Tuesday, March 8, 2016

End of a Legacy: Peyton Manning's Retirement

No matter if you are a fan of football or not, the retirement of Peyton Manning is something that you should take note of. Many players step down from a professional sport and enter retirement but the retirement of Peyton Manning is special.

Peyton Manning leaves his NFL career on top of his game with all time records and single game records that will most likely not be broken. All the way from the most interceptions by a rookie quarterback in a season to the single season touchdown record. The list of records goes on and on.

Peyton Manning not only was a great player on the field, off the field he was a role model and an advocate for many organizations. His Peyback Foundation has given scholarships to many high school students to help them achieve their college dreams. Peyton would read most of his fan mail and respond to as many as he could, some letters encouraged him to take action some just brought a smile to his face. I also believe there were some things he did for the Indianapolis community and Denver community that we will never hear about, it is just the kind of guy he was.

Growing up a fan of the NFL and watching Peyton start his career in Indianapolis and finish in Denver was exciting as a fan. I will miss watching Peyton play on Sunday, but will also remember how he changed the game of football.

Here are the last few statements from Peyton Manning's retirement speech that shows his class and the respect he has for the game:

"I'm totally convinced that the end of my football career is just the beginning of something I haven't even discovered yet. Life is not shrinking for me, it's morphing into a whole new world of possibilities.

"Pundits will speculate that my effort and drive over the past 18 years were about mastery and working to master every aspect of the NFL game. Well, don't believe them. Because every moment, every drop of sweat, every bleary-eyed night of preparation, every note I took and every frame of film I watched was about one thing, reverence for this game. When I look back on my NFL career, I'll know without a doubt that I gave everything I had to help my teams walk away with a win. There were other players who were more talented, but there was no one could out-prepare me and because of that I have no regrets.

"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."