When Peyton Manning takes the field for Super Bowl on Feb. 7, his wife and biggest fan, Ashley Manning, will be there to cheer him on. Before the Denver Broncos quarterback plays the biggest game in his career, here are 5 things to know about the woman who has been with him from the start.
Peyton Manning, 39, may be the first person to tell you that he wouldn’t be going to the 2016 Super Bowl if it weren’t for his wife, Ashley Manning, 37. Ashley has been Peyton’s biggest supporter since he started playing professional football, so get to know more about the woman behind one of the greatest quarterbacks in the game.
1. She and Peyton started dating in college.
Long before she watched her husband defeat the New England Patriots and advance to Super Bowl 50, Ashley grew up in Memphis, Tennessee, according to Heavy.com. Ashley’s next-door-neighbor introduced her to Peyton, who was attending the University of Tennessee, and it was love at first sight!
2. Ashley and Peyton have twins together.
The couple was married on March 17, 2001 — St. Patrick’s Day. March is quite the lucky month for Peyton and Ashley, because on March 31, 2011, Ashley gave birth to twins — son Marshall Williams and daughter Mosley Thompson.
3. She was the one who talked Peyton out of retirement.
While playing for the Indianapolis Colts, Peyton underwent a series of neck surgeries, ultimately ending his 2011 season and his tenure as the Colt’s QB. Instead of hanging up his helmet, Ashley convinced Peyton to keep going. “Ashley was the one that was saying, ‘Peyton, you’ve got to try. You’ve got to try.'” Peyton told Sports Illustrated’s Peter King. “Once I did it, I was going at it, and then I started seeing a little bit of light there. So, yeah, she was the one who kind of pushed me through it.”
4. Ashley is a NBA team owner.
Ashley’s interests in sports aren’t limited to just football. In 2012, she joined a group that included Justin Timberlake, Penny Hardaway and former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. to become a minority owner of her hometown’s basketball team, the Memphis Grizzlies, according to the Denver Post.
5. She was in the center of a doping scandal involving her husband.
Peyton was accused by an Al Jazeera report of using illegal performance-enhancing drugs while he was playing for the Colts. Al Jazeera made allegations that Peyton had Human Growth Hormone was shipped to his house under Ashley’s name so there would be no trail connecting him to the Guyer Institute in Indianapolis. However, after the report came out, Ashley proved that she had a prescription for HGH, per Larry Brown Sports.
Do you think Peyton will raise the Lombardi Trophy in victory, HollywoodLifers? If he does, you know Ashley will be there by his side.