WBIR - If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, naming a child after the parents' favorite football player might just be the best way to measure a fan's loyalty.
After Peyton Manning and the Broncos secured a trip to the Super Bowl this weekend, 10News decided to reach out to "Peytons" living in East Tennessee. We found countless families with children by that name, and using a variety of spellings.
The Clapp family in West Knoxville chose "Peyton" for their firstborn, back when Manning was still in college.
"We liked the sound of the name, and of course Peyton Manning represented the university so well we thought it would be a great name for our daughter," said David Clapp. His daughter is now 17 years old, and has a growing appreciation for her namesake.
"I appreciate his character," Peyton said. "I've grown to like my name more and more. I appreciate his character throughout all of his achievements and everything."
Maranda Harness also named her oldest child Peyton. The Clinton kindergartner is still learning about the Broncos quarterback, but he knows what sport made his name famous.
"Football player!" he said.
Harness said it was Peyton's father who came up with her son's name.
"His daddy is a big, big football fan from Tennessee -- like, very big," she said. "When we found out it was a boy, he was like, Peyton?"
The Office of Social Security tracks baby names annually. In the state of Tennessee, Peyton consistently ranks in the top 100 most popular names each year, since the the mid-1990s when Manning came to the University of Tennessee. The name is popular with both boys and girls.