Over the years, nearly all my celebrity crushes have revealed feet of clay. Oh, there are a few left – the stars who do their job, are kind to others, don’t get drunk and drive, and don’t cheat on or punch their spouses. Tom Hanks springs to mind.
But lately so many have crashed and burned, that I turned to my husband and said, “I’m about out of people to admire. If Peyton Manning turns out to be a jerk, I’m off the celebrity fan wagon permanently.”
As a former Indianapolis resident, I have tracked Peyton for years, and admired the whole Manning clan. I know he takes some hits for doing lots of commercials, but I like them because they are self- deprecating and dang funny. My son-in- law was on the camera crew when Peyton filmed a web commercial for Gatorade, and said Manning was friendly and professional. My friend and Indianapolis resident, Jim White, tells a story about Peyton showing up late at night, alone and without photographers, at an Indy children’s hospital to quietly chat with starstruck kids and their equally starstruck parents.
That’s a pretty long lead-in to my story today. We were visiting the ESPN campus in Bristol, Conn., and during our tour, we saw a series of funny promos featuring star athletes visiting ESPN. My favorite, of course, was one with the Manning family. Payton and Eli are messing with each other as brothers often do. Watch it here. As they walk down a long hallway, Peyton whips his foot up behind him to give Eli a boot in the butt. When I realized I was walking down the exact same hallway, I clowned around, demonstrating the “Peyton kick.” Hubby caught it on film.