John Elway Once Paid Peyton Manning's $50 Fine for Wearing Jeans at Country Club

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 2020

ENGLEWOOD, CO - MARCH 20:  Quarterback Peyton Manning (R) shakes hands with executive vice president of football operations John Elway during a news conference announcing Manning's contract with the Denver Broncos in the team meeting room at the Paul D. Bowlen Memorial Broncos Centre on March 20, 2012 in Englewood, Colorado. Manning, entering his 15th NFL season, was released by the Indianapolis Colts on March 7, 2012, where he had played his whole career. It has been reported that Manning will sign a five-year, $96 million offer.  (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

The dress code at Cherry Hills Country Club in Cherry Hills Village, Colorado, apparently isn't optional—even if you're Peyton Manning.

On Tuesday, The Athletic published an oral history of Manning's 2012 free-agency saga.

Following Manning's visit with the Denver Broncos, general manager John Elway offered to take him out for a beer. They traveled to Cherry Hills, which presented a minor problem for Manning because of his limited wardrobe, as he recounted:

"We pulled into Cherry Hills [Country Club] and I remember Elway said, 'You can't wear jeans here. Do you have any other pants?' I said, 'No. This all happened so fast. I just packed one little overnight bag. All I got is jeans.' And he said, 'That's OK. It's a $50 fine. I'll pay the $50 fine.' And all [director of player personnel Matt] Russell had on was like an athletic sweatsuit. So it cost John $100 to take us over to have a beer."

Brandon Stokley, a friend of Manning's who was also a free agent, received an invite to the outing and hurried to find something appropriate to wear after Manning alerted him to the no-jeans rule.

Unfortunately for the veteran receiver, he might have been overdressed.

"I show up in a full suit and Russell is in a tracksuit, John Fox is in blue jeans and I'm just like, 'Wait, what? What is going on?'" Stokley said.

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Whatever embarrassment Stokley might have experienced didn't preclude him from joining Manning on the Broncos that offseason.