Peyton Manning is one of my favorite athletes of all time, and just when I thought I couldn’t be a bigger fan of his, a tremendous story has surfaced involving him and football official, Butch Hannah. 

Retiring after 30 years, Hannah is now revealing that he had a surprising interaction with Manning while he was with the Broncos. 

Hannah told the Chattanooga Times Free Press, “I called back two Denver touchdowns. But they pulled it out by two or three points [39-36]. But late in the game, the clock about to run out, Peyton mistimed a snap and they had to run one more play.

“Peyton said something off-color to me, which was not at all like him. I told him, ‘Peyton, you’re better than that.'”

Hannah went on to explain that a few weeks later he received a FedEx package in the mail from Manning. It included a letter asking if he would accept his apology for reacting the way he did on that day the Broncos played against the Dolphins.

Hannah shared that this was the only time anything like that happened to him in all his years of officiating, and that Manning even went a step further by going up to him before a preseason game a few months later.

When asked by Peyton if he had gotten his letter, Hannah said, “Peyton, you’ve got to let this go.” Peyton replied, “You have no idea how upset I was with myself.”

The legend of Peyton Manning continues, and I hope this story is an encouragement to all of us today. Apologizing to others can be difficult, but it’s so important and impactful.

We must battle against our pride and humble ourselves to admit when we do something wrong. Reconciliation always begins with “I’m sorry” – even though the moments we blow it can’t be redone. 

Of course, it takes the other side being willing to forgive, but it’s our role to initiate the attempt to make things right with an apology. 

The Bible tells us in Matthew 5:23-24 (AMP), “So if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and while there you remember that your brother has something [such as a grievance or legitimate complaint] against you, leave your offering there at the altar and go. First make peace with your brother, and then come and present your offering.” 

Proverbs 14:9 (NLT) says, “Fools make fun of guilt, but the godly acknowledge it and seek reconciliation.” 

Today, let’s be willing to say we’re “sorry” and apologize for our mistakes. When we do, we can be at peace with others…and continue to pursue holiness and integrity. I’m Byrce Johnson and you can unpack that! 

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, please give me the strength to admit my faults and the times I hurt people. I pray that my pride would not get in the way, and that humility would drive me to reconciliation. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.