Peyton Manning is nothing if not persistent. The latest example? According to the Indianapolis Star, the Denver Broncos quarterback and the team's public relations staff spent three months trying to track down Kristen Patterson and her husband, Army Sgt. Ryan Patterson.
It all started when Kristen wrote this letter to Manning:
Dear Mr. Manning,
My name is Kristen Patterson. I am writing to ask a question. You see, my husband is a HUGE fan, and when I say HUGE, I mean it. He is currently serving our country in the United States Army and has deployed twice to Afghanistan. He would set alarms to wake up at odd hours in the night just to listen to your football games.
We recently had to move across the country for the Army, and he tried to get us stationed in Colorado just so he could ensure that he would never miss your games. We will be attending the Bengals vs. Broncos game on December 22, 2014, while home for the holidays, and it would mean so much to my husband if you might be able to find the time to just even say hello, not to mention it would make me the coolest wife ever of all time. I know you are a busy man, and if you can't, it will be OK. I just thought I might ask in the rare chance that you might agree to this.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
The only problem: Kristen had forgotten to put a return address on the letter, and the family had recently moved to North Pole, Alaska, where Ryan is stationed at Fort Wainwright.
Still, Manning and the Broncos located Kristen's phone number, thanks to the help of a North Pole utility company, and ultimately reached out to her through state troopers.
"When I got a call from [an Alaska] state trooper, they asked if I wrote a letter to Peyton Manning," Kristen told The Star. "They said the Denver Broncos were trying to get a hold of me. When I sent it, you never know if someone is going to read it or if it is going to be tossed in a pile. So I thought they never read it, no big deal."
It all led to a rendezvous at the Broncos' team hotel the day before the Cincinnati game. Ryan received an autographed football and had the above photo taken with Manning.
"My first reaction was he is at least 15 feet tall, if not taller," Ryan said. "Peyton introduced himself, asked my daughter's name and played with her for a second and thanked me for my service.
"He seemed genuinely tickled that we lived in North Pole, Alaska. He said, 'You guys are really hard to find.'"