Peyton Manning says that his wife is the reason he decided to give football another try after his neck surgery. The quarterback admitted to being scared that he would not be able to come back and be as good as he once was. He knew people would expect him to play great and wasn't sure if he could do it.
His wife Ashley convinced him to give it one more try and Peyton says that he is forever grateful for her support and motivation.
"Ashley and I actually had those conversations. More than one. Because, you know, you don't want to embarrass yourself. Because, they're signing you and people are thinking they're getting the player they had always seen before," Peyton said.
"And so, Ashley was the one that was saying, 'Peyton, you've got to try. You've got to try.' With this injury, nothing was happening. Nothing. For weeks. There was no progress. It was so frustrating. And really, I had a peace about it. I had a peace. Because, I had this unbelievable string of health for 20 years -- since I was 15 years old as a sophomore in high school."
Peyton may have also been motivated by his father Archie, who said that he passed the football with Peyton at the family's home while he was recovering from his surgery. After the Broncos won the AFC Championship game, Archie looked back on Peyton's recovery and admitted to wondering if he would ever see his son play at another Super Bowl.
"I just didn't know," Archie said. "Yeah, when you're his age, what he went through, playing the quarterback position in this league, we just tried to stay positive with him. He handled it so well. He had a good frame of mind, working and trying, but if it didn't work, he was at peace so that was comforting to me and [wife] Olivia."
It looks like both Ashley's and Archie's support was helpful, because Payton Manning and the Broncos are once again headed to the Super Bowl.
What did you think of the AFC Championship game?
Image via Wikimedia Commons.