Peyton Manning: Gone, but always a Colt

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On Wednesday, March 8, Manning was released by the Indianapolis Colts.Legend. A word that is thrown around very lightly in sports circles these days if you ask me. However, there are a select few who deserve to have this status placed on them. Peyton Manning is one of those few.

On Wednesday, March 8, Manning was released by the Indianapolis Colts. Because of this, it would be appropriate to commemorate what Manning has accomplished. Not only to remember his achievements on the field, but off it as well. Let’s turn the clock back to 1998. Indianapolis was a basketball town. A small, quiet basketball town at that and for good reason—the Colts had been the doormat of the NFL for years. Coming off a 3-13 season in 1997, the Colts had the number one draft pick, which they used on Manning. Since then Manning has made the Colts a perennial contender, leading them to two Super Bowl appearances and winning one. He is the only player to win four NFL MVP awards, and he has put up Hall of Fame statistics. Without Manning, it is unlikely that the Colts would have the state-of-the art Lucas Oil Stadium and it is extremely unlikely that Indianapolis would have hosted the Super Bowl this year. He has made Indianapolis a sports destination—for football, not basketball. More than that, he has been a great role model. In fact, an entire children’s hospital in Indianapolis is named after him. It is almost impossible to adequately state all that he has done for the Colts franchise, the city of Indianapolis and the state of Indiana. On a more personal note, Manning has meant a lot to me. I have been a Colts fan ever since I was a little kid. My brother and I used to tape Colts games on VHS (that should tell you how long ago it was) and watch them every day after school. I knew all of his statistics; I went to games; and I lived and died with every play. I bleed Colts’ blue. So when I heard that he was released, it came as quite a shock. Not because it wasn’t expected (ESPN had been saying he would get released for a while), but because it was my childhood hero getting pushed out the door. However, those of us who were lucky enough to watch him every Sunday have a lot of good memories to fall back on. So thanks, Peyton, for all you have done. We will always remember you as a Colt.
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