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Peyton Manning Reveals What ‘Omaha’ Really Means

peyton manning
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Peyton Manning is one of Louisiana’s favorite sons. It would have been nice if he could have followed in his dad, Archie’s, footsteps and played for the Saints but we got Drew Brees so we did okay.

If you ever watched Peyton play with the Indianapolis Colts or the grown up horses, the Denver Broncos there was one word that was synonymous with the signal caller. That word, OMAHA!

Personally, I thought he just loved Nebraska and its largest city. Obviously, they love him, they gave him the key to the city for the recognition he brought to this middle American city that is probably just as well known for hosting the NCAA Men’s Baseball World Series.

Still, why did Manning scream Omaha before the snap of the ball and the beginning of so many NFL plays? It has to do with the structure of the word. That’s according to a story penned by Harry Lyles Jr. on the SB Nation website.

Omaha is a three syllable word. It’s easy to understand in a crowded noisy stadium and to his team, the three syllables were simply a countdown to the snap of the ball. The term also meant that the QB had changed the play that was called to “plan B”.

Manning suggested that he only used the term when time on the play clock was running out. The word was short, easy to understand, and he hated the fact that TV microphones could pick up his audio. That audio was often used by other teams when they watched films to see what kind of play the Colts or Broncos would switch to in certain situations.

Still, being from Lousiana Manning could have used some other three syllable phrases. He might have screamed “gumbo time”, “crawfish boil”, “etouffee” or “Camey Doucet“. If he wanted to use a town he could have yelled “Lafayette”, “Anse La Butte”, “Baton Rouge”, or “Metairie”. But alas, Peytie Pie, that’s what his Mom calls him, chose Omaha.

I am actually surprised that Manning didn’t use the name of some of his sponsors and business ventures like “Papa John”, “Direct TV”, or “Budweiser”. I bet if he had used those terms the networks would have turned those field microphones down.


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