peyton if I knew [the quarterback] was going to be a legendary football player anywhere, let alone Denver," Kim Manning told the newspaper. "I just thought it was a great name."
We can't fathom how a couple who knew of Peyton Manning in 1998 wouldn't be aware of his football potential. He had been famous since high school! He was Archie Manning's son! He got robbed of a Heisman! He was the No. 1 pick of the draft!
Eh, it doesn't matter. Peyton Manning isn't a bad name and we're sure these are nice people. It could be worse. If not for Peyton's strength of character, who knows what they could have named him. Bradley? It's better, and much cooler, to share a name with a universally-adored quarterback than a reviled whistleblower.
The Post reports teenage Peyton Manning is a captain on his hockey team. It didn't mention if he barks out signals to his teammates, slumps in the playoffs and has a younger brother who is quietly approaching his level.
Somewhere, a 14-year-old Ryan Leaf shakes his head and wonders what might have been.