Peyton Manning and the Truth About His Brand and Us.


February 16, 2016 by gregrabidoux2013


It’s all about the brand. Always has been.


When I was young, many moons ago, the word “brand” had not yet thrust itself into the everyday lexicon of every man, woman and social media conscious child. In fact, when you did happen to see the word “Brand” it was usually followed by the letter “X” and it never seemed to wash clothes, get stains out or whiten your teeth as well as the “other” brand which came with a name you knew and trusted. Crest. Arm and Hammer. G.E. Colgate.

Peyton Manning.

The First Family of the NFL. The Sheriff. Yep, Mr. Papa Johns, Nationwide Insurance and Budweiser (Gee, what beer are you going to drink to celebrate your Super Bowl win again Peyton? We didn’t catch it the first 4 times you shamelessly plugged it in post-game interviews.)

See Cam that’s why you give those dang interviews in the first place, cuz it’s always about the brand The brand. It’s all about the brand. (Is there a Mr. Grouchy-Pants toy Cam could sell now?)

peyton and cam hoodie

The one on the left claims to be too honest. The one on the right never claimed that at all.


But why all this talk about brands and Peyton Manning?

Because once again we see the wisdom in the words uttered so cynically yet truthfully by Charles Barkley years ago-“I ain’t no role model. And you shouldn’t look to sports for that anyways.”

Nor Hollywood but we’ll get to that in a moment.

In 1996 while a senior quarterback at the University of Tennessee a then 19 year-old Peyton was accused of sexually assaulting a female director of health and wellness, Dr. Jamie Naughright, who was a full-time employee with the UT Athletic Department assigned to the young sheriff’s team. While she was examining Peyton’s foot injury she alleges that he “forcefully maneuvered his naked testicles and rectum directly on to her face.” He denied the allegation then, saying it was a “mooning…a prank gone wrong.”

The accuser and the respondent eventually settled 3 years later in an out of court settlement for an undisclosed amount of money. With terms to be kept confidential. Yet, in 2003 the two parties were facing each other (or at least their legal guns) in court again. This time Dr. Naughright was accusing Peyton Manning of intentionally defaming her in a book he co-authored with his father and former NFL player, Archie Manning, in which the section in the book on the good doctor was unflattering to say the least.

University of Tennessee Quarterback Peyton Manning and Coach

How about we change the call from “Prank” to “Omaha” Coach? Yes?

In short, she claimed Peyton wasn’t smart enough to keep his mouth shut even when he had signed a legally binding agreement to do so. He denied the allegation. About 2 years later they signed yet another confidential agreement and settled again out of court, this time for a disclosed amount of $300,000 paid to Dr. Naughright by the Manning family.

Now, while you are digesting this news, no doubt munching a Papa Johns thin-crust pizza and washing it down with, what else, a cold Bud, you may be wondering-Why am I just hearing this stuff now for the first time?

peyton and papa johns

Is there anything you aren’t telling me Peyton?


Fair question.

You see, attorneys for a number of female plaintiffs are suing the University of Tennessee now, alleging in part that the school violated Title IX provisions and federal and state sexual hostile workplace laws dating back to, you guessed it, as far as 1996 when one Peyton Manning allegedly “volunteered” certain parts of himself in an allegedly unlawful manner while being medically examined.

Again, he says a prank gone wrong and that he was “inappropriate but not criminal.” Just the words you want to hear from your sports idol, right?

Yet, worse, the 2 fellow football players he claimed at the time would corroborate his story both denied any such prank and perhaps, not surprisingly, since they were both not named Manning, soon found their scholarships revoked and were no longer on the team.

Dr. Naughright, as one of the conditions of the settlement by the way, also left the University of Tennessee. But her allegation, along with her testimony is being now made public as part of this ongoing lawsuit. In part, UT officials are being brought to task for allegedly doing next to nothing in response to a recent accusation that a female student was raped by a then UT basketball player despite being put on notice that a sexually hostile environment existed at UT since about 1996.

This news all comes on the heel of broad allegations by Al Jazeera News that Human Growth Hormone was delivered to the Manning home, addressed to his wife, during the time he, Peyton Manning, was rehabilitating from his neck surgeries. In that explosive news story, the main though not only news source has since recanted his claim, saying he “made it up for money.” It is intriguing that he did this shortly after being visited by private investigators hired by the Manning family to do what they called “preemptive damage assessment.”

peyton and nixon

Sure and when I did it they said it was a crime. What about Manning-Gate?


Geez. This guy has a future in politics if that whole pizza, beer and insurance gig falls apart any time soon.

