On the football field, Peyton Manning's battles with Tom Brady were some of the finest the sport had to offer.
On the golf course, the meetings — either as competitors or partners — have been more rare, and their performances have been nowhere near as stellar.
Still, to benefit charity, they'll put their golf skills on display for the world to see on May 24 at 12 p.m. MT, as they team up with two golf legends for The Match: Champions for Charity. Manning will pair up with Tiger Woods while Brady will partner up with Phil Mickelson for the event, which will be broadcast on TNT, TBS, truTV and HLN.
"The last time we played we got beat by an 84-year-old and a 77-year-old," Manning said. "Closed out on 15. I've had some disappointing defeats. I know Tom hasn't had that many at all, but that was a tough one for both of us. We're each kind of upgrading in our partners this time, playing with Tiger and Phil."
The Match will be played at Florida's Medalist Golf Club, which is a rather notoriously difficult course, as the contestants all already know. Brady said he shot a 106 there, and Manning recalled a difficult outing he had with Woods.
"On the 18th hole, I leaned over to [former teammate Brandon] Stokley and asked if I could borrow a ball," Manning said. "I was out of balls by the time I got to 18. And he said all he had was a yellow one left. I was like, 'I cannot play a yellow ball in front of Tiger Woods.' So we're digging in the marsh trying to find one more ball so I could finish the hole."
Though all four competitors are on friendly terms, each came prepared with some trash talk for a video roundtable hosted by TNT’s Ernie Johnson. Manning's unequivocally took the cake, though, beginning with a reference to Brady's accidental entrance into a home he thought was owned by his new offensive coordinator.
"The tournament had to be in Florida," Manning said. "After Tom's B&E [breaking and entering] arrest with the ankle monitor, he couldn't leave the state, so it had to be in Florida. Tiger and I talked to the sheriff in Tampa; he's going to be allowed to go to Palm Beach to play. I'll be honest, I've never played Tom very well on his home turf. So maybe this is considered a neutral site. I would have loved to have had this tournament in a place where they don't like Tom very much — Indianapolis, Denver, Boston, after he just betrayed them and broke their hearts. So, Palm Beach is the best we can probably do."
Of course, at the heart of the event is the cause, which is raising funds for COVID-19 relieft efforts. WarnerMedia and the golfers will combine to donate $10 million, and the event will also partner with the ALL IN Challenge to raise more funds.
"A lot of people are hurting right now … a lot of people struggling," Manning said. "… I don't think this event would happen if it wasn't going to benefit those people that are hurting. I think that's why it's a double win. I don't think anybody wants to see Tom and I hit golf balls as much as they want to see these two Hall of Famers, Tiger and Phil, play golf. … I enjoy watching those guys compete, so for Tom and I to go behind the ropes and watch how Tiger and Phil do their thing and be a part of it and raise money, we're glad to do it. And if we help some people along the way take their minds off of it, that's even better."
Below the Fold
ESPN's Jeff Legwold did his best to predict the result of each game on the Broncos' schedule, and, man, a 9-7 record and possibly heading into the postseason with a four-game win streak sounds mighty fine to me.
Around the NFL writer Chris Wessling's favorite individual matchups on the 2020 slate features Jerry Jeudy and another first-round draft pick going head-to-head in the AFC West.
After the NFL's entire 2020 season schedule was released on Thursday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement regarding concerns about the NFL's plans considering the novel coronavirus. "We will be prepared to make adjustments as necessary, as we have during this offseason in safely and efficiently conducting key activities such as free agency, the virtual draft off-season program, and the 2020 NFL Draft," he said.