Anyone that knows anything knows who Peyton Manning is. For those that don’t, he is one of the most storied quarterbacks in NFL history. He will go down as one of the greatest QBs to ever play the game and certainly the greatest quarterback to ever don the Blue and White horseshoe for the Indianapolis Colts. Indiana has long been known as a basketball state. People sleep, breathe, and eat Indiana basketball, most noteworthy for their high school basketball programs (watch the movie Hoosiers), but once Peyton got to town in
1996 1998 that all started to change. He certainly made us question what our favorite sport was and he has put Indiana on the map as a football state. He brought us a Superbowl, both literally a Superbowl championship (2007) and is the sole reason Indianapolis hosted the Superbowl in 2012; so the strides he made for football in Indiana are immense. But due to an unforseen neck injury that led to him sitting out the entire 2011 season, it helped us get to #1 draft pick in the next years draft. We got the highly saught after QB Andrew Luck…. which led to the release of Peyton and the end of the Manning era in Indy after 14 seasons.
It was hard to comprehend… Peyton was our guy for so long. We’re just letting this future HoFer go like that?? We didn’t even get to say “goodbye”… But all those sentiments were short lived because Luck came in and filled some big shoes very quickly. He pushed the Colts to an 11-5 record and trip back to the playoffs, while Peyton was lighting it up in Denver. Although the Colts and Broncos are in the same league (AFC), we didn’t play them the first year Peyton was gone. That all changed up til recently, week 7 of the 2013 season… The Denver Broncos came to Indy to play, being Peytons first homecoming!! Going into the game, as a fan, I was extremely excited. Living in NJ I don’t get too many opportunities to watch the Colts play so I had this one circled on the calendar for some time. I knew I would get the chance to not only watch the Colts play but also get the chance to see Peyton at the same time!! Win win, right!?? Well that seemed to be harder than I thought…
As Peyton took the field for warmups on Sunday night the Colts paid tribute to him with a video montage of his years in Indy, while the Colts fans gave him a thunderous ovation. Unfortunately we couldn’t be there in person, but it was truly something to see, even on television. You could see Peyton trying to watch the video while also warming up. Eventually it got to the point where the crowd was so loud that he took the time to stop and take his helmet and acknowledged the crowd. It was moving… sad… and was difficult to hold back emotion. Peyton was our guy. Peyton was the king of Indy. LUCAS OIL IS THE HOUSE THAT PEYTON BUILT! He did so much for us… and here he is in orange and blue?? It felt so wrong.
I felt very conflicted while watching the game though. I found myself cheering more for Peyton to perform well than I did for the Colts. Maybe it’s because I’ve had more loyalty to Peyton than I do for Luck? Maybe it is because I don’t get the opportunity to watch the Colts as often? Maybe I’ll just never be able to root against Manning? I’m not sure, but it got to the point where I wasn’t really cheering at all, because a turnover for the Colts was bad for them but good for Manning and vice versa… In the end, Peyton played well; Luck played well! But ultimately the Colts won because the Broncos D really blew it (which seems to be a theme for that team)! I guess I can say it was the best possible outcome being a Colts and Manning fan!
I guess all I have left to say it… we’ll see ya in the playoffs Peyton! and Thank you!
Press 1 for Spanish… Buenos noches, America!
Edited for Brandon.. lol