Manning’s Farewell to the NFL
Future hall of famer, Peyton Manning, said his farewells to the NFL and to his fans earlier this month. Manning announced his official retirement on Monday, March 7th in Colorado. The fans of the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos were all left emotional by this decision, whether left with appreciative smiles or sadden tears, all true fans were affected. Manning played 14 seasons in Indianapolis before moving on to Denver, where he played his final 4 seasons.
Manning’s emotions surrounding this announcement were vividly expressed during his 12 minute retirement speech, holding back the tears throughout. He reminisced with some old memories, gave thanks to countless individuals, stated how much he’ll miss the game of football, and proclaimed his undying love for the game.
“There is just something about 18 years. Eighteen is a good number…” Number 18 on his back and 18 years of pro football under his belt, that number is a crucial one in reference to Manning and his career. After 18 years of football, Manning’s final stats are- 9,380 passing completions for 71,940 yards, 539 passing touchdowns, 251 passing interceptions, and 667 rushing yards for 18 touchdowns. Manning currently holds 20 NFL records, including- most career touchdowns (539) , most wins (200) , single season touchdowns (55), most game winning drives (56), one of the only two quarterbacks (along with Brett Favre) to beat all 32 teams in the league, etc.
On Friday, March 18th, Jim Irsay of the Indianapolis Colts announced the retirement of the number 18 jersey, stating, “No Colt will ever wear No. 18 again.” Irsay and the Colts franchise also revealed the plans for a statue of Manning that will stand outside Lucas Oil Stadium. “It was my honor and privilege to play for this organization for 14 years. I’ll always be a Colt,” expresses Manning.
"There’s a scripture reading, ‘2 Timothy 4:7: I have fought the good fight and I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.’ Well, I’ve fought a good fight. I’ve finished my football race and after 18 years, it’s time. God bless all of you and God bless football."