Tiger Woods has picked the Denver Broncos to win Sunday's Super Bowl showdown over the Seattle Seahawks if only "to shut up" those who have been critical of quarterback and good friend Peyton Manning.
Talking ahead of Thursday's start to the Dubai Desert Classic, the world number one's second tournament of the year, Woods said: "I like the Broncos.
"I'm good friends with Peyton. Peyton is one of my good buddies and let's be honest, he got scrutinized pretty hard when he left Indy that he would never be the same after his neck surgery. And it's right, he's not the same, he's better. And that's cool to see.
"That's cool to see the hard work that he put in to shut everybody up."
Manning underwent four neck surgeries and was released two years ago by the Indianapolis Colts, whom he led to a 2007 Super Bowl win over Chicago.
Subsequently the 37-year-old has transformed a struggling Denver Broncos into Super Bowl favorites, enjoying a record-setting campaign this season in the process.
Despite being weaned onto golf by his father at an early age, Woods has always had a likeness for the NFL as a young kid growing up in Southern California, with his attention focused on the then Los Angeles based Raiders.
Woods' first Super Bowl memory was watching the Raiders humble the Washington Redskins to win Super Bowl XVIII in 1984.