Former NFL referee has unusual Peyton Manning story

Posted at 8:54 AM, May 22, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS -- Like many people in the NFL, former referee Butch Hannah has a story about former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. But Hannah's is a little different.

According to a story in the Times Free Press about Hannah's retirement, he told a story of a regrettable moment late in Manning's career.

Manning's Denver Broncos were playing against the Miami Dolphins in Denver in 2014, Manning's second-to-last year in the league. Late in the game, the Broncos had a 3-point lead, but Manning mistimed a snap and had to run one more play before the clock ran out.

This made Manning mad, and he said something "off-color" to Hannah, which, according to the former referee "was not at all like him." Hannah didn't repeat exactly what Manning said to him.

Hannah chastised Manning for his remark, saying "Peyton, you're better than that."

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A few weeks later, a FedEx package arrived to Hannah's door. Inside was a letter from Manning, apologizing for what he said. 

"Would I please accept his apology? That's the only time that's happened to me in all my years of officiating," Hannah said.

A few months later, Hannah was about to work at a preseason game between the Broncos and the Seahawks when he felt somebody around his shoulder - it's Manning. Manning asked Hannah if he received his letter.

"You have no idea how upset I was with myself," Manning told him.

Hannah said he's known Manning since they both were in the SEC in the mid-1990s, when Manning played for the University of Tennessee. 

"That's the kind of son Archie and Olivia raised," Hannah said. "Pretty impressive."