So, here we are again. When we should be savoring the “fairy tale ending” of “the Sheriff” basking in his Super Bowl win, no doubt riding off into the sunset after nearly two full decades of NFL greatness, his legend firmly cemented, his first Hall of Fame ballot already waiting to be filled out, we are, instead, now left to ponder-

Just who is this Peyton Manning fellow anyways? A good guy who made a couple of bad decisions here and there or is there (I hope not) more darkness just bursting to leap out of the closet?

How well do we really know any heroic athletes and celebrities we idolize and worship come to think of it?

Even though we live in a social media-driven society with Twitter and Instagram allowing us unprecedented access, we don’t really know, do we?

Did you know Andre Agassi was dropping lines of Cocaine and wearing a Toupee during his US Open win? I didn’t and I am a pretty serious player and historian of the game. I do now though but only since he confessed to it in a recent book.

The norm though is we are privy only to the finely polished and honed “brand” that athletes and celebrities and a whole bevy of their hired promoters and agents create and distribute for our consumption. Don’t we all still want to be “like Mike?” Even though, he was by his first wife’s testimony, a “serial adulterer” with “undisclosed children” who was not at all like the “Nike Mike” during their divorce. Things got so nasty at one point that apparently, the legendary founder of Nike, Phil Nike, stepped in and all but pushed Michael Jordan to clean up the mess lest their joint billion-dollar brand and partnership suffer irreversible, global earnings loss. Within 2 days, MJ met with his first wife and they agreed to an undisclosed and confidential settlement.

peyton and MJ

Hush money? Hush your mouth. And take a look at these rings my brother. Now, what were you saying? Yeah, I thought so.


At least “Air Jordan” had the good sense to keep his mouth shut so far as we know.

That lovable Dr.Huxtable, aka, the “Coz,” aka., that serial rapist, Bill Cosby sure was great at keeping lots of dark stuff hidden. Maybe we just never wanted to know the real truth about that Jell-O pudding he kept shoving down our throats for decades.

Tiger Woods, prostitutes and then-wife Elin Nordegren beating him about the head and shoulders with a golf club that fateful Thanksgiving day. Poof. There went the myth of Tiger. Has he or his beloved brand ever been the same since?

That “Lion of Cycling” Lance Armstrong. Live Strong. Stay Strong. And tell really strong lies. Talk about a self-inflicted brand-bike crash.

Johnny Manziel, aka, “Johnny Football” a college football legend n 2013 turned domestic abuser, alcoholic, DJ-wanna-be by 2016 who at the ripe-old age of 24 seems destined now to never make it in the NFL. Wow. That was fast.

peyton and manziel

I’ll never regret this move. Nope. never.


I could go on and on but frankly I am already getting depressed. I passed disillusioned years ago. Generations past were shocked when their “Hollywood Hunk” Rock Hudson got AIDS and finally admitted he was gay. Gasp. Really, that wasn’t obvious to anyone over 35? OK. I guess.

It’d be like if Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson came out of his WWF closet today, right? What? Too soon? Not that there’d be anything wrong with that.

peyton and the Rock

Wait. What?


Look. It seems it’s human nature to want to ascribe heroic and majestic qualities to our athletes and celebrities who seem to accomplish super-human feats on the field, the court or the screen. But every time we see behind the curtain, every time we see that the person does not quite fit the “brand” we are left once again with the words of “Sir Charles”-‘I ain’t no role model.’

How true. In God only is there perfection.

The rest of us are flawed from the get-go. It’s just tempting sometimes to believe otherwise.

But boy, what a sore loser that Cam Newton is huh? I always knew he was too good to be true.



37 thoughts on “Peyton Manning and the Truth About His Brand and Us.

  1. Amy G says:

    I am so sick of hearing about an athlete’s brand! I get it, it’s all about the brand and the gobs of cash these billionaires can make but I care about what they do on the field. That’s it. They aren’t my role model and my kids deserve better than anyone who’d sexually assault someone else. And then try and bully the accusers to protect his brand and cash cows.

  2. Jillian H says:

    It would be easy to say oh poor Peyton he made a mistake when he was young blah blah blah BUT the way he handled it, the way he went after the accuser, the way he tried to ruin her and the way he handled the HGH claims all strongly suggest that he is NOT the good guy he tries to portray. There’s a dark side to him that is ugly. And Cam is the one that gets criticized. Wow!

