The stories about Peyton Manning's amazing work ethic are well-chronicled, and the simple fact that he worked his way back from a potentially career-ending injury to lead his team to the Super Bowl speaks wonders about how motivated he is.
This week another anecdote attesting to Manning's drive is making rounds, and this one comes from an unlikely source.
In an interview with Peter King on Sports Illustrated's MMQB, rapper Lil Wayne shared this story about the 37-year-old quarterback:
“I have a story about Peyton. A guy who has been on the road with us, he was like an uncle to us, he told us this story. When he was in jail, about to come home, he was put on one of those work-release things in New Orleans. Every morning, real early, he would clean the schoolyard of the [Isidore] Newman School [where the Manning kids attended]. Because he was a prisoner, he would have to clean the schoolyard at 4 or 5 in the morning. There was not one morning, 4:30, 5 in the morning, he wouldn’t see Archie, Peyton, Cooper, or Eli out on the field. He’d see Archie throwing passes to Cooper, or Peyton throwing routes to Cooper. I don’t know if people know this, but it was Cooper who was the prodigy. He [the roadie] would tell us the story, you know, like it was destined.”
Small world, huh? Both Lil Wayne (whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr.) and the Mannings are from New Orleans, so perhaps it makes sense that they would have a connection like this.
Cooper is the eldest of the three Manning boys and, like Lil Wayne says in the story, perhaps the most talented. He had committed to play at the University of Mississippi before a diagnosis of spinal stenosis prematurely ended his football career.
So if Eli and Peyton have led their teams to a combined five Super Bowls, and the best brother in the family isn't even in the NFL, it's mind-boggling to think about what a Manning triumvirate could have accomplished.