Penguin in Omaha Zoo Named After Peyton Manning

Donald WoodFeatured ColumnistJanuary 22, 2014

Jan 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) signals at the line of scrimmage in the second half against the New England Patriots during the 2013 AFC championship playoff football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is stealing headlines for making it to the 2014 Super Bowl, but there is another Peyton making a splash in the news this week.

The Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, Neb., named a rockhopper penguin chick in honor of Manning, according to Anna Fogel of Fox Sports, after the quarterback's constant use of the word “Omaha” as an audible throughout the postseason.

Omaha Zoo Director Dennis Pate commented on the decision to name the penguin after the future Hall of Fame quarterback via a press release obtained by Fogel:

I think the whole world knows how much Nebraskans love football. It’s fun to hear such a great quarterback chanting out our largest city’s name hundreds of times per game. We get a kick out of it and are happy for Peyton and his team.

Manning used the term enough during the divisional round matchup against the San Diego Chargers to actually help the word trend on Twitter, via Jimmy Traina of Fox Sports:

The craze over Manning’s audibles also helped raise almost $25,000 dollars during the AFC Championship Game, per Mutual of Omaha’s official Twitter, as businesses in the Omaha area pledged to donate money for every time the QB uttered the word:

The focus over the next two weeks will undoubtedly be on Manning and his preparation for his matchup against the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl on Sunday, Feb. 2. In two postseason games thus far, the 37-year-old veteran has passed for 630 yards and four touchdowns with a 72.2 completion percentage, serving as the catalyst for his team.

Still, there is no doubt that Peyton the Penguin is becoming a star.   

Let’s just hope that the open invitation from the Omaha Zoo spawns a visit from Manning and his family during the offseason. Who wouldn’t love to see Peyton going face-to-face with his penguin doppelganger?