Image courtesy of Jeffrey Beall Flickr page - Peyton Manning: https://www.flickr.com/photos/denverjeffrey/14932554463/in/photolist-oKxfcz-7Byz34-9B6zkU-mfX64h-pnSWNF-9mAyoU-aqoBqK-9mAy4J-dPALrF-dPHgGL-9mAxPJ-dKZeqK-6KGgDR-7ByHoK-d9aSDd-wGwvB-ppTMYs-7vidft-d9b3ho-6RuGxo-XmAVu-dcfrWD-ic1Wg7-5AgDL1-9mADqN-gVwzYr-5jPCjJ-CELv4x-d1zanY-d7bjvs-qshaqe-edFJkm-mfV7Mx-bX1knS-pqHfJR-7ACMZw-qsh8Sz-edA4ak-dyrXL7-d9az7W-oxxc8G-mfXsZG-ozv5jn-ogfJ2k-9RtnKY-ogfG8R-edFHg3-7ypTNJ-6qrnHa-91ih7i
Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
Image courtesy of kyleburning's Flickr page - peyton manning: https://www.flickr.com/photos/41673401@N07/3841891660/in/photolist-6RuGxo-XmAVu-dcfrWD-ic1Wg7-5AgDL1-9mADqN-gVwzYr-5jPCjJ-CELv4x-d1zanY-d7bjvs-qshaqe-edFJkm-mfV7Mx-bX1knS-pqHfJR-7ACMZw-qsh8Sz-edA4ak-dyrXL7-d9az7W-oxxc8G-mfXsZG-ozv5jn-ogfJ2k-9RtnKY-ogfG8R-edFHg3-7ypTNJ-6qrnHa-91ih7i-pKiLWP-qAqPnM-edA2Xn-d9azzS-oxHASJ-9mxBhP-7BCnMW-siTA7s-8RpsGY-ovHBWy-6J43DV-fL8gMz-dcfpbi-ahcCwL-9mAyPJ-mfY1Qf-d9aUDA-ah9PFZ-dPGjY3
Creative Commons License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/
Peyton Manning has retired. In an emotional press conference, Manning spoke about his southern upbringing, and his NFL career with the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos. That included this past season, when injuries hampered much of his season. Yet, he came back to lead the Broncos to wins in the regular season finale, and then wins in the postseason all the way to Super Bowl 50, which culminated in Manning earning his second ever Super Bowl championship ring.
Manning retires on top, much like his boss, John Elway. He became the first quarterback in NFL history to lead multiple teams to multiple Super Bowls each, and also became the first starting quarterback to win Super Bowls with two different teams.
He spoke about some of the specifics of the game that he will miss, including preparing against some particular defenders, coaches, and schemes. He also said that he would miss preparing with many former teammates, and would miss checking to see if the Giants won or not (his brother is the starting quarterback for that team).
Fighting back tears, he reminisced about the difficult early years, particularly his rookie season, when he established a record for interceptions for NFL rookies, a record that he hopes to see broken someday. He also remembered that his Colts were quite bad during his first season, and recalled how his grandfather asked him why Pat Summerall and John Madden (the elite broadcast announcers at that point) did not broadcast any of Manning's games.
“We’re only 2-8 right now. We’re playing the 3-7 Bengals,” he told him. “Madden and Sumerall don’t broadcast those kinds of games. Fast forward to my second year, and we’d gotten things going a little bit. We were playing the Dallas Cowboys, including Troy Aikman, Michael Irvin, Emmitt Smith and Deion Sanders. I called PawPaw, ‘Guess what? Madden and Sumerall are broadcasting the game.’”
He would ultimately lead the Colts to win Super Bowl XLI, earning both NFL and Super Bowl MVP honors that season. In time, he would come to be the leader in almost every quarterback category for the Colts and, still later, would come to possess many of the most important NFL records for quarterbacks.
Although he did not speak at length of his challenging departure from Indianapolis, he did thank the Denver Broncos organization for providing him with a second chance.
“Grateful is the word that comes to mind when thinking of the Denver Broncos.”
The Broncos should likewise feel grateful for Manning's services during the past four seasons. The team went 12-4, 13-3, 12-4, and 12-4 in the past four seasons, earning a division title and a playoff bye in each of those years. They enjoyed an incredible season in 2013, putting up unbelievable numbers offensively, including becoming the first team in NFL history to score 600 points. A large part of the reason for that was Peyton Manning, who established an NFL record with 55 touchdown passes during the regular season.
However, even though that team was extremely successful and qualified for the Super Bowl, they will also be remembered for getting crushed by the Seattle Seahawks once there. That was what helped to make this past Super Bowl season for the Broncos so special. The offensive numbers were not anywhere near what they were two years ago, but Denver managed to do something that they failed to do two years ago: win the Super Bowl. And that allowed this perhaps greatest of all quarterbacks ever to fittingly ride off into the sunset on his own terms, joining the elite ranks of players who bowed out while on top.
Ultimately, he could not have picked a better time to step away from the game. Number 18 steps down after 18 seasons. He was remarkable not only for how he orchestrated offenses and put up personally impressive statistics, but ultimately, also, he simply helped teams win, averaging 10 wins a season. If you eliminate his rookie season, as well as the 2011 season where he sat out the entire year, that increases dramatically. With Manning at the helm, the Colts became the first, and so far, only team to have won at least 12 games in seven straight seasons, from 2003 to 2009, leading the Colts to two Super Bowl appearances during that stretch. Add four more such seasons for the Broncos the past four years, where they also appeared in the Super Bowl twice during that stretch. Those are some incredible numbers and, perhaps even more important than his individual stats, these are indicators of just how much of an impact he had on the game, and exactly why he earned all of the accolades that he did.
Peyton Manning. Owner of quite a number of NFL quarterbacking records, including being a 5-time NFL MVP, as well as a Super Bowl MVP. A class act, both on the field and off of it.
Peyton Manning announces retirement after 18 NFL seasons: ‘God bless all of you. And God bless football’ by Matt Adams, March 7, 2016 :