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      02-08-2007, 05:07 AM   #1
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Bears fan loses bet, changing name to Peyton Manning

Bears fan loses bet, prepares to change name to Peyton Manning
Bears fan loses bet, prepares to change name to Peyton Manning

February 7, 2007

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) -- How do you spell Scott Wiese?

In a few weeks, that'd be P-e-y-t-o-n M-a-n-n-i-n-g.


Wiese, a die-hard fan of the Chicago Bears, signed a pledge in front of a crowd at a Decatur bar last Friday night that if the Bears lost Sunday's Super Bowl, he'd change his name to that of the man who led the Indianapolis Colts to victory.

Final Score: Colts 29, Bears 17.

So on Tuesday, Wiese went to the Macon County Courts Facility and started the process of changing his name.

"I made the bet, and now I've got to keep it," said the 26-year-old, who lives in Forsyth, just north of Decatur.

Wiese will now have to advertise his intention in the local newspaper -- the Herald & Review -- for several weeks and then have a judge give him the OK to become, legally anyway, Peyton Manning.

The men have little in common, Wiese acknowledges.

Manning the quarterback is 30 years old, stands 6-foot-5 and has a contract with the Colts worth more than $100 million.

Wiese is 5-foot-11 and works at a Staples office-supply store for somewhat less.

"I think I kind of represent all Bears fans," he said. "Not that I'm saying they're all idiots like me, but I represent their passion because I really care about my team, you know?"

Wiese's lawyer and friend, Andy Bourey, is handling the paperwork. He said he admires Wiese's sense of honor.

"I never doubted him," he said. "He's a man of his word."

While he pledged to take on the new identity, Wiese isn't sure how long he's willing to keep it.

Say, maybe, until the Bears' next Super Bowl appearance? Not likely, given that their last trip to the big game was in 1985.

"I mean, well, it may be another 21 years."

Updated on Wednesday, Feb 7, 2007 6:47 pm EST