Mount Pleasant woman's 'Dear Mr. Manning' letter goes viral

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- Super Bowl Sunday handed the Denver Broncos a beat down, courtesy of the Seattle Seahawks.

The loss and subsequent criticism of Peyton Manning took one Mount Pleasant mother to her computer. What she wrote while on the computer has now gone viral.

"I am not a sports reporter, not an NFL analyst, not a former player," Laurie Lattimore-Volkmann wrote in a letter addressed to Peyton Manning. "Legacy is something handed down that matters. It is something that matters to young players and athletes and kids looking for mentors to help them find their way."

She wrote the letter from her heart to one of the game's greatest.

"And, most proudly, I am a mom of two little boys who adore their No. 18 jerseys and can't wait to find out, 'How Peyton Manning's team did' every Monday morning."

Her words were meant to soothe after a brutal Broncos loss.

"It matters that you take time to write notes to fans and sign autographs - even after crushing defeats," Lattimore-Volkmann wrote.

The mother of two and a lifelong Broncos fan said she had heard enough of the experts questioning Manning's legacy after the Super Bowl loss.

"I overheard comments on TV about tarnished legacy and since I'm an adult and I can't have a tantrum, I thought, 'I'm going to write it down,'" she said.

That's when the College of Charleston Communications professor went to work.

"Legacy is all about what Manning means to other people - to fans for sure. To people who like sports and recognize what sports should be all about - sportsmanship," she said.

Broncos memorabilia decorates Lattimore-Volkmann's home. Most of it is handmade by her six-year-old son. She said she hopes the letter comes to serve as a lesson not just for her two boys but for sports fans everywhere.

"I've had coaches send me messages saying he is a great example for what they teach," she said. "So none of that surprises me because of who Peyton is."

Lattimore-Volkmann knows there will be more losses, but at the end of this season, her letter is a winner. It's a beat down of its own - meant for all of the people who want to put down No. 18.

"I doubt you take stock in what those analysts say about your legacy (no doubt a trait your father has bestowed upon you and your brothers), but I want you to know that this mom of two young boys (who already recognize you're different from the others) believes your legacy has never been stronger," she wrote.

To read the letter in its entirety, click the link on the right-hand side of your screen.