Grantland writer and Red Sox enthusiast Bill Simmons just about named his child after Josh Beckett, something he said he was thankful didn't happen after this season. Plenty of other fans have cheered a hero in a moment of athletic dominance, then praised the player — or tried to pass on his powers — by writing that name on a birth certificate when their own child was born.
But the Denver mother who says she watched Peyton Manning play in college and just liked him as a person — never guessing that he would one day be famous — well, that's kind of a stretch.
Manning was good enough coming out of college that just about everyone knew he'd be a decent NFL quarterback, if not follow in the footsteps of his well-known father, Archie. But Kim Manning of Littleton, Colo., apparently didn't have Peyton marked very high on her scouting sheets when she and her husband, Mick, passed that name on to little Peyton in 1998.
Big Peyton — the sure Hall-of-Famer and now Denver quarterback — has been causing complications for little Peyton — now 14, in eighth grade and a hockey player who can't get his own Facebook page.
"I would have never named him Peyton if I knew [quarterback Peyton Manning] was going to be a legendary football player anywhere, let alone Denver," Kim Manning told the Denver Post. "We're not [starstruck]. I just thought it was a great name, and he was full of strength and character."
The Mannings named their son after Manning announced he would be staying at Tennessee for his senior year due to a promise he made to his mother.
Little Peyton loves having a famous quarterback with the same name, and he's made the most of it. He admires Manning personally and has his rookie card and posters. The younger Peyton's sport is hockey, not football — but he is the captain. The shared name does cause him some problems, though, like Facebook keeping him from setting up a page, due to people looking for that other Manning.
Fourteen-year-old Peyton said he would like to meet the elder Manning some day. Let's just hope his mom is there to tell Peyton Manning that she never imagined he would be famous.