For about a decade there, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady developed one of the best quarterback rivalries the NFL has ever seen.
And while a retired Manning will never catch up to Brady’s five Super Bowl rings, he’s apparently retroactively gaining on Brady in another category: cheating scandals.
Brady was accused of having footballs deflated in a playoff victory over the Indianapolis Colts in January 2015. Since then his wife has stated that he’s withheld concussions, which sideline players according to league rules, from the NFL. In 2007, Brady’s New England Patriots were punished by the NFL for illegally videotaping their opponents’ signals from the sideline.
But Manning’s Colts’ newly realized infraction is arguably worse—his teammates wore illegal hearing aids to better hear their quarterback on the field in hostile environments.
Earlier this week, former Colts offensive tackle shared what he thought was a humorous story about Manning’s rookie season. But it included the revelation that the team was very much breaking the rules to gain an advantage.
“We were playing on the road, it might have been Peyton’s rookie year, and it was really loud,” Glenn told the Indy Star. “Peyton hadn’t mastered the silent count, so (former offensive line coach) Howard Mudd had us wearing these hearing aids that were supposed to muffle the crowd while projecting the quarterback’s voice.
“Peyton said, ‘Hike,’ and I didn’t hear him. Everybody moved and I was still on the line of scrimmage. My man ran right by me. I turned around and yelled to Peyton, ‘Watch out!’. He didn’t hear me and he got sacked. When I got back to the huddle, I told him I had yelled. He said, ‘You couldn’t hear me, so what makes you think I could hear you?’ I thought that was pretty funny. Peyton didn’t think it was that funny at the time, but we laugh about it today.”
Great story, Glenn. But in a league where twerking and colorful cleats are illegal, wearing hidden pieces of technology under your helmet for an edge your opponents don’t get is highly against the rules.
Expect Roger Goodell to open an investigation into this matter.