Peyton Manning said he was humbled to receive a FedEx on Tuesday from Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton after Manning tied Tarkenton for third place all-time on the NFL touchdown pass list with 342 last Sunday against Seattle.
Manning shared the news of receiving the letter on Wednesday’s conference call with the Nashville media before his Indianapolis Colts play the winless Tennessee Titans on Sunday night.
“Boy, that meant as much to me as anything,” Manning said, “Just the fact that he would take time to share a few thoughts with me. He was congratulating me on tying his touchdowns. He took a lot of pride in throwing that many touchdowns, and that was very generous and thoughtful of him to do that. I’ve always had a real appreciation for the history of the game.”
Manning’s father Archie and Tarkenton were contemporaries in the NFL in the 1970s, and know each other well, according to Peyton.
“My dad has told me a lot of stories about Fran Tarkenton and just what kind of player he was, and how tough he was and calling his own plays. He was truly one of the kind of ultimate field generals out there,” Manning said. “I’m not very comfortable with kind of having my name mentioned next to his as far as statistics, but it is very humbling for me.”
Manning also touched on a number of other topics, including, playing nine holes of golf with quarterback Kerry Collins, punter Craig Hentrich and since-released quarterback Patrick Ramsey over the summer.
“I played nine holes with them. I’m losing my memory. I get hit in the head too much,” Manning said. “I want to say it was me and Ramsey against Collins and Hentrich, and I want to say that Ramsey and I kind of doubled down on No. 9 and got even.”
Collins remembered the round played at the Honors Course in Chattanooga.
“There was a lot of bad golf going on that day. I was in pretty good shape I think until nine, and then the wheels just kind of fell off,” Collins said.
And on the topic of no longer having to face Albert Haynesworth in the Tennessee defense twice, Manning said, “He was certainly a great player, and now Eli can have to deal with him twice a year now that he’s in the NFC East. He was certainly a great player. I certainly think they have excellent players on the defensive line even without him.”