Peyton Manning may have retired from the NFL, but he is not retiring from his marriage

NFL hero Peyton Manning just retired after participating in the last Super Bowl. Rumours of his open marriage to Ashley have been around for a while, but their marriage seems solid.

The name Peyton Manning rings a bell even when you are not from the States or aren’t particularly interested in the NFL. Once you check out the person behind the name, it quickly becomes clear that Peyton Manning is a newly retired NFL quarterback, who has the status of a hero.

Ashley Thompson and Peyton Manning look so made for each other

Given that he won the Super Bowl 50 with the Denver Broncos, this does not seem very surprising. But his hero status isn’t new and he is probably one of the most beloved NFL players around. He has, for the most part, a clean image, which is supported by his loving wife of now 15 years and their twins, who have just turned 5.

But there are a few blemishes on his image, even though they are only there because of some unsubstantiated rumours.

Peyton met Ashley when he was attending university. Apparently it was love at first sight, though we don’t know if that’s the case for both of them or if it was a little more one-sided. As it is, they waited until 2001 to tie the knot on St. Patrick’s Day.

Ashley Thompson and Peyton Manning say cheese

Ashley is known to be one of Peyton’s biggest fans and she has always been by his side, supporting him in every way. When he nearly retired in 2011 after some surgeries due to neck injuries, it was Ashley who convinced him that he wasn’t done yet.

Clearly she was right. He wouldn’t have led his team to victory in February if he had been done five years ago.

It is a fitting end to his career, however.

A few years ago, Peyton was accused of using performance enhancing drugs, which he allegedly tried to cover up by having the drugs sent to his home under his wife’s name. Apart from the fact that that would have been beyond stupid, Ashley confirmed that the HGH (a legal drug) in question was hers and that she had a prescription for it.

As far as we know there was never any proof that confirmed that Peyton has ever taken any performance enhancing drugs. Had there been HGH in his system, it could have been tested for.

The more curious rumour about Peyton concerns his marriage directly. He has been accused of infidelity, namely an affair with weather reporter Angela Buchman a few years ago. Neither Peyton nor Ashley nor even Angela ever denied those rumours. Instead the Mannings made sure to invite Angela to a few charity events, apparently hoping that this would diffuse the rumours.

Ashley Thompson and Peyton Manning strike a dance pose

Alas, that didn’t happen. Instead the rumour turned on its head and now it was claimed that the Mannings have an open marriage. Nobody is cheating on anybody when all parties know about it, right?

Well, again, it was nothing but a rumour. As far as we know Peyton has never been linked to anyone else but Angela and even though Ashley was said to have her share of affairs with others, there was once more no proof whatsoever.

Whilst there is an ongoing rumour that many players and their wives have open relationships, it’s a claim that cannot be substantiated unless the couple involved comes forward or is actually ‘caught in the act’. Usually that’s not the case and if anyone is ever caught doing anything it tends to be a real case of cheating.

So, now retired, Peyton has finally more time to spend with his wife and family. He will no doubt find a gig that will keep him involved with the sport, but it will also keep him safer from injuries in the future.

Peyton and Ashley seem to be a pretty solid couple. One would be loathe to call them ‘perfect’, because nobody is, but they may just be perfect for each other and with any luck they’ll never have to face a divorce.