NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Eighteen years ago, News 2 covered a story on 5-week-old Peyton Smith and her parent’s decision to name their daughter after the football star Peyton Manning.
“When we first started thinking about it, it was the first name that popped into my mind, and so when we found out [my wife] was pregnant, it was an easy decision,” said Neel Smith, Peyton’s father, to a reporter years ago.
Peyton’s dream was to see her namesake play in the NFL’s championship game.
“I felt like since she was named after Peyton Manning, that it would be just a great thing for us to do for our daughter to let her go to the Super Bowl as a graduation present,” said Tammy Smith, Peyton’s mother.
Peyton’s wish came true.
“I think I cried a little bit at that point. I teared up because it’s such a special moment for me,” the 18-year-old told News 2.
Peyton says Manning’s Super Bowl win was overwhelming.
“I had to sit down and take it all in and realize, ‘Peyton is about to win the Super Bowl and I am about to see this.’ Then they had the trophy presentation and seeing him with his kids made me so happy,” said Peyton.
“So it was one of those decisions that we feel good about 18 years later. We feel like we picked a good name and we were happy with it,” said Neel Smith.