  3. Alisha F says:

    I am conflicted on this on as I completely agree that people put too much emphasis on athletes and celebrities and as you mention, they are put on pedestals. Living in Tennessee I have always been a Peyton Manning fan (despite my love of the Patriots). I was a little saddened to see these stories coming out about him, not because I put him on a pedestal so much but because he seemed to be one of the “good guys” or respectable guys. With all the bad coming out (murders, drugs, assaults, etc), I like to see some actual role models emerge.

  4. So true….when we were kids it was ‘tennis shoes’ not Chucks or Pumas….so much has changed. I think it’s a bit weird how Peyton kept saying he was going to drink a nice cold Budweiser after the game……but I suppose that is what our society has evolved into: one big brand….I think it’s a bit of a shame. For children mostly: they need to know the intrinsic value of things not just the external or monetary value of things. They need to do more charity work and see more disadvantaged kids so that that colors what they want to do in the world.

  5. Cal says:

    Personally, I don’t care about most sports or athletes. I may check out the scores (like I did this year) of the Superbowl, and if I have the chance I’ll actually watch at least the semi-final and final of the World Cup… apart from that I don’t really care to waste my time watching sports.
    It’s awful that we put other people on pedestals, no matter who they are…but we do. It’s actually good for us to look up to people, but we need to teach our children that “looking up to” someone doesn’t mean to idolize them, and doesn’t mean to pour their hearts and souls into them. It simply means take the good they do, such as the charity celebrities do, and ignore the hypo-criticism, such as the flagrant promoting of so-called “climate change” while flying around the world in private jets or telling everyone else to ride a bicycle while being chauffeured around in a limo or a fleet of bullet-proof SUV’s, advocating for gun control but won’t go anywhere without their armed private security.

    – Cal

    • cmdarden says:

      Sometimes I honestly feel like people are out to get anyone who has a little fame and fortune. I think sometimes there are so many allegations that seem fabricated and unrealistic that I find myself watching ESPN or the news or whatever and I’m like now do I really think this happened or is some trying to get some athlete’s money. Now, I ma not saying that all athletes are perfect or that no one ever does anything wrong because yes, I do believe a lot of them do wrong. But, its like really how do we know if all of these allegations are true in any way? However, that goes right along with we do not really know these people, these athletes or movie stars. We know the part of them that they want us to know and nothing else.

  6. Marsha M says:

    Cam Newton should have sat through the interview. Now he will be remembered for his inability to handle losing the super bowl. I agree no one is without flaws and should be placed on a pedestal. I must admit until I read this blog, I was not aware of Peyton Manning’s past. Forgive me, I am not a true sports fan and I dare not think they are perfect. Florida State paid out a settlement to Jameis Winston’s accuser. The cost to protect their brand is astounding. I am sure this will not be the last settlement in the years to come.

    • lexislloyd says:

      I agree that Cam Newton should have done the interview. Of course no one wants to be bothered after a devastating loss, however, he could have just answered a few questions and politely excused himself to leave. I think it shows your character. A lot of kids look up to athletes and Cam Newton is a role model to some people. I think it is important that he presents himself as a man with a good character and strong integrity. He really fell short that day. Being a former athlete, it is very difficult to discuss a loss especially when it is the championship game. However, it is more important to show a positive character. Johnny Manziel was another great example of someone that lacked a good character. He made some poor decisions that truly hurt his career. He could have had a promising football career coming out of college. I like how this blog discussed the importance of brand. As the article stated, Peyton Manning clearly has a brand of himself. He puts his name and face on different products. A lot of people like Manning because of his character and that helps with his advertisements. People may want to buy the products he endorses due to his reputation. It is all about how one carries themselves. Setting a positive example is the most important thing to do especially when millions of people are tuned in watching. I think this blog made some very interesting points. I also like how you discussed Jameis Winston. Here’s another amazing talented athlete that is accused of rape allegations. The case seemed to go under the rug for a bit, but it definitely tarnished his reputation. It is definitely costly to protect a brand that’s for sure!

      • I myself have never played a day of collegiate sports, but by having 5 older brothers and a boyfriend whom plays for VSU, I can say when they lose any important game their emotions are so high. Knowing the amount of passion and emotion that is attached to each game they play and the loses they may suffer, they are liable to say anything after they have shed a few tears or so. Oh and let it be a championship or finale they have worked extremely hard for its over in that time.

