Former Teammate Happy for Manning

By: Kim Bedford
By: Kim Bedford

Knoxville (WVLT) -- Imagine being a guest in the home of one of Peyton Manning's former teammates during the biggest game of his live.
Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford got that chance Sunday night as she joined Former UT kicker Jeff Hall and his friends for Super Bowl XLI.

"Peyton and I were in the same recruiting class in 1994," said hall who holds many memories with Peyton Manning on UT's turf. "I can remember watching him throw for the first time, and I was thinking man this guy is incredible. I just remember how efficient he was and how much he used his entire body to throw."

That was almost 13 years ago, and since then Manning has journeyed from throwing touchdowns at Neyland Stadium to throwing touchdowns in most NFL Stadiums including Miami's where on Sunday night he hooked up with wide receiver Reggie Wayne in the sports biggest game.

But for most of the game, Hall and his friends who watched the game with him we very much on edge.

"Pouring down rain, fumble after fumble and then for him come back and win the game was really outstanding," said an excited Zafer Roback.

David Burnette, agreed that for most of the game nothing was certain.

"It was kind of nerve racking," he said, "until the last 5 minutes when you actually felt like it was put away."

And Peyton's Colts did put it away, beating the Chicago Bears 29 to 17 and accomplishing a feat that many doubted Manning could ever accomplish, winning a high pressure game. Fans of the man who use to dawn the Orange and White number 16 jersey agreed that Sunday night was Manning's time to prove himself, and he did just that.

"Everybody was saying this and that about Peyton," Roback said, "but I think he's deserved it more than anybody and I'm glad to see him win and finally prove to everybody that he is the man."

As for Hall, a member of the exclusive fraternity that can call Manning a former teammate, Manning finally did what has been nine years in the making.

"I'm really excited for Peyton," the former Vol said, "he finally won the big game."

Thousands of East Tennesseans became de facto Indianapolis colts fans Sunday evening, and all now look forward to seeing what Peyton will do next year.


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