Sunday, March 06, 2016

Peyton Manning To Retire Tomorrow

After eighteen NFL seasons - which included two Super Bowl titles, numerous awards and records, and a late career franchise change - Peyton Manning will officially announce his retirement tomorrow.

Manning entered the NFL as the top overall pick in the 1998 draft out of Tennessee.  He spent the first fourteen years of his career with the Indianapolis Colts.  Manning began his assault on the NFL record book while with the Colts and led the team to a win in Super Bowl XLI while winning four of his five NFL MVP awards.  After a series of neck surgeries and the Colts selection of Andrew Luck with the first pick in the 2012 draft, Manning signed with the Broncos as a free agent prior to the 2012 season.  In his last four seasons he would cement his legacy as the NFL's greatest passer, add an additional MVP award, and help Denver win Super Bowl 50 in his last NFL game.

As a Patriots fan, I have spent countless hours watching Manning battle Tom Brady for supremacy in the AFC and compete for the unofficial title as the NFL's greatest quarterback.  While my position on this issue is clearly on the side of Brady, I'd be lying if I didn't express how much respect I had for Manning.  While I'm too young to have really experienced the 1980's NBA rivalry between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird, I'd imagine that when Johnson retired in November 1991 that Celtics fans felt what I am feeling now.

Manning will no longer be on the field but he will still remain part of watching the NFL.  He'll remain a familiar face in television advertisements and don't be surprised when he takes a management role with an NFL franchise in the immediate future.

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