        So I can understand where Cam was coming from and why he may not of done the post interview his mind wasn’t within that moment to discuss how he felt about the devastating lost. His emotions were probably all over the place. I can say being raised within an African American home my brothers were not allowed to be emotional or show it. The only time it was okay to cry was after a sports related lost and even then they did this behind closed doors; but cry from anything other than the frustration of losing was out of the question. And if they did cry they did it where only me or my mom could see and it was very brief. Anger was also an acceptable emotion if used in a constructed manner, or at times they can have a moment to vent but again only for understandable reasons.
        I can only imagine how he was feeling and we already know how media and reports in the post games hold no bars and come for you like your chopped liver. He probably was in no place to deal with it and was mainly embarrassed and ashamed of not winning. Who knows for certain.
        I’m not saying he is right, but I am not saying he is wrong either. He is a young player with time to learn how to deal with such incidents with better grace. Hell hes human just like anyone else’s Son. But I did find it funny how he was slammed so badly by the media and fans for not wanting to talk and not being a good role model to their children.
        Lol first we as a society need to stop looking to Athletes and Actors to inspire our children but to actual people of esteem as Activist, Surgeons, Inventors, people actually effecting the dynamics of everyday life. Not those who are ding what you do in your backyard for free, for millions of dollars. Please people take a chill pill. Their are children dying in War everyday and going Hungry. So let the upset privileged athletes have their temper tantrum in PEACE! Cause we all know if he would have got onto that stage and said what most of us was thinking the Game was rigged from the beginning to give Peyton his last victory before retiring he would be more than just a lack of a role model to little children everywhere. Have you all seen the ESPEN documentary the “Book of Manning” these folks are Gods/Legends to the world of Football and by this article they will do anything to keep it that way.

  7. Viv B says:

    I have had it up to here with all things Manning. This guy needs to retire and try to keep his junk to himself from now on.

  8. Missy T says:

    I miss the days when players played the game and did not care about their Brand!

  9. Dylan G says:

    With all the sudden Peyton Manning drama, I can see how tough it is for parents to shield their children from the realities of the sports “superhumans” that they look up to. He seemed to be the one “good guy” out there. Just goes to show that the Manning “brand” was not as invincible as we all had come to believe. I can remember as a child how I admired a great Atlanta Braves player, Otis Nixon. Unfortunately, I now view him as a drug addict who couldn’t control his demons. This is not who I want my children to admire. But, I also see all sports figures who have negativity around them as a teaching example on what not to do if success is found. Just because they are successful sports figures, that does not mean that they should be idolized by anyone. They are simply humans who happen to extremely gifted athletically. This typically seems to leave them a little short on the brains side though. I know that doesn’t apply to all athletes, but a generalization that I have come to from years of following sports. Charles Barkley made a factual statement that will ring true for years to come. The drama will not stop with Peyton, and individuals “brands” will continue to get crushed by allegations and wrongdoings as long as professional sports exist. Celebrities and sports figures are in no way who we need to be striving to emulate. Unless it is Tim Tebow, because well, he is Tim Tebow. His “brand” comes with a glowing halo over it.

  10. Emily L says:

    It’s easy for one to place individuals that citizens idolize on a pedestal. To me, it is their responsibility as people that other’s want to emulate to be the best version of themselves as possible. Just as law enforcement is held to a higher standard, why should people that are idolized be held to the same? As for Cam Newton, I don’t care what the press said, he should have finished the interview as the professional he is. As an NFL player, he should be able to take the heat of competition rather than throwing a tantrum as a child would.

  11. E Griffin says:

    Athletes as role models is a complex concept to me. I personally never (nor would I ever) idolized any athlete outside of what he did on the court/field. Hollywood “stars” would fall in the same category to me. That one Charles Barkley quote that you mentioned is one of few I happen to agree with. The fact of the matter is no matter how close we might feel to athletes and actors, in all actuality we don’t know those people outside of the public image that they portray.

    Moving on to the scandals. Often times either celebrities are either not held accountable for their actions, or either they’re held to unreasonable or more harsh standards than the norm. There is often times no in between. For example, the OJ Simpson murder case OJ wasn’t really held accountable for his (alleged) actions. Then you have a Michael Vick case where I believe he was held to more harsh standards based on his celebrity status. It that right it is a double edged sword.

    Lastly, this whole “brand” mentality is sweeping the nation. I imagine its sweeping the world or will be. Individuals can definitely be brands. I’m not against the notion of that. If you consider yourself a brand you must present yourself as a brand. Being (or considering yourself) a brand doesn’t require you to be a role model. Athletes and actors are highly scrutinized and sometimes place on a microscope to the public. If one picks a career going down either of those paths they must be mindful of the scrutiny that comes with such.

