Peyton Manning is my favorite NFL player of all time, and David Letterman is my favorite television entertainer of all time, so I couldn’t help but pass along this really kind gesture that Peyton Manning wrote about David Letterman in Sports Illustrated.
In talking about what an honor it was to appear on Dave’s last show (and truly, you could tell that Letterman was thrilled more about him than any of the other huge celebrities he had read his final Top Ten list), Peyton recounted a few of his other visits to The Late Show (which was the only late-night show that Peyton has ever agreed to appear on), and then noted the nicest thing that Dave ever did for him, which had nothing to do with being a guest on the show:
It’s funny, but my favorite memory of Dave—and what I think says so much about him as a person—didn’t come from one of my appearances on the show … it came soon after I signed with the Broncos—actually, on the day before the draft in 2012, when the Colts were sitting there with the first pick.
That day, I was working out at the Broncos’ facility, trying to get used to my new world and learn Denver’s offense. I got word that Dave was trying to reach me, and so I get on the phone with him. He explains that they’re going to have Andrew Luck on the show, and what they want to do is present him with his new Colts jersey, like they’d be the ones telling him he was a Colt.
He said to me, “I don’t want to do it if it makes you uncomfortable at all.”
I said, “Dave, it doesn’t matter what I think. You do what you feel is best for the show.”
Really, I didn’t care. Whatever Dave wanted to do was fine, but he said, “That’s it! We’re not doing it. Forget it. It’s done.”
That meant so much to me. I didn’t give him an answer. It wasn’t my place to say anything. But the fact that he made that call, I can tell you this: If that were any other show, they sure wouldn’t have called to ask what I thought.
And that shows you how much respect Dave had for Peyton, and it also shows you how very difficult it was for Colts fans for a very long time — and even still, to some degree — to consider Manning anything other than a Colt.
Source: Sports Illustrated