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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: 5 / 7)

Super Bowl Champion Quarterback

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  Peyton Manning

Peyton, what was your childhood like, growing up in New Orleans?

Peyton Manning: I had a very supportive childhood, had two great parents that loved me, supported me, hugged me after games, win or lose. My dad always told me and my two brothers, "Don't ever get too proud or too old to say that you love me and to say that you love each other." "Love" is a pretty commonly used word in our family. When I talk to my brothers now on the phone midday, we always end the conversation saying, "I love you. I love you, bro." So that gives a pretty good indication of the kind of childhood I had and the kind of family that I have.

Parents. I just learned a lot from the things they said. I really learned a lot by the way that they lived. Very sincere, genuine people. Very courteous, very nice. It helped what I'm doing currently.

I got to watch my dad as a kid, how he handled himself after games with fans, with the media. I can remember, as a kid, just how patient he was, and how courteous he was to his fans. I certainly didn't think at five, six, seven years old that I would be doing that same profession. But at the same time, for Eli and I both, now that we are doing that, I remember how he handled himself. My mother still today tells me to be nice and, "They wouldn't ask for your autograph if they didn't want it," and "They'll stop asking for it at some point."

[ Key to Success ] Integrity

My parents are still a big influence on me. I'm still very close with them. I feel very fortunate to have the kind of support I had as a child. Being the middle child too, I felt was lucky, to have an older brother, Cooper, to look up to, and a younger brother, Eli, that looked up to me.

What kind of kid were you? Were you a good kid?

Peyton Manning: I was a good kid. I think my mother would say I was a sweet kid. Pretty protective I think. I never liked anybody taking advantage of anybody. As I got older, Cooper went off to college, and he would bring some college friends home, and I didn't know these guys, and these guys were eating all our food, and this guy was sleeping in my bed, and I didn't like that, you know, because this was my parents' turf, my turf. So I was very non-trusting of strangers. Kind of a tedious kid. Always made my bed up, I always double-checked the locks on the doors at night and fluffed the pillows if I was the last person on the couch, my mom would say. I liked things right. I'm still like that today. I'm a list guy, a note-taker, an organized kind of guy. I guess I was like that as a kid.

Did you like school?

Peyton Manning: I did like school. I worked hard in school. I had to work hard in school. It didn't come naturally to me, and I could never not study for a test and expect to do even average. I was a grinder, as you would say. I might not study until that morning, but I'd get up at 5:00. I'd have to. I'm a preparation guy. I was taught at an early age about having a work ethic.

My dad used to give me a lot of quotes, just cut out of a newspaper article, or out of a quote book, and put them on a bulletin board. One that just kind of hit me at an early age, probably ten years old, it said -- it was by Chuck Noll, a great coach for the Steelers. He said, "Pressure is something that you feel only when you don't know what you're doing," and that just kind of hit me right away. I was playing baseball and basketball at that age. It certainly applies to football today. You don't feel pressure if you study the game plan and know what to do. School work? The same way. If you know what to do, if you put the time in and study, you really shouldn't feel pressure. Now, you might not ace every test or complete every pass, but you don't feel pressure. Pressure is no fun to perform or to execute that way. So that was kind of my theme as a young kid, and I worked hard in school.

[ Key to Success ] Preparation

Who influenced you as a young man? Your father, certainly, but were there teachers, books, events?

Peyton Manning Interview Photo
Peyton Manning: My dad had such a big influence on me, he was kind of all that wrapped into one. Even if we had a guest speaker at our school, or read something in class, or heard about it, I would always go back and check with him. "Is this right? Would you agree with this, Dad?" He had a big influence on me, so he was the guy I went to for advice and the guy I listened to, and still do today. I went to the same school, kindergarten through twelfth grade. A very disciplined school, academics first, all the way, almost to the point of frustration. As I got in high school and got serious about sports, we were on the field at 4:00, off by 5:30, no questions about it. I was kind of like, "We've got some more plays to run. " We hadn't gotten this right. No. Like I said, it was academics first. I appreciate it now, that I had that kind of academic background. I went to a good, disciplined school, and co-ed, which I think is important. I think you've got to learn to mingle with both males and females in high school to prepare you for the real world out there. I can't think of one particular teacher or one particular book that had a big influence on me. History was probably my favorite class. I really enjoyed hearing about what happened yesteryear: presidents, leaders, their work, learning what made them tick and how they got to where they were.

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This page last revised on Feb 12, 2016 12:22 EDT
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