  12. Chris R says:

    I don’t really follow platelets or their “brand” despite being a football fan. There is a saying, “Never meet your heroes.” It is probably best not to dig too much into their past either. I am in disagreement with the seemingly lack of consequence which an athlete seems to garnish after a number of wins for any team. This counts for both college and professional. The sport of football has become such a revenue stream that they can finance player discrepancies away. This makes for a conflicting image of cheering for the player, but not necessarily the person. Many times the two cannot be separated and people idolize the “brand” over the actions. As I do not keep us with sports outside of pro football, I cannot say if this is the same across the board in sports. Scandals do seem to crop up everywhere though. Lance Armstrong and Tiger Woods are other examples that come to mind. Overall, I would say that it is important for the NFL to encourage consequences and people to be aware of actions if they are going to invest in idolizing anyone.

  13. Dustin H. says:

    There is way too much attention paid to these athletes, the people of Hollywood and their “brands”. It does not come as a surprise that many of them have issues, as I view them as just a microcosm or a slice of the general population. It also seems there is even a fully functional business in keeping their secrets.
    The most disturbing thing to me is the obvious crimes these people commit, yet they somehow get away with it because of their “status”.

  14. Holiday says:

    Peyton Manning is a product of the NFL needing one of the best players to have a clean brand. Archie, Eli, and even the brother who nobody remembers his name, is a brand of the great Manning family. Tom Brady can’t really be the brand due to constant battles with the league and constant battles between the league and his team. Brady has kids outside of his marriage, and seems to have a lifestyle that the league may not be all the way behind. Manning was the epitome of what the league wanted out of its QB position. He won, made family friendly commercials, perfect NFL family, and no on or off the field incident. People probably knew what was going on but decided to keep their mouths shut. Marshawn Lynch has been a better player than Peyton manning the last 3 years and won as many Superbowls, but the league does not lift him to the same standard that they lift Peyton manning up to. The fact is some Brands carry more weight than others, Peyton is a prime example.

  15. David Pittsenberger says:

    “Look. It seems it’s human nature to want to ascribe heroic and majestic qualities to our athletes and celebrities who seem to accomplish super-human feats on the field, the court or the screen.” This, 100%, this. They’re just people. Yes, maybe athletically gifted, but no different than the rest of us with flaws. In fact, some of them have been talked up to their own lives like they are the greatest thing ever that they have developed no humility. Lebron James, I’m looking at you. Even our legendary individuals from the past had flaws, look at the story of King Arthur. Or Oedipus. Or Odysseus. Even Gilgamesh, the star of our first epic. The list goes on. Say it ain’t so, Joe, say it ain’t so.

  16. Dave B says:

    One thing that stands out to me in all this is that I am extremely thankful I was not under such an intense public microscope when I was in college as athletes are today. In the social media driven world we live in, mob style outrage spreads like a wildfire blowing through a gasoline soaked forest in the middle of a drought. When opinions spread much more rapidly than it takes for proper investigations to be conducted and facts to be gathered, the opinions of much of the general public are often shaped on grounds less solid than the ashes of the image of the person they just destroyed. This is not to say that athletes and other public figures that we tend to idolize are not responsible for their share of the scrutiny. Because these athletes are adored by so many, we often forget how young and immature they really are. Research has shown that the human brain does not completely develop until someone is 26, long after many of these athletes have already spent years in the bright lights of the public spotlight. By the time they are 30, an age many consider completely “grown up,” many professional athletes are often in the twighlight of their career.

    Whether or not you whole heartedly believe Dr. Naughright or Peyton’s version of what happened that day in the training room involving the 19 year old Peyton Manning, the fact of the matter is the general public will probably never know exactly what happened. There are two versions of every story and a different version of reality for both people involved. However, it is very interesting that this story re-emerges after 20 years during a time when Peyton Manning is already dominating headlines having just won the Super Bowl in perhaps his final NFL season. A story like this at a time such as this is pretty much guaranteed to receive more media coverage than it likely could have at any other time. A story like this adds even more fuel to the hype machine. The social media mob rolls through everyone’s timeline and causes people choose sides, demanding they either defend “The Sheriff” or cry out in outrage over the in-justice.

    Even the latest news article, which brought this Peyton issue back into public light 20 years after the incident allegedly occurred, claimed that the media did not cover this incident and helped sweep it under the rug. Cue the conspiracy theorists. This claim certainly ignites strong opinions, but is it really an objective observation or does it simply fit the narrative of his article better? Just because this happened before social media and internet news sources existed, does not mean it was not covered.

