By Eddie Pells/The Associated Press
DENVER — Peyton Manning figured one good Papa deserved another.
Manning’s father, Archie, is joining his son as a Papa John’s pitchman, spearheading the pizza chain’s coin-flip promotion at the Super Bowl in the family’s hometown of New Orleans.
While he was sitting out last season with his neck injury, Peyton Manning starred in a Papa John’s Super Bowl commercial with Jerome Bettis. Manning was dressed up as a referee. “Hey, a man’s gotta work, OK” he told Bettis.
After signing with the Broncos, Peyton Manning invested in 21 of the company’s pizza stores in the Denver area. More recently, Papa John’s approached Archie about being a spokesman for the Super Bowl promotion. Starting Sunday, fans can go online and choose heads or tails for the opening coin toss. The winners will get free pizza.
“Only thing that would be better is if the Broncos were playing in the game,” Archie Manning said. “Or the Giants. Or both. But it’s going to be good stuff.”
Before last season, when Eli Manning’s Giants lost the coin toss, the NFC had won 14 straight flips. The odds of that happening are around 16,000-1.
On Sunday before the AFC title game, Peyton Manning will star in a commercial with Super Bowl play-by-play man Jim Nantz. Archie Manning, a former Ole Miss standout, will do the on-the-ground and internet promotions.
Archie has starred in commercials with his sons before — most famously an ESPN spot in which Peyton and Eli clown around during a tour of the grounds while Archie looks on disapprovingly.
“Before we went into that one, Eli said, ‘Know your lines,'” Archie Manning said. “Anytime you do a commercial with Peyton, you should know your lines. He thinks an eight-hour commercial shoot should take three hours. He’s a perfectionist. The idea always is, ‘Don’t bust a play.'”
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL and www.papajohns.com