When he takes the field on Super Bowl Sunday, the NFL star will break a few records

By Steve Helling
Updated February 06, 2016 12:15 PM
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Kevin Terrell/AP

When the Denver Broncos take the field on Sunday night for Super Bowl 50, they’ll be led by quarterback Peyton Manning.

It’ll be Manning’s fourth – and likely his last – Super Bowl appearance. The 39-year-old quarterback is flirting with retirement again this year. While it’s not the first time he has considered leaving the NFL, it seems possible that he’ll go out with a bang.

If you’re at a Super Bowl party on Sunday and need some talking points about the players, here are a few things you need to know about Manning.

1. He’s A Family Man

While he was an undergrad at the University of Tennessee, Manning met Ashley Thompson after her next door neighbor set them up. It was love at first sight and the couple married in 2001. Together, they have 4-year-old twins, Marshall and Mosley.

Ashley Manning is a businesswoman in her own right; she is part owner of the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies. (Fun fact: one of her co-owners is Justin Timberlake.)

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Manning says that his partnership with Ashley has made him a better man – and a better football player. When he considered retiring in 2011, she talked him out of it. “Ashley was the one that was saying, Peyton, you ve got to try. You ve got to try.’ Peyton told Sports Illustrated in 2013.

2. He’ll Be the Oldest Starting Quarterback in Super Bowl History

Manning was born on March 24, 1976. Yes, that means his 40th birthday is next month. In a youth-driven sport, he’s the elder statesman of the Denver Broncos.

Manning is the only player in Super Bowl 50 who played for the NFL in the 1990s. For perspective, the youngest player in Sunday’s game will be Devin Funchess, a 21-year-old wide receiver for the Carolina Panthers. When Manning entered the NFL, Funchess was a 4-year-old preschooler.

The previous record for oldest quarterback was John Elway, who won his last Super Bowl at age 38.

3. He’s a Record-Breaker

Manning is one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks, holding more than three dozen all-time records. He was the first quarterback to beat all 31 other teams. He holds the most career touchdown passes (539), a record previously held by Brett Favre.

4. Success Runs in the Family

His father, Archie Manning, was an NFL quarterback from 1971 to 1984, but the next generation found even more success. Peyton’s younger brother, Eli, has 2 Super Bowl rings of his own with the New York Giants.

But there’s a third Manning boy: oldest brother Cooper. He was a promising high school football player, but he was diagnosed with spinal stenosis, which ended his football career. He now owns an energy firm and moonlights as a sports broadcaster.

5. He’s Rich – Really Rich

You can’t be an NFL quarterback for 18 years without earning some serious bank, and Peyton has cleared more than $200 million since 1998 – not counting his lucrative endorsement deals.

He’s currently on the tail end of a 2-year, $34 million contract. And the money keeps coming in: if he wins Super Bowl 50, he’ll get a $2 million bonus.