Family in Allen ready to see Peyton Manning wear No. 18



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Posted on July 12, 2012 at 10:38 AM

Updated Thursday, Jul 12 at 11:30 AM

ALLEN - Sports apparel is Chris Tripucka's business. He sells Allen Eagles merchandise from his shop right next door to the high school's new $60 million stadium.

His son, Shane, is a highly recruited punter for Allen High School; his dad Frank is a legendary quarterback of the Denver Broncos.

"That was back when they had the vertical striped socks that were so ugly that everybody talks about," Chris said pointing to an old photo of his father who last played in 1963.

Frank Tripucka's number 18 was retired nearly 50 years ago. Now, it's coming back for new Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning.

"Peyton wanted to know if it would be possible to wear number 18, and what your dad thought of it," Chris said. "So, my brother TK told the Broncos, 'Listen, we've talked to my dad about it, he would be honored for Peyton to wear it. Peyton is his kind of quarterback.'"

"I haven't been alive since someone from the Broncos has wore 18," Shane said. "So, it's going to be different. It will definitely be really cool."

Because they're from New Jersey, the family is New York Jets fans, but said now they have a reason to follow the Broncos.

"He was one of the pioneers of this league," Chris said."He threw the first touchdown pass in AFL history. I can't think of a better player though to be wearing his number. I think he's really happy about that."

In 1960, Frank became the first professional football quarterback to throw for more than 300 yards.

"I thought it was awesome," Shane said. "It's an honor for him have a great player like Peyton Manning get to wear 18 and get to represent him at the same time. It's pretty cool."

When the season begins this fall, the former "18" will proudly be watching the current "18" from his home in New Jersey, while Chris and Shane will be watching from Allen.