Monday, March 7, quarterback Peyton Manning officially retired. Manning had a great end to his career with the win of Super Bowl 50 and after taking some time to think about retiring, Manning decided to announce his retirement as a player after 18 NFL seasons.
At Payton’s press conference he began with a story, he told the press about his very first NFL game.“ In my very first NFL game, I completed my first pass to Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk. I threw a touchdown in that same game to Marvin Harrison, who would be inducted into the Hall of Fame this August,” Manning said.
Shortly after Peyton Manning finished his story he finally gave the answer to the question we have all been asking him since the beginning of the season. Will you be retiring after this season? “ There is just something about 18 years. Eighteen is a good number and today I retire from pro football,” Manning said.
Manning continued his announcement with thanking past coaches, players and organizations. Peyton also talked about his past as a Bronco and all that he accomplished as a Denver Bronco.
“ When I visited Denver four years ago, if John Elway had sat me down and said, ‘Peyton, here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to win over 50 games, win four straight division championships, lose only three division games in four years and none will be on the road, we’ll beat the Patriots in two championship games and you’re going to win NFL Comeback Player of the Year, another MVP, your offense will set single-season passing records, you’ll break a couple more all-time records, and we’ll go to a couple of Super Bowls.’ I think I would have taken that deal,” Manning said.
It was a very emotional atmosphere as Manning was talking, but also included some laughs.
“ I’m going to miss a steak dinner at St. Elmo’s in Indianapolis after a win. My battles with players named Lynch, Lewis, Thomas, Bruschi, Fletcher, Dawkins, Seau, Urlacher, Polamalu, Harrison, Woodson and Reed. And with coaches like Fisher, Ryan, Belichick, Kiffin, Phillips, Rivera, LeBeau, Crennel, Capers, Lewis, the late Jim Johnson, and so many more. I always felt like I was playing against that middle linebacker or that safety or that defensive coach.
“I’ll miss figuring out blitzes with Jeff Saturday. Reggie sitting on top of the bench next to me. Perfecting a fake handoff to Edgerrin James. I’ll miss Demaryius Thomas telling me that he loved me and thanking me for coming to Denver after every touchdown I threw to him. I’ll miss putting in a play with Tom Moore and Adam Gase that ends in a touchdown on Sunday. On Fridays I’ll miss picking out the game balls with my equipment guys. Talking football with the broadcast crews and afterwards I’ll miss recapping the game with my dad. And checking to see if the Giants won and calling Eli as we’re both on our team buses. I’ll miss that handshake with Tom Brady and I’ll miss the plane rides after a big win with 53 teammates standing in the aisles, laughing and celebrating during the whole flight. I’ll miss playing in front of so many great fans both at home and on the road. I’ll even miss the Patriots fans in Foxborough, and they should miss me because they sure did get a lot of wins off of me,” Manning said.
Peyton Manning ended his 18 NFL season with 539 touchdown passes, 71,940 passing yards and exactly 200 wins including post season. Manning was a tremendous quarterback both with the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos and he will go down as one of the greats.
Below is a link to the full transcript of Peyton Manning’s retirement speech.