5 Minutes with… Peyton Manning

May 7, 2013 – While in Denver to cover the May 8 pre-game ceremony in which the Colorado Rockies will be honoring Mariano Rivera, I interviewed legendary quarterback Peyton Manning.

I spoke to Manning this morning at the Denver Broncos training facility for a “5 Minutes with…” Q&A feature, which will be published in the August Issue of Yankees Magazine. Our discussion about Manning’s famous family was interesting, and the quarterback’s comments about his approach to the game were riveting.

At the beginning of the interview, I asked Manning if he would share the best advise he ever got from his father, former New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie Manning.

“If you want to be successful at something, you have to have a good work ethic,” Manning said. “My dad was a hard worker, and he was ahead of his time in terms of weight lifting and offseason conditioning. He instilled that in me, and it has definitely helped. That’s why I’m still playing the game at whatever age I am these days.”

I also asked Manning a question that has intrigued me for years. When he and his brother, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, discuss football, what are the specific topics of conversation? In other words, what do they really talk about regarding football?

“When we play common opponents, we share the ways we have attacked those teams,” the four-time NFL MVP said. “It always helps to talk about to someone who actually played against them as opposed to what you see on film. It’s nice to be able to have those conversations with my brother. We usually talk on Sunday nights about the games we just played, and then we talk again on Thursday about the next week’s game. We certainly enjoy talking about football.”

After a lengthy discussion about Manning’s career, I asked Manning what advise he would offer Derek Jeter, as the Yankees shortstop attempts to come back from the most serious injury of his career. Manning, who missed the entire 2011 football season because of a neck injury and returned to his All-Pro form last season, offered an emphatic answer.

“Derek doesn’t need any advise from me, but I’m pulling for him,” said Manning, who led the Indianapolis Colts to a championship during the 2006 season, while also taking home the Super Bowl MVP Award. “We’ve been friends for a while, and he was supportive of me when I was injured. I know he will be out there and playing at a high level as soon as he’s healthy. I’m looking forward to seeing that, because it’s not the same when No. 2 isn’t on the field.”

–Alfred Santasiere III

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