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If you like Peyton Manning's story, you might also like:
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Peyton Manning
 
Peyton Manning
Profile of Peyton Manning Biography of Peyton Manning Interview with Peyton Manning Peyton Manning Photo Gallery

Peyton Manning Interview (page: 3 / 7)

Super Bowl Champion Quarterback

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  Peyton Manning

You can't win them all. Not every pass is going to be intercepted, but some are going to be. How do you deal with disappointment and setbacks and failure?

Peyton Manning: That's a real challenge and a real issue. Reading the statistics, they had a ranking of quarterbacks, and the statistic was the percentage of a touchdown drive after an interception. To me, that is a telling statistic. The guys that have a high percentage are the guys that have short memories. They talk about having amnesia as a quarterback. You better move along from it. It is hard to say you forget about it, because you want to learn from it. You want to address it. You can't just say it never happened.


When you throw an interception, the first thing I say is, "Why did that happen? Was that my fault? Was that a poor decision by me? Was it bad luck?" A tipped ball, for example, or the wind literally blew the ball. Or was it a miscommunication? It always comes back to the quarterback. Usually, I'm going to feel like it's my responsibility because if the receiver ran the wrong route, I'm going to say, "Well, that's my fault for not being sure he knew what to do." But you better be able to put it behind you right away, otherwise, it's going to drag you further down. Interception, a loss, you name it. You deal with it. You learn from it. You address it, and it's hard to get over, especially a loss. It is hard. You spend so much time during one week -- late night studying, film preparation, weightlifting, practice -- for a three-hour game which you only play half of, and you lose on a field goal. That's frustrating. That is very frustrating. You don't get to play (again) until the following Sunday is a problem. I'm always kind of jealous of baseball players. They get to play the next day and go out and do something about it. Football is a long time to stew over it, but you kind of take Sunday night, and maybe a little bit of Monday, but we always say our rule is the pouting has to stop Monday at five o'clock. You'd better be moving on to the next opponent.

[ Key to Success ] Perseverance


If you lose the last game of the season in the playoffs, you're allowed a little more time to pout. You're allowed into late January, maybe February, and into March, but once the off-season program starts for the following year, you better be over that hangover and ready to move on. What do we need to do to get better? That's been very common for us. We've had some very disappointing losses in the playoffs.


You hate to admit that somebody else is better than you. That's a real stubbornness there, but you study it and you go, "Gosh, we're good, but obviously we're not good enough. We're not as good as we think we are. What do we need to do to get better? Do we need to get some more players? Do we need to work harder? What do I need to do to get better?" So that's what we've done. To me, it's the same exact approach this year that we (used to) accomplish our goal last year. We win this Super Bowl, and you enjoy it. Instead of pouting for two months, you get to celebrate for two months, but once the off-season program starts for the next year, it's over with. It's behind you, and you move on. You say, "How am I going to get better this year?"

[ Key to Success ] Perseverance


Peyton Manning Interview Photo
There are many outstanding high school athletes who don't make it in college, and a lot of outstanding college athletes who don't make it in the pros. What does it take? What are the characteristics that you think are important?

Peyton Manning: A lot of factors come into it. There's something to luck and catching a break. I think getting with the right team and having some good guys around you is going to make you a better player. You go to a college, get on a team that has this great quarterback, and you're a wide receiver, he's probably going to make you a better player. The guy that went to a school that had a bad quarterback, the receiver never got to showcase his talents. So some things outside your control can play a part on it. I think the simple answer is work ethic.


My deal was always, "You better work harder in college than you did in high school to make it in college, and if you get to pro ball, you better work a lot harder than you did in college, to make it harder than that, if you want to excel at the pro level." That's what gets some guys, I think. I think they get to the pro ball, and they go, "I've made it! I've done it!" and really, you haven't done anything. If you get drafted, that means you were a good college player. That means you're a great college player, but this NFL is "What are you about to do?" They're paying you for what they hope you do do. So you better be burning some hours and putting in the time in order to accomplish those goals. So that's one thing that can never be sacrificed, is your preparation and your work ethic, keeping yourself in shape, staying sharp mentally, working with your teammates to improve yourself as a player.

[ Key to Success ] Integrity


You've been quoted as saying that your most important accomplishments are what you do off the field. What does that mean?


Peyton Manning: I'm proudest of some of the work that we've done off the field or things that I just take an enormous amount of pride in, ideally with a charity foundation called the Peyback Foundation. Basically, we provide grants to programs that provide leadership and growth opportunities to children at risk in Indiana, Tennessee, and New Orleans in Louisiana, the three communities that have made an impact on me and that have been supportive of me. This is kind of the way to "pay back," appropriately named, for the blessings and support I've had in my life. There's more kids in those three areas than we could touch in a lifetime, but our goal is that's not going to keep us from trying. We're going to try to touch those kids.



I had two great parents and a great support system growing up, and I understand that not all kids have those same opportunities. So with the Foundation, we're trying to help those kids have that kind of support, and have some of those opportunities, by providing them the opportunity to go to Disney World. We send out 30 kids on a Disney cruise every year. Most of them, it's their first time flying, first time to see water. We're bringing them to Washington, D.C. this year, and there's no way some of these kids, growing up in some of these backgrounds, would ever have a chance to go to the White House or see the Capitol, so providing them, hopefully, memories that will last a lifetime and talking to them also about trying to do the right thing.


It's hard to have a scale in charity work about what is a win. There's no scoreboard. In football it's very clear who wins. I get some letters from teachers.


I got a letter from one particular teacher. She said, first of all, "Dear Mr. Manning, I do not like football." That's the first letter, the first thing she writes out of the box. Let's just -- don't beat around the bush here! But she says, "Some of my students are involved with your Peyback Foundation and some of your programs, and because they feel like someone's looking out for them, they're doing better in my class. So I want to let you know that." I guess that's kind of a touchdown, if you will, in regard to the Peyback Foundation and our charity work, so we're real proud of that. I think it will continue after I finish playing, but I know we can make the biggest impact right now while I'm currently an NFL quarterback.


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This page last revised on May 05, 2008 15:46 EST
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