OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Peyton Manning came to Omaha to show the city some love in return for the love it showed him during the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl.
Manning was the was the featured speaker at the B'nai B'rith sports banquet Thursday night, and he promised the crowd of 1,200 he'll keep shouting "Omaha!" at the line of scrimmage.
Manning has been using the city's name as part of his pre-snap routine for years, but his "Omaha!" chants put the city of 400,000 in the national spotlight during the playoffs because they came in so loud and clear over television field microphones.
"I can't tell you how many suggestions I get on what word I should use next year — cities, states, businesses, a lot of websites," Manning said. "I am here to tell you I am sticking with 'Omaha!' "
With that, the crowd erupted in hoots and applause.
Before the banquet, the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce presented Manning a check for almost $70,000 for his foundation for at-risk children. Businesses donated money for every pre-snap "Omaha!" shouted by the 2013 NFL MVP.
"I'm very pleased to be here in the real city of Omaha," he said. "People of this city have been very gracious to me during my visit here. This (donated money) will go a long way to help the children at risk."
The chamber of commerce coordinated the fundraising effort to thank Manning for the shout-outs and free publicity.
The Omaha zoo named a newborn penguin "Peyton," and Omaha Steaks sold an "Omaha, Omaha" variety package of meats for Super Bowl partiers. A local ice cream parlor created a flavor in Manning's honor, "Omaha, Omaha," which had an orange-vanilla base mixed with blue malt balls — Broncos colors.