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After Tom Brady Unretired From The NFL, Peyton Manning Shared Jokingly Salty Response That I'm 100% Here For

When Tom Brady decided to return to the Tampa Bay Bucaneers for another NFL season — after realizing the pain of sitting at home on Super Bowl Sunday — plenty of people surely saw it as fantastic news. Bucs fans saw their lives flash before their eyes, and Gisele Bündchen celebrated. Lovers of the game relished the opportunity to see the GOAT one more time, and many on Twitter had jokes that were as celebratory as they were trolling. (Brady is no stranger to trolls, let's be honest.) However, others weren’t so thrilled with Brady's quick backtracking, and I’m not just talking about everyone else in the NFC South. Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning offered a pretty salty response with tongue planted firmly in cheek, and it’s absolute gold.

Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, after all, factor into one of sports’ greatest rivalries. The quarterbacks were constantly compared to and measured against each other on the field, but off of it, there was seemingly nothing but respect. That’s what made it hilarious when the former Denver Broncos leader revealed the gifts he’d given Brady upon his retirement (opens in new tab) — and then said he wanted them back! At a recent event hosted by The MINT Collective, Manning spoke about the “long,” two-page personal letter he’d penned to No. 12:

Mailed it to him, sent him a bottle of wine. And, you know, he unretired. I want the letter back. You got to read all these nice things, I want it back. I want the bottle of wine back, too.

The audience laughed loudly at Peyton Manning’s wonderfully petty statement, but let’s be real, the man isn’t wrong. If he filled up two hand-written pages with kind words, memories, praise for over two decades of athletic achievement — or even just two paragraphs — Manning did not intend for those things to be read, oh, in some random spot in the middle of Tom Brady’s career. 

I mean, you don’t tell deathbed secrets until somebody’s on their way out, right? This is the same principle. Peyton Manning’s feelings were being revealed to a former NFL quarterback, not current. It would be like getting elected president, learning all the big secrets and alien conspiracy plots and then packing up your bags to return home. It’s packing up the wedding gifts before leaving your betrothed at the altar! Check out Manning’s quip below: 

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Like I said before, though, it’s all respect between the quarterbacks — at least since Peyton Manning hung it up in 2016. While their respective teams never competed in the same division, they met up four times in the AFC Championship game (with Manning winning three of those times). But Tom Brady owns the bragging rights in overall head-to-head competition, having won 11 out of 17. 

Tom Brady also has more Super Bowl rings than Peyton Manning (or any other NFL player ever) with seven; Manning has two. However, of Brady’s three Super Bowl losses, two of them came at the hands of Peyton’s little brother, Eli Manning, and the New York Giants. So maybe Brady will hold onto that wine a little longer.

While we wait for Tom Brady’s return to Tampa Bay this fall, fans can also anticipate his titular role in the upcoming comedy 80 for Brady. Be sure to check out our 2022 TV schedule as well, to see what new and returning shows are premiering soon.

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.