Peyton Manning just retired and I’m not ready for Sundays without him. For the last 18 years, America has had the joy of seeing the G.O.A.T. start almost every Sunday and be nothing less than incredible.
For everyone else across the nation, they’re sad. For Tennessee, Denver and Indiana, it’s more than sad (mostly Tennessee and Indy, though).
Tennessee has loved Peyton since 1994 and never stopped. Even when he went to one of Tennessee’s biggest rivals, the Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee still had a soft spot for the quarterback.
With the Colts, the first-round pick Manning won a Super Bowl, a Super Bowl MVP, four NFL MVPs, Offensive Player of the Year, Pro-Bowl MVP, and made 11 Pro-Bowl appearences. After a neck injury in 2011, everyone thought his career ended for good. However, a missed season was not going to keep Manning down. He packed his bags, went to Denver and started a new era.
In Denver, Manning won NFL Comeback Player of the Year, another Super Bowl and broke franchise and NFL records.
As of right now, Manning holds records including most career passing yards, most career touchdown passes, most career wins, first and only quarterback to reach 200 wins, most touchdown passes in a season and many more to name.
Now that I’ve covered his on-the-field performance, I can explain a little more about who he is off the field.
At St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, they renamed the children’s wing Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent. In 2012, after he left, he still continued to come visit children there. He would call the children, ask them about their diagnosis and talk to them as regular human beings. Manning is involved with Make-A-Wish, and PeyBack Foundation which gives low-income families Thanksgiving dinners. He’s been known to write $1 million checks out with no problem, and just makes appearances. I could list everything he does, but I think you would get tired of reading 10 pages of Peyton Manning’s charity work.
Manning has also appeared on Saturday Night Live, making America laugh with his completely out of character acting.
To sum everything up, Peyton Manning gave America 18 great years of the NFL and so much more. 2016 will be a year that a lot of people (including me) are not ready for. Sundays without Peyton Manning are coming, and no matter how good the Vols or the Titans are, a piece of my heart will be gone. It will be a very long time until another Peyton Manning comes along, if ever…