Tom Brady: Peyton Manning and I “were friends this whole time”

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 24: Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos and Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JANUARY 24: Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos and Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

Tom Brady posted a selfie on his Twitter account with former rival Peyton Manning, along with a caption reinforcing the longevity of their friendship.

Patriots quarterback is still pretty new to this whole Twitter thing. He’s been playing in the NFL since 2000, and yet he didn’t join the social media giant until March of this year. Over the timespan since, though, he’s been fairly active: interacting with Jeopardy sensation James Holzhauer, giving NFL draftees some tongue-in-cheek advice on their big night, and pulling an April Fools’ Day prank involving his own retirement.

His latest high-profile hijinks? Taking selfies with celebrities.

Brady shared a photo on his Twitter account Wednesday morning of himself and Peyton Manning, the former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback. The caption for the photo read: “Spoiler alert… we were friends this whole time. Always great to see you Peyton!”

Brady and Manning enjoyed the most prominent quarterback rivalry in the NFL over the course of their twin careers, starting in 2001 and ending 15 years later in 2016. Both considered among the top 10 signal-callers in the history of professional football, their clashes were always must-see television.

And yet, despite the intensity of their rivalry and the frequent debates amongst fans and sportscasters as to which player was better, Brady’s caption in the photo reinforces their enduring friendship throughout the years. Both have spoken at length before in the media about just how much they admire one another, and they’ve frequently spent time together outside of their football lives as well.

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Brady owned the early years of the rivalry, at one point going up 6-0 in the head-to-head record between his Patriots and Manning’s Colts. The series became more competitive from 2005 until 2010, with Manning winning four of six games the two played against one another.

Following neck surgery, Manning signed with the Denver Broncos in 2012. He and Brady then had five more contests, with Brady just barely edging Manning by a margin of 3-2. With Manning retiring from the game after his win in Super Bowl 50, the final head-to-head record between the two legends finished as 11-6 in favor of Brady (notably, Brady was 9-3 in the regular season against Manning, but Manning was 3-2 in the postseason against Brady).