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Feel-good football

Peyton Manning and the Broncos PR team spent three months tracking down an Army fan in Alaska

If you needed proof that every so often, sports stars actually do read those fan letters, look to this story from The Indianapolis Star.

Kristen Patterson wrote to Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning in September, telling him about her husband, Army Sgt. Ryan Patterson, and his loyal fandom to the one-time Indianapolis Colt.

"He is currently serving our country in the United States Army and has deployed twice to Afghanistan. He would set alarms to wake up at odd hours in the night just to listen to your football games," Patterson wrote. "We recently had to move across the country for the Army, and he tried to get us stationed in Colorado just so he could ensure that he would never miss your games."

Alas, the Pattersons actually landed at Fort Wainwright in North Pole, Alaska. But, Kristen Patterson noted that the family would be in the Midwest for the holidays, and she asked Manning for a meeting before the Broncos' game in Cincinnati against the Bengals. Unfortunately, she left out her contact information. Manning instructed the Broncos public relations team to track Patterson down, and after three months, the team succeeded. Sgt. Patterson got to meet his sports hero:

"He seemed genuinely tickled that we lived in North Pole, Alaska," Sgt. Patterson said. "Before he left, he shook my hand and thanked me for my service…and I thanked him for being my quarterback."