While this week has seen speculation about Denver Broncos signal-caller Peyton Manning being potentially traded to the Houston Texans this offseason, this same time frame has also seen Manning behave as the class act he is.
Tuesday, per a report from ESPN.com, the future Hall of Fame quarterback sent a birthday gift to a lifelong fan who passed away earlier this year.
Initially reported by WFIE-TV, Channel 14 in Evansville, Ind., 15-year-old Logan Brown, also of Evansville, was killed in March in a head-on collision with another car driven by a man who had four times the legal blood alcohol content that is required by Indiana State law.
Brown's grandmother, Gayle Ricketts, later wrote to Manning to share her grandson's story, as he was a lifelong fan of his.
Tuesday would have been Brown's 16th birthday and it saw a package come from Manning, which contained a handwritten letter and an autographed photo of Manning, including his authentic signature and a statement “In Memory of Logan Brown.”
Ricketts later told WFIE she was astounded at the gesture and impressed that Manning and the Broncos answered her.
Previously, Brown's parents had taken him to an Indianapolis Colts game when he was younger and were planning a trip to see Manning play for the Broncos, before the incident occurred.
Now, I have always admired Manning because of gestures like this— he does the classy thing just because it's the right thing to do.
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I know that as a pragmatic, responsible journalist I am not supposed to pour adulation upon athletes but you cannot help but tip your hat to Manning for the dignified way in which he reps the Denver Broncos organization.
We have seen in the Broncos recent history that trade speculation caused current Chicago Bears signal- caller Jay Cutler to cut himself off from owner Pat Bowlen and the community of Denver. Thus, Broncos fans and management alike should consider themselves fortunate that the same cannot be said for Manning.
Rather, he will likely continue in these types of practices and shut out his detractors, while focusing on doing his best to hoist the Lombardi Trophy this upcoming February. Even if he doesn't, he's already a world-class champion with his conduct and character, as well as in point of fact.