The Super Bowl has come and gone, but some of the drama and controversy that arises before, during and after one of the most popular sporting events in America is still very much alive. While Peyton Manning and the Broncos were on the losing end of the game, a rock band from Denver, Colorado is winning a great deal of social media attention for their push to encourage fans to “worship” Manning through the purchase and support of Satanic clothing specially made in the honor of the quarterback.
The band in the middle of it all is called Speedwolf – a group that plays thrash/speed metal music. The members of the band came up with a plan to use Super Bowl XLVIII and Manning’s jersey number as a way to create a trend that incorporated Satanic symbolism and references.
Printed on Gildan-brand cotton T-shirts, the front of the orange and blue tees used the wording ‘Hail Peyton’ printed in white ink, which was positioned right about a white inverted pentagram. The back of the T-shirts read “6 + 6 + 6 = 18,” which is the jersey number of the Broncos’ quarterback. A large written ‘Manning’ was situated underneath the mathematical reference to the Number of the Beast. We all know that ‘666’ is an undeniable reference to Satan.
Advertised on their site with the description, “Our eternal support for the Denver Broncos continues with our new ‘Hail Peyton’ shirts, it is reported that the shirts sold out for $20 each.” Only 100 of the T-shirts were made with this particular design.
It’s highly unlikely that Manning will find humor in the T-shirt or praise the design of the shirt, as it is known that the quarterback is a Christian. While the band wishes to show their praise for the quarterback through their ‘Hail Peyton’ shirts, others have tried to play with Manning’s name by rhyming ‘Peyton’ with Satan, and calling him ‘Seyton Manning’ as a way to criticize him.
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In the quarterback’s autobiography titled, ‘Manning,’ the athlete is quoted as saying: “I committed my life to Christ, and that faith has been most important to me ever since. I hope (and pray) I don’t do too many things that displease Him before I get to Heaven myself. I believe, too, that life is much better and freer when you’re committed to God in that way.”
Speedwolf marketed their T-shirts on Facebook a couple of months before the Super Bowl arrived – referring to them as Christmas presents. For the band, this isn’t an isolated incident involving references to Satan, as their site heavily centers on Devil worship. The T-shirt is just one piece in a line of merchandise that includes Manning-related bumper stickers and hoods meant to encourage Satanic worship.
While fans may have grabbed up the T-shirts and proudly wore them during this year’s Super Bowl, others have not been as kind. Social media users shared their disgust for the shirts, and defended the Christian religion that Manning practices. One Denver local mentioned that sports had a brainwashing effect of people, and that the shirts were a disappointment for someone that lives in the state.