Press Release: Peyton Manning Accepted to Cambridge University for 2016 Enrolment

Peyton Manning, holding Cambridge University Pythons American Football jersey


With the BUCS 2015/16 season having drawn to a close, Cambridge University Pythons American Football Club have already begun the building process for 2016/17. After months of discussions between an applicant, the University and Club, it is now possible to announce an exceptional addition to the playing roster for next year. University of Tennessee graduate Peyton Manning has been accepted to study an MBA at The Judge Business School in Cambridge and has confirmed his intention to play for the Pythons.

Coming from a well-known football family (both his father and his brother have enjoyed high-profile careers as professional players), Peyton Manning enjoyed a number of productive years playing quarterback, firstly for the University of Tennessee and then professionally for the Indianapolis Colts and latterly the Denver Broncos. His achievements playing professionally (including being part of two Super Bowl winning teams) are all the more impressive when one considers that he has balanced this with a very successful business career that has seen him build a name for himself in the competitive fields of the US advertising industry and pizza franchising.

His professional playing career coming to a natural close earlier this year, Manning is looking to focus more of his efforts on these businesses and believes a return to education will allow him to develop the skillset required to achieve such off the field success. Speaking with another former Bronco early last year, it was Jason Elam who planted the seed about Manning studying in the UK. “Jason spent a year studying at Oxford University after he retired from playing. When he mentioned how much he was enjoying taking some time away to study, to follow another of his passions, I started to think it could be a good fit for me when the opportunity came. He was really enjoying being in England, we chatted a few more times and then it all went from there!”

“Although I no longer get paid to play football, I still love the game and think that I should be able to acquit myself to playing in the UK league, despite how different I know the experience is going to be. At first I thought that I would apply to Oxford – my Dad and my brother both attended the University of Mississippi, which is in Oxford, Mississippi, so going to the other Oxford could have been cool! But then I did some research and realised that actually my final GPA from my degree was good enough to get me into the prestigious Cambridge programme.” With Elam having already been at Oxford (but unfortunately never making an appearance for the Oxford University Lancers), the Pythons certainly delighted he made the decision to become a Light Blue.

The management team at the Pythons are equally excited to have Manning on board for next season. Pythons Head Coach, Gary Villiers said “A player of Manning’s caliber will make an enormous contribution to the squad both in terms of experience and on game day itself.  Peyton should be a huge asset for us in the coming season. That said, no matter what level you are playing at, everyone has to prove themselves to make it as a starter and he won’t get any special treatment. Our returning quarterback, Akhi Mulay, will be back, so we should have an interesting pre-season training camp as they battle it out. Peyton may have the size, arm and two decades of top-level experience to draw upon, but Akhi has great technique, has worked with the players over the past few years knows how to get the best out of the team in our league.”

The 40 year old Manning has made one request of the Club and will wear the #18 jersey whilst playing with the Pythons, the same number he established himself with throughout his NFL playing career.

Manning will be a student of St John’s College and is very excited at becoming a Johnian. “The Colleges all provide a similar function in terms of accommodation, pastoral support and social connection, so I was advised to pick one I felt I’d happy spending time in. Although there were so many various options available I’m looking forward to getting there and seeing it all for real.”

So the prospect that we might start seeing swan pizzas available at Papa John’s soon – an ancient law means St. John’s fellows are the only people aside from the Royal Family legally allowed to eat this protected species – or the institution renamed to Papa John’s College – Murray Edwards College changed its title in 2008 – are certainly notable. However, what is already exciting students here is the thought of introducing Manning to defining aspects of British culture that often prove an utter mystery to our Stateside counters parts… having a ‘cheeky Nandos’ and ‘going on the lash’.