“I didn’t want my fans to think I did anything else besides football,” said Manning. “I just wanted them to think that’s all I did … And to some degree, it was a little true.”
Two years after retirement, he has all but shed that mindset, singing along to Olivia Rodrigo’s Gen Z anthem “goed 4 u” in a raucous post-season ad campaign for Frito-Lay and PepsiCo with other larger-than-life NFL figures, including Terry Bradshaw, and enjoying the popularity of the “ManningCast” show he launched last year on ESPN2 with his brother Peyton.
“I definitely had a different side of me that my team mates knew,” hy het gesê. “They kind of saw me get to relax or I could let my hair down a little bit.
“En so, ja, I think now it’s kind of all that – I don’t have to hide something… you’re just kind of a little bit more relaxed and willing to kind of put yourself out there a little bit more.”
Manning predicts more success for MVP candidate Aaron Rodgers this post-season, with the quarterback’s Green Bay Packers getting a week’s rest courtesy of a first-round bye.
“I just don’t know who’s going to go into Green Bay and beat them at home,” said Manning, who sees the Tennessee Titans taking the AFC.
“I feel like even though they (Verpakkers) are the number one seed, they’re still an underdog. No one’s really giving them a chance and I think they like that,” said Manning.
“They’re not blowing guys out, but they find ways to win. And I think just having that quality is a great thing to have in the playoffs.”