When the Browns almost traded for Jim Harbaugh, the soccer world narrowly missed a twice-a-year sibling battle that had met in the Super Bowl in early 2013. In early 2012, the soccer world nearly got two Manning bowls per year.
An excellent and detailed oral history of Peyton Manning’s free agency search for TheAthletic.com suggests that Manning really preferred Washington to Denver. However, the trade that positioned the team to select quarterback Robert Griffin III ended with that.
“I went to Mike Shanahan’s house and visited Mike and Kyle Shanahan, and we sat in his den and watched a movie,” said Manning. “Kyle reviewed his offense. I was really impressed with Kyle. “
They continued with the meeting even though the exchange had already been made.
“I think Peyton was disappointed,” former Washington coach Mike Shanahan said of the trade that finally gave Washington a chance to select Griffin. “Kyle and I were somewhat surprised that he still wanted to meet us. I remember talking to [Broncos G.M. John] Elway once not long ago, a few years ago. He said, ‘Mike, do you realize that Peyton, I think, was going to your house? I think I really wanted to go to your house more than to our house. I said, ‘Really? I did not know, I did not know it. And that came from John. I knew we were pretty close.
And so, the last four years of Peyton’s career would have included two battles per year with Eli and the Giants.
The article contains many more intriguing stories and nuggets, including the story of Harbaugh, the 49ers head coach, who asked Duke coach David Cutliffe’s wife for a peanut butter and jam sandwich. Harbaugh presumably consumed it with milk. Much milk.