    I listened to an interview with Chris Lowe of ESPN who was a journalist in Knoxville during this time. He strongly disagreed with the statement that the incident was not widely covered. In fact, he said it was one of the biggest story lines of his career at the paper and drew huge crowds of reporters from every news paper in Tennessee as well as national media. However, because this journalist for ESPN that wrote the most recent story was in grade school during the time this was happening and couldn’t find new stories online about it (because people still read news papers at this point and many newspapers didn’t even have online news articles at the time) it fit his narrative much better and would cause stronger opinions if he claimed that the story was swept under the rug to protect Peyton’s squeaky clean image at the time. Perhaps his motivation was pure and he really did think this was not widely covered. However, to say that the story is resurfacing now after having already been widely covered is somewhat boring sounding article. The other narrative that says the media at the time covered-up Peyton’s transgressions so he could play is much more interesting to readers and is sure to drive traffic to ESPN, which means advertisement money for the network and notoriety for the reporter. There is not only added pressure on athletes during this age of social media. There is also added pressure on journalists to maintain objectivity and integrity when sensational, juicy stories receive so much publicity and mouse clicks translate to advertising dollars.

    The thing about public figures is that they get a ton of attention both positive and negative. This attention can certainly lead to entitlement for young athletes and, in turn, can lead to decisions that are sometimes youthful and dumb, while other times downright disturbing and criminal. However, it can also lead to people taking advantage of their image, fame, power, and money that some feel they may or may not deserve. In a world that is growing increasingly divided, it seems that the public has pressure to formulate an opinion on one extreme or the other. However, it is important for the general public to take a step back and examine the entire issue, not just their knee jerk reaction to something they read on Facebook that was sandwiched between their friend’s pictures of their vacation and an article entitled “Top 10 Ways You know Are a 90’s Baby.” What sets humans apart from all other creatures is our intellect and ability to reason. When we just mindlessly dive into the bright light of the sweeping social media wildfire, we are moving into dangerous and sometimes destructive territory.

  17. KFitz says:

    Let me say first that I don’t advocate anything Peyton or others have done to hurt or offend others. Despicable behavior is despicable behavior regardless of your name or brand or bank account. I’m a firm believer in the power of media. Fifty years ago we wouldn’t have heard these stories. Now the media builds people up just waiting for the opportunity to tear them down. The media LOVES scandal and the ability to publicly document a ‘hero’s’ fall from grace (tumbling from the pedestal they helped install). I despise most media outlets, preferring to watch the BBC if I want straightforward news about what’s going on in the U.S. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend a movie entitled ‘Wag the Dog.’ Excellent satire that makes you think!

  18. John F says:

    The main issue with deciphering all of these allegations is the absurd amount of allegations that there are against all celebrities, both big and small. I truly believe that as an athlete there are people out to get you just because you have fame and fortune. By no means am I saying that some of them are not true, but there are exponentially more false stories than there are true stories. Often times when you see these celebrities and athletes settle out of court they do it not because they are necessarily guilty, but because they do not want to have that on their record or either they do not want to go to court and risk losing the case due to a jury and then have it on them for the rest of their life, not to mention the millions that they would have to dish out.

  19. Kelsey G says:

    This article goes to show that everyone is human and will make mistakes at one time or another. Though I am not justifying any of the actions that have taken place it just shows that the “common” citizen is not the only person with issues. I am not sure why so many people made such a big deal about Cam being upset about losing his first super bowl game. I think anyone who was playing on that level for the first time would have been very upset with the amount of pressure he had on his shoulders. He did not make any loud outburst or act radically he was just very upset as anyone would have been. As far as Peyton is appearing his brand has been tarnished or targeted for a while now. though many people may not want to think about that side of him when they are thinking of him because it makes him look bad but that does not go away. Sometimes it looks as if if you have a large amount of money then you can just hush a certain person up to make it go away.

  20. tara c says:

    As far as Peyton Manning’s actions in college, who is to say it was not a prank that was done, bad prank yeah, but he also made a binding contract to never speak about it and he did, stupidity at its best. Everything that celebrities do is always scrutinized, good or bad. However, there are so many good things celebrities do that never go noticed. For example (and this is something that I do have first-hand knowledge on and know the family personally) Cleveland Brown’s new quarterback Robert Griffin III went and spent the day with an unexpected young girl with Cystic Fibrosis and who spends a majority of her time in the hospital. RGIII showed up at the family’s front door one morning just to spend time with the young girl and her family. He told them he was not posting or commenting on this on any of his social media sites because he was doing this for her not for publicity. However, her father did share the story to show that people do still do things for others without anything in return. There are many celebrities that do take advantage of their status and love flaunting everything they do and have. I personally do not follow any celebrities, but so many people do. The “power” that some of these people have seems like they push their limits to see how much they can get away with. College football programs seem to be the worst here lately, covering scandals and paying people off. My fiancé and I USED to watch FSU football until the Jameis Winston debacle after the school paid off the scandal we lost total respect for the FSU brand. Society loves scandal and the media exploits those.

