DENVER • If there’s one big takeaway from the inspirational story being written by Colorado teenager Martin Howe, it’s this.
Because being like Martin is a good idea, and he exhausts life. He’s a sports writer and broadcaster who exhausts his thoughts in blog posts on 4cornersports.com, a website he developed himself. He’s a Colorado sports fan to the extreme, exhausting miles of highway while road-tripping with Mom and Dad to Super Bowl 50 to see his beloved Broncos win the big game.
The other day when Peyton Manning surprised him at Broncos headquarters, Martin was exhausted from smiling.
”Surreal,” Martin told his folks, Justin and Joani.
Few people exhaust life like Peyton Manning.
Peas in a pod, these two.
Heard you’re a big fan of mine, Manning told him. Well, I’m a big fan of yours.
“Peyton ... humble,” says Justin, Martin’s dad, “Exactly how you imagine him. It’s all true.”
Here’s a little more background on Martin. He’s lived in Colorado for all of one week, and he’s exhausting that too. Red Rocks. Called a Nuggets game on Altitude TV with Scott Hastings and Chris Marlowe. The Broncos tour. Rumor is there’s a helicopter ride in the works.
Martin also has something called Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), a form of cancer, and his body reacted less than graciously to the chemo treatments that began in September.
Martin is 18 years old.
So what’s he doing? He’s exhausting life. Monday is April 1, and Martin already is the first graduate in Glencoe High’s Class of 2019. The Hillsboro, Ore., school delivered his diploma, signed and completed, before the Howe family moved to Colorado, a dream of Martin’s.
“Big graduation party,” dad says.
In that case, Martin exhausted his ability in school. In the case of meeting Manning, exhausted from joy.
Peyton does these things, you know, and if there are 100 examples of him doing them we might hear about one. Phone calls. Video messages. Handwritten letters. Personal visits.
What I’ve noticed is how Manning utilizes the team or football and business connections as a means to reach kids who could use a lift. It’s not because they’ll publicize it. It’s like he believes this kind of thing is part of his job as a human, even if he’s retired as a professional athlete.
Apologies to Peyton, but I think he’ll understand. We’re going to talk about this one because Martin has a message he wants everyone to hear. What better time than now.
“If this is his 15 minutes of fame, he wants to share it: Whatever might be going on in your life, don’t ever, ever give up,” his dad says.
Yeah, that got me too.
Peyton heard of Martin’s story and called the Broncos. (Perhaps as a season-ticket holder he threw his weight around.) He heard how a young Broncos fan recently turned to a wheelchair, how he traveled to Denver for the Steelers and Patriots playoff games during the Super Bowl 50 season, how his own No. 18 was Martin’s first jersey. And Peyton wanted to meet Martin. So he called him.
“I answered the phone,” Dad says. “And there’s a voice on the other end that you know right away: Hi, this is Peyton Manning. I’m thinking, ‘OK, weird. But sure, let me get Martin.’”
“To get that call, that was a miracle,” he says.
They talked ball. They talked life. Martin does his own podcasts. Talk about a dream interview.
But that wasn’t enough. Peyton Manning wanted to exhaust his opportunity with Martin Howe.
When the Broncos extended the offer of a headquarters tour, Martin didn’t know his favorite Bronco was going to be there. They hit the locker room, checking out where Super Bowl MVP Von Miller beats everyone in Connect 4 and Pro Bowl running back Phillip Lindsay wasn’t allowed to sit on the couch. Rookie rules, all that.
Then they hit the field house. It’s where Manning exhausted everything he could draw from 18 seasons to return from injury and win the Super Bowl.
Better yet, it’s where he met Martin.
“We keep ourselves so busy we don’t think about everything going on. We try to live for today as if tomorrow isn’t promised. Let’s just focus on the next 60 minutes. That’s always been our mantra,” Justin said. “I like to tell people if you’re not exhausted at the end of the day you’re not doing it right. We’re trying to squeeze every minute out of the day.”
(Contact Gazette sports columnist Paul Klee at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @bypaulklee.)