Peyton Manning

Peyton Manning tells hilarious Jim Harbaugh story from 49ers free-agent pitch

Peyton Manning tells hilarious Jim Harbaugh story from 49ers free-agent pitch

For Jim Harbaugh, it appears any time is a good time for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

That includes during a covert free-agent meeting with one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game.

When Peyton Manning was released by the Indianapolis Colts on March 7, 2012, several NFL teams lined up to court the future Hall of Famer. Among them were the 49ers, who did so via a secret meeting at former Tennessee and current Duke head coach David Cutcliffe's house in North Carolina.

Manning, Harbaugh and former 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman recounted the meeting as part of an oral history to The Athletic. First, Harbaugh and Roman met Manning and Cutcliffe at the Duke coach's house to watch film of Manning throwing after his latest neck surgery. As they were about to leave, Mrs. Cutcliffe came down to ask if anyone wanted some food. While Manning, Cutcliffe and Roman politely declined, Harbaugh opted for a PB&J.

"I remember this -- I remember weird things -- we were leaving to go throw and Mrs. Cutcliffe, who I’ve known forever, just a sweet lady, she said, 'Would y’all like anything to eat before you go?' It was one of those when somebody offers you, you kind of get the feel maybe she really didn’t want to make you something to eat, but she felt like she had to offer, that kind of thing," Manning recounted to The Athletic. "So I was like, 'No, thanks, Mrs. Cutcliffe, I’m fine,' and Greg Roman’s like, 'I’m fine, Thank you for offering.' And coach Cut’s like, 'I’m fine, honey.' And I remember Harbaugh just said, 'Yeah, I’ll have a PB&J.”

To Harbaugh, he felt it was the polite thing to do.

"I always feel like, at least in my mom’s house, when she asks if you want something, she’s offended if you don’t let her make you something. I do love PB&J. Absolutely," Harbaugh said.

The group then went to Duke's facility to watch Manning throw. It was the first time Manning had thrown for a team during the free-agent courting process. In order not to be seen, Harbaugh and Roman tried watching him throw from their car. But that didn't work, so they threw on hoodies and walked over to the field to watch Manning throw. Afterward, Harbaugh wanted to play catch with Manning to judge his arm strength and offered a humble brag about a recent workout with Randy Moss.

"Jim Harbaugh asked if we could play some catch," Manning told The Athletic. "I think all this talk about arm strength, he wanted to see it and feel it himself. I remember too, Randy Moss had just worked out for the 49ers, and I said, “Hey, how’d the Moss workout go?” He said, “Oh, he looked great.” He said, “But I threw it to him. I made every throw perfect. He didn’t come out of the break on one route. That was the only throw that we missed.” I thought that was a pretty good line. “Moss looked good, but I threw the ball pretty good, too.”

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Manning admits, in the end, his decision came down to the Denver Broncos and the 49ers, as both were poised to contend immediately. Manning eventually chose the Broncos due to the connection he felt with general manager and former Hall of Fame quarterback John Elway.

The 49ers went to the Super Bowl that year and lost to Baltimore Ravens. Manning and the Broncos would lose to the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl the next season before defeating the Carolina Panthers two years later in Super Bowl L.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Phil Mickelson has Steph Curry, Michael Jordan on list for next 'The Match'

Phil Mickelson has Steph Curry, Michael Jordan on list for next 'The Match'

Steph Curry wants in on "The Match III" and he's certainly one of the names that comes to Phil Mickelson's mind for the next installment of the golf battle with Tiger Woods.

The Warriors star was one of the 5.8 million who watched Woods and Peyton Manning defeat Mickelson and Tom Brady on Sunday in "The Match: Champions for Charity." The event was a huge hit with Brady struggling through the first six holes before holing out from 125 and talking trash to Charles Barkley through his earpiece. Woods was dialed in, Mickelson was his usual self and Manning brought his joke book and his golf game.

Mickelson has already started thinking of potential pairings for the third installment, and Curry is one of the names atop the list.

“I think you could showcase guys like Steph Curry and Michael Jordan or Tony Romo and Patrick Mahomes, who are all good golfers, elite talents and have great personalities," Mickelson told Arash Markazi of The Los Angeles Times. "Those personalities are going to come out with this event. Or you could have someone who loves the game and is competitive but is really entertaining like Larry David and Bill Murray. I think that could shine.”

Woods and Mickelson signed on to do three events but due to the success of "The Match II," they now are in talks to do one every year with different celebrities as partners.

The first one -- a one-on-one match in Las Vegas saw some good golf but the entertainment value was low for casual fans. Producer Bryan Zuriff, who thought of the idea and first brought it to Woods and Mickelson, wanted to add something to the second version. According to Zuriff, the original idea for "The Match: Champions for Charity" was to have Brady and Curry be the two amateurs.

“At the time I was thinking Tom and Steph Curry because Steph had just signed a deal with Callaway and he was into golf,” Zuriff said.

But since Manning is repped by the same agency as Woods and there is the obvious rivalry with Brady, the two-time Super Bowl champion got the nod.

[RELATED: Rory McIlroy continues to be voice, leader golf desperately needs]

"The Match II" was supposed to be held in June on the same day as Game 7 of the Western Conference finals, but the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic moved it up and added a charitable aspect to the event. All in all, the event raised $20 million for relief and Zuriff plans to keep the charitable aspect of the event going forward with a plan to hold it on Thanksgiving weekend as long as health and time allow.

Sports are mainly on pause right now, but "The Match: Champions for Charity" showed a blueprint for how access to the athletes can offset the lack of fans at live events during the pandemic. Sunday's match at Medalist Golf Club had something for the casual fan and the diehard golfer.

Curry was locked in from the opening tee shot, and it sounds like there's a good chance he could be teeing it up in the next installment alongside Woods, Mickelson and perhaps Jordan.

[RUNNIN' PLAYS PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Russell Wilson's trolling of Tom Brady's 'The Match' outing backfires

Russell Wilson's trolling of Tom Brady's 'The Match' outing backfires

49ers fans love to hate Russell Wilson, and he gave them another reason to give him grief Sunday.

A few hours before Tiger Woods teamed up with Peyton Manning to take on Phil Mickelson and Bay Area native Tom Brady in "The Match: Champions for Charity," Wilson took a Twitter shot at Brady.

When Brady got off to an awful start to "The Match," Wilson went at Brady again.

There are a few problems with Wilson's jabs at Brady.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

First, Wilson lost to Brady and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX. Instead, Seattle's quarterback should have been trolling Manning, whom the Seahawks beat in Super Bowl XLVIII.

Second, Brady redeemed himself and made Wilson look silly when he sank an incredible birdie on hole No. 7.

Yes, Brady is out of his element on the golf course, but Wilson should have known who he was messing with.

[RELATED: 49ers fans love to hate Wilson]

49ers fans certainly won't miss the chance to let Wilson hear about this.