  21. Laura says:

    It’s hard to be mindful of athletes human-nature side. We do put them on a pedestal for their athletic abilities, but it’s a shame that more do not realize that they are a role-model to millions of children and adults. I wish more would take their “brand” seriously. Their actions are no different than mainstream American’s; however, their actions make for good headlines which leads to increased ratings. Having attended UT, that was a shocking story to read. Unfortunately,at the end of the day it’s all about the money.

  22. rlgrblog says:

    Its crazy! How brands will stand behind wrong. But, I guess the saying rings true, “Money talks and the rest walks”. I think back to high school and how it starts there for the standout athletes. Coaches work hard to convince teachers to pass athletes on to the next grade knowing that its only hindering the students. The coaches have one goal on their mind and its scholarships and D1 schools. So, its not surprising at all how far brands will go to protect the players who help bring in the money.

  23. Kershawnda J. says:

    Americans value the wrong things. Success should not be tied to money, rings or national championships. We have given certain people an exemption because of what they can do not who they truly are. If we are honest with ourselves, we have created these monsters. We fed their egos from a very early age. We have allowed their negative behaviors to go unpunished because we believe that their natural talent is the only way for them to be successful. We create these little gods because we want to believe that at least one of us can reach some perfection. We allow our schools and universities to make money off their talents while they do nothing to develop their minds. In return, we want them to take on the role as a role model because of their gifts and not because of their value system.

  24. jkhamman says:

    I love football and try to follow it as mush as possible. I never knew about any of Peyton Manning problems at Tennessee university. They did a good job at keeping his misconducts quiet to the public. If this happen today he would of not been able to be the face of multiple franchises. He has made millions from endorsements that would of not been willing to allow him to promote there product.

  25. T Leggett says:

    It’s so unfortunate that these individuals are human with those oh some human failings of imperfection! However, darn it, as an avid NFL junkie I had created a team of the best players and Peyton Manning is my quarterback, Marshall Faulk is my running back, Michael Irvin is my wide receiver and the 85 Bears is my defense. So, I never in a million years could have conjured up such allegations i.e., sexual assault, banned substances, and who knows what else in relation to Peyton Manning…maybe others. But I’m a realist – I know that I can’t just place people on the role-model pedestal without the possibility of being disillusioned. And yet I do it every time. And then I cheer when the endorsements roll in because they’re my football hero’s. Now, here I sit side-eyeing Peyton Manning – the travesty – all while still seeing the endorsements continue. I like Michael Irvin and he by no means is perfect, has experienced numerous trials and tribulations and hopefully is a better person (emotionally and spiritually), family man, friend… because of those life situations….so I’ll take this with a grain of salt. Well at least Cam Jerrell Newton has at least acknowledged that he wishes he had handled the Super Bowl presser differently so now I can quit side-eyeing him! As an Atlanta Falcon fan – it’s been hard to like him and yet I do!

  26. Mary says:

    Athletics are a major revenue generator for academic institutions, and sadly, It’s no wonder that many of these events were covered up at the college level. In our current environment, however, more and more of these situations are coming to light as with professional sports. Everyone deserves a “mulligan” but being involved in athletics in college is a privilege and such bad behavior should not be tolerated. Same is true on a professional level. As professional athletes, privileged to be paid very well for a dream career, these individuals need to get their priorities straight and join the real world.

  27. T. Hogan says:

    The world of college athletics is wild and interesting. It’s a billion dollar business/entity with increasing profit which pay employees (student athletes) very little compared to the billions they generate. UCLA just signed the largest shoe and apparel deal in the history of the NCAA, valued at roughly 280 million dollars with Under Armour. So the business of college athletics is much greater with coaches and athletic directors earning millions of dollars including the fame and notoriety, people will go to drastic measures to protect themselves.

