'Hi Phil, it's Peyton Manning'

April, 12, 2012
4/12/12
4:02
PM ET
Even his biggest critics have to agree that the way Peyton Manning carries himself typically qualifies as classy.

Manning
Phil Wilson offers new evidence of that, with this blog post.

Wilson answered a call from a blocked number and found Manning on the other end. He was calling reporters he dealt with in Indianapolis to say thanks, and goodbye.

Writes Wilson:
I’ve always said Manning is the most clever athlete I’ve ever dealt with when it came to how to handle the media. And while his critics will suggest this was just a PR move, I’ll confess I initially thought I wouldn’t write anything about the call. I didn’t want anybody to think it was about me.

But when I told him that it was a privilege to watch him play and write about him all these years, I added that I respect his so many fans here in Indianapolis and always would, that I hear from them every day it seems, so many who will never accept that he’s gone.

As he expressed at his farewell presser last month, he said, “Tell the fans I appreciated them, too.”

I reasoned that if I was going to pass along that message to his fans, well, you have to write about the call.

I’m glad Wilson shared. Manning didn’t make the call as a PR move. He doesn’t need good PR right now. He’s still wrapping up his Indy goodbyes.

It’s cool to know what’s included in that.

Paul Kuharsky | email

ESPN Tennessee Titans reporter

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