Eyebrows went up across the country Monday at the news that Peyton Manning had been arrested on drug charges.
Not that Manning -- the pro quarterback, father of dozens of NFL records and namesake of hundreds of Tennessee babies through the years. No, this was an 18-year-old woman of the same name who was pulled over for a traffic stop in Nashville and arrested on felony drug charges.
The Tennessean reported that police found two Mason jars of marijuana in the car the young Manning was driving, as well as baggies of cocaine dissolving in a cup of Coca-Cola.
Mark Niemann, a Peyton Manning admirer in Pataskala, Ohio, was briefly duped by a radio newscaster who announced that Manning had been arrested but paused before explaining the person's age and gender.
Niemann, 36, said his jaw dropped at what he heard.
"I said, 'You've got to be kidding me.' I was flabbergasted," he said. "Peyton Manning is an upstanding citizen."
What are the odds of the woman having the same name as the legendary QB? Better than you might think, at least for her given name.
During quarterback Manning's years at the University of Tennessee, hundreds of newborns received the name Peyton.
The future NFL Hall of Famer started his ascent into the football pantheon as a true freshman at UT in 1994. That year, the name Peyton was not even among the 100 most popular names for boys or girls born in Tennessee, according to data from the Social Security Administration.
But the name made the cut starting in 1995. Peyton was the 96th most popular name in Tennessee that year, at least for boys. The name climbed in popularity through 1997, the year the quarterback finished his college career and placed second in the Heisman voting. Peyton was the 51st most popular name for boys that year.
In all, at least 384 boys and girls born in Tennessee received the name Peyton during the quarterback's college career, records show. By 1999 the name was no longer among the 100 most popular names in the Volunteer State.
Manning was the No. 1 overall NFL draft pick in 1998 and has been the NFL MVP a record five times, including last year when he set NFL records for passing yards and passing touchdowns for the Denver Broncos.
The Manning arrested in Nashville early Monday was charged with possession of cocaine, pot and drug paraphernalia. She remained in jail Monday on a $20,000 bond.
No word on whether she's a football fan.
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