    We have seen athletes get in trouble before and they will continue to get into trouble, but the degree to which universities are going to cover up some of these incidents are mind blowing. The Baylor University latest incident is another prime example. Not only has it been continuous allegations of sexual misconduct and cover up by the athletic department, no one until recently was held responsible. Sexual misconduct towards women is not an isolated campus problem; we have seen rape kits go untested for years and investigations lingering for months. A recent report stated it will take almost two years to complete the Tennessee Title IX investigation, which includes the claims against Peyton. Who knows what the investigation will uncover, but its safe to say more need to be done about sexual misconduct on college campuses starting with the athletic departments and also the student body.

  28. richard welch says:

    Celebrities, sports or otherwise always complain about the lack of privacy and being in the public eye. You only have to watch TMZ to know how popular celebrity gossip is. At the same time it is amazing how much of their lives they can conceal. What’s even more amazing is that they think those secrets will never see the light of day. Probably very few are not exposed at some point hence, Bill Cosby being accused more than twenty years later. Celebrities are only people; good, bad, poor decision makers or saints. Celebrities are also held to a different standard since they are in the public eye and held as role models. While Peyton is “branded” and is the spokesperson for multiple brands, he could lose that all in an instant depending on public opinion and if he being the spokesperson for a particular company will end up losing them money. You only have to look at how fast Subway pulled Jared once he was found to have an interest in internet child pornography. The public overlooks many sins in its celebrities, perhaps because we realize that they are indeed human. However, the public will only tolerate so much. So, for all the branding that we push on those in the public eye, we will pull the rug out from under them just as quickly.

  29. Angel Maxwell says:

    Pure consumerism I tell ya! I think its important that we look to move our future in a different direction in providing role models to our children. This shows you a number of different things: what money can do for you when you’re from a more “well off” family, how promoting ones “athletic brand” encounters several ethical dilemmas, and lastly the blatant disrespect for women that still surrounds us. I am a strong advocate that we provide our sons and daughter role models from our communities rather than what they see on television.

  30. kade bell says:

    The sports world is a business and the media can spend a story however they want to. But these days its all about the brand and how much money it can make. In peyton manning defense, everyone is human and makes mistakes. Met him as a person and is a real laid back cool guy who cares so much about football. Its sometimes hard to sell stories when someones brand is so strong and also get attacked because of their brand. I think people should be able to look up to certain athletes. They are successful people and sometimes grew up in the same shoes you did.

  31. Gabe Frisbie says:

    This story makes me wonder why it became a story almost twenty-years later. Good points about the brand and why he is making so much money with Papa Johns and the insurance company. Sir Charles is right as most superstars are not so appealing in their personal life. Sadly we do however live in a society that glorifies professional athletes and lets them off when they are wrong and in turn never punished. Peyton Manning’s settlement joins hundreds of other professional athletes who used their money to negate any legal problems.

  32. Bettina Durant says:

    I love sports. On Sundays I am typically shouting “GEAUX SAINTS” even when they are not playing. However, as much I love sports and respect those who sacrifice their bodies for boat loads of money and fans like me, I do not place athletes (or celebrities) on a pedestal. I like to call it “playing the human card”. I think far too many put athletes and celebrities on pedestals when they are in fact human and make the same mistakes (or not mistakes) that humans do. It’s almost as if we hold them too responsible and our world collapses at the first sign of trouble.

    I know, I know, I know… To whom much is given much is required. And, yes it would be nice if public figures would want to have inspiring public images. But, this is real life. The last time I shopped for apples there were bad apples, apples with bites, stemless apples, and malformed apples. In other words, there are no perfect athletes (or celebrities).

    My closing views are twofold: I think we are too let down when we learn the “things” such as the “things” shared in the blog. I also think we like to make “things” go away for those we hold in such high esteem because we don’t want them to be be in the “just like us humans” category.

  33. Daniel T says:

    As American’s, we always look for a role model growing up. In my friend group, we always turned to athletes for inspiration. Whether it was idolizing Peyton Manning on the gridiron, Michael Jordan at the park or Derek Jeter on the diamond, kids looked to these guys as above everybody else. These guys were supposed to be the perfect human beings, never making mistakes. Growing up, I learned that everybody is a person and will eventually make mistakes. I think people are quick to forgive athletes and celebrities more than if they were “normal” people. We must try to keep everybody on the same playing field.

  34. lydia h says:

    I wasn’t aware of the past of Mr. Manning, but I can’t say I am surprised. Personally, I have never looked up to any athletes besides the simple fact that they were good and fun to watch. As a long time Broncos fan, I loved to watch him play. The recent scandal I was keeping up with Tristan Thompson and Khloe Kardashian. You should know better than to mess around when the world is watching your every move. I am happy as a regular person, less people in my business.

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