clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Peyton still talks to the poster boy for "Bust" QBs

Photo: CNNSI
MasterRWayne likes to make fun of a supposed conversation we once had back in 1998 where I claimed I wanted the Colts to draft Ryan Leaf instead of Peyton Manning. I have no recollection of every saying this. If I did, I assure you I was drunk, or high, or ill in some way, shape, or form.

Hard to believe that was all nine years ago. Today Peyton Manning is considered by many to be the greatest QB of his generation while Ryan Leaf is the poster boy for Draft Day Bust. Leaf is out of the NFL, coaching the 10-0 West Texas A&M University football team. He's also the golf coach. Life must be tough when you're teaching golf.

However, despite their different paths, Peyton and Ryan still talk on a regular basis:

Manning, however, has not forgotten [Ryan Leaf]. As he awaited opposing the Chargers on Sunday evening at Qualcomm Stadium, the Indianapolis quarterback disclosed yesterday that through telephone contacts and text messaging, he has maintained a relationship with the man against whom he was evaluated before he began his time in the NFL.
It's kind of cool that they've maintained contact, but I never felt sorry for Leaf's NFL career, or Leaf in general. I never pulled for him either. He was a lazy player who made a lot of money doing, essentially, nothing. He's now a millionaire teaching golf in Texas. Tough times, indeed.

One quote from the story is very humorous, and it's a story often repeated around here:

Not until the day before the draft did Manning become aware that the Colts would be selecting him. While he was taking a Hudson River cruise with some other draft-eligible athletes, Manning said Colts officials reached him and informed him he was going to be their guy.

The story is told that before the Indianapolis club reached this decision, Manning had informed the team's management group that if it did not select him, it would regret the decision.

Manning confirmed this story. Because Indianapolis is closer to his home in New Orleans than it is to San Diego, he said his preference was to pursue a career here rather than in Southern California.

"I said, 'If you take me, I would just as soon come here,' " Manning related. " 'If you don't, I'll kick your (rear end) for the next 15 years.' "

Yeah. Kinda glad they drafted that Manning dude.