Peyton Manning thrives on making adjustments, so when he came across a fan letter that he wanted to answer, he didn't just drop the matter when it came without a return address. Manning and the Broncos public relations staff worked three months to track down Kristen Patterson and her husband, Army Sgt. Ryan Patterson.
The search ended in North Pole, Alaska, and resulted in a face-to-face meeting between Manning and the Patterson family, as reported by Corey Elliot of the Indianapolis Star.
The story began Sept. 21 when Kristen wrote a letter to Manning to ask if he could meet with Ryan, a die-hard Colts fan. As the Star put it, "During his two tours in Afghanistan, Patterson would set alarms to wake up at odd hours of the night just to stream Colts games."
Kristen asked Manning if they might be able to meet Dec. 22 in Cincinnati when the Broncos were playing the Bengals and the family was in the area visiting relatives for the holidays. But Kristen forgot to include a return address, and since the Patterson live in North Pole, Alaska, where Ryan is stationed at Fort Wainwright, Manning and the Denver PR crew had a lot of legwork ahead of them.
"He seemed genuinely tickled that we lived in North Pole, Alaska," Ryan told the Star. He said, 'You guys are really hard to find.' Before he left he shook my hand and thanked me for my service one more time and I thanked him for being my quarterback."
Here's the text of Kristen's letter, again via the Indianapolis Star:
Dear Mr. Manning,
My name is Kristen Patterson. I am writing to ask a question. You see my husband is a HUGE fan, and when I say HUGE I mean it. He is currently serving our country in the United States Army and has deployed twice to Afghanistan. He would set alarms to wake up at odd hours in the night just to listen to your football games. We recently had to move across the country for the Army and he tried to get us stationed in Colorado just so he could ensure that he would never miss your games.
We will be attending the Bengals vs. Broncos game on December 22, 2014, while home for the holidays, and it would mean so much to my husband if you might be able to find the time to just even say hello, not to mention it would make me to coolest wife ever of all time. I know you are a busy man, and if you can't, it will be ok. I just thought I might ask in the rare chance that you might agree to this.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.