When Peyton Manning is inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Sunday, he will be surrounded by many former teammates and coaches – and one notable star who falls into another category.
“Tom Brady comes in and sits in my department,” Manning said during Fox’s broadcast of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys preseason game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Dallas Cowboys in Canton, Ohio Thursday night before turning to humor.
“I’m not sure how my Colts teammates will handle this, but that means a lot that he takes the time.”
Brady, 44, is in the middle of his second training camp with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. While with the New England Patriots (2000-19), his rivalry with Manning produced some of the NFL’s most memorable games, mostly when Manning was with the Colts (1998-2011), but also when he retired from the Denver Broncos ( 2012-15).
In total, their teams have met 17 times, with Brady winning 11 of them. But Manning-led teams were 3-2 against Brady-led teams in the playoffs.
Brady’s first career win as a starter came on September 30, 2001 against Manning’s Colts. Part of what made the rivalry special was the frequency of matchups even though the teams were not in the same league, and also that the games were played at high stakes.
When Manning was elected to the Hall of Fame earlier this year, Brady remembered their rivalry.
“Peyton was someone I’ve only ever admired as a quarterback, as a team leader,” he said. “I always looked up to Peyton because he was a little older than me and always did things right. His team was always there. I know our teams had a rivalry, but when you went up against a Peyton-led player . ” Team, you competed against the best team in the league. It’s no real surprise that he’s a first-ballot hall of famer. “