On the eve of Super Bowl 50, as Peyton Manning prepares for what could be his final game, America might finally learn the truth about a mystery that has been swirling around the Broncos’ quarterback for months.
That’s right, Modern Philosophers, I’m talking about the link between the future Hall of Famer and Omaha.
Anyone who has ever watched a Broncos game has experienced two things for certain: seeing Peyton Manning in a commercial during a break in the action, and hearing Manning shout “Omaha!” at the top of his lungs before almost every play.
We all know why the Broncos signal caller appears in so many commercials, but we’ve never understood why he screams out the name of a city in Nebraska.
Now we might have our answer, and it’s partially courtesy of Peyton’s little brother.
In a recent interview, Eli Manning, quarterback for the New York Giants, was asked about Peyton’s obsession with Omaha.
The younger Manning refused to answer on air, but once the cameras stopped rolling, he was supposedly overheard mumbling, “Omaha was the name of his dog…”
Extensive research into the Manning Family, dating back to Peyton’s birth, did not reveal any mention of a dog named Omaha.
There was no way Super Bowl 50 could go on with this mystery unanswered.
This Modern Philosopher called an audible and went straight to the source.
Unfortunately, the Broncos’ Security Personnel would not let me anywhere near Peyton Manning. Apparently, a guy in a toga showing up at the team hotel at 3AM demanding to speak to the star player is considered a security risk.
That meant I had to settle for the next best thing.
I spoke to the ex-boyfriend of the sister of a former third great classmate of Eli Manning, who said that he had heard from his cousin, who used to date Peyton Manning’s high school lab partner, that Papa John’s best known pitchman once owned a dog.
“Omaha was a beagle,” my source, who refused to reveal his name, told me as we drank Snapple at an undisclosed location. “Peyton loved that dog more than anything.”
So what happened to Omaha?
“Peyton came home from school one day, and Omaha was gone,” my source continued. “He was probably about 8 or 9 at the time…”
I stopped the account to clarify if it was Omaha or Peyton who was 8 or 9 at the time.
“Peyton. Omaha was still just a puppy. Peyton came running into the house excited to see his dog, but Omaha wasn’t there. That was when his parents broke the devastating news. The vet had discovered that Omaha had a horrible allergy to house paint, so he was sent to live on a paint free farm in upstate New York.”
“He was understandably upset, and begged his parents to get rid of all the paint and put up wallpaper so Omaha could come home, but they refused. He was crushed by the fact that Omaha didn’t even want to say goodbye, but he still wrote letters to his beloved dog every week for years. Of course, they went unanswered.”
It’s all starting to make sense now, Modern Philosophers. I’ve lost a pet, and I know how hard it is to get over that.
Even decades later, Manning is still haunted by his loss. Clearly, the only way he can deal with it is to call out to his beagle before almost every snap.
Perhaps he hopes that one day Omaha will magically come bolting out of the tunnel, charge across the field, and jump into his arms.
Or maybe he just wants to honor his dog’s memory by dedicating pretty much every play to his memory.
At least not yet.
We can only hope that if the Broncos win Super Bowl 50, Manning will finally want to unburden his soul and tells us about Omaha.
Maybe that beagle will be watching the Super Bowl and telling all the other dogs on the farm about how much fun he used to have with his old master.
Or perhaps we will simply never know the truth…
We might not know the secret behind Omaha, but we do know the secret to following me on Pinterest. Just click on the link below…