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Manning's Gameday Carpool

Posted Jan 16, 2014

For the past two seasons, Peyton Manning, Eric Decker and Jacob Tamme have made a tradition of carpooling to the stadium on game days.

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- On game days, players often fall into routines or maintain superstitions.

It could be the same pregame meal. It could be jogging a few laps around the field. It could be listening to the same song just before heading through the tunnel.

For quarterback Peyton Manning, it's all about the transportation.

"Me and (Eric) Decker and (Jacob) Tamme carpool together -- drive from the hotel to the stadium," he said. "We've done that for the past two years."

So who drives?

"Peyton. He drives," Tamme said, noting that of course they ride in a Buick. "Yeah, we call Archie 'Papa Bear' and stuff on the way to the game. Orange cone, reroute."

The tight end laughed at the fact that he typically gets to sit in the front while Decker sits in the back seat.

"It's like a seniority thing or something," he said.

Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas was jokingly asked Thursday why he can't be part of the carpool.

"I don't know. I think they're at the hotel most of the time, that's why they ride together," he smiled. "But I go home, change clothes and then I go to the game. I go home, sit down, look over some more plays and film and that's about it."

Those gameday traditions can help players feel more comfortable when it comes to kickoff, especially when the game has as much on the line as Sunday's AFC title showdown.

"I think everybody kind of settles into some kind of routine," Manning said. "We feel fortunate to be playing still during this time and you realize you’re driving down on Sunday (to one of) two games being played, so you feel fortunate. That’s kind of part of our routine.”

Tamme said it's the little things like the ride to the stadium that help make the season memorable.

“We ride together every game and get a chance to talk a little bit and get ready for what we’re about to embark on. It’s a pretty special thing," he said. "We’ve been blessed to get to where we’re at now, and we’ve got to find a way to win this game on Sunday and keep it going.”