Goodbye Peyton Manning

Yesterday, Colts fans said goodbye to the Franchise. Not the Franchise Player, but to the actual Franchise itself. I have mentioned before that the city of Indianapolis does not have an NFL team if Peyton Manning isn’t taken ahead of Ryan Leaf.

Peyton took Reggie’s town, and turned it into a football town. He turned Boom Baby!! into Touchdown Colts!! He made the Super Bowl Village on Georgia Street happen. He made each of the banners that hang in Lucas Oil happen, heck he made Lucas Oil Stadium happen!

Today though, we said goodbye to the greatest era in Colts football history, and just so we are clear, I am referring to both the Indianapolis Colts and the Baltimore Colts. Peyton Manning is the best player to ever don a horseshoe on his helmet, plain and simple and end of discussion. No player in the history of the NFL has had such an impact on a single franchise.

I remember being a kid, watching the 1998 draft with my dad and thinking, Leaf is exciting, lets go with him. Can you imagine not taking Peyton Manning? In his 14 years with the Colts, he took them from the Buccaneers of the AFC, and made them into perennial Super Bowl contenders. He made Marvin Harrison, Reggie Wayne, Marcus Pollard, Dallas Clark, and Brandon Stokley relevant players (Pro Bowlers and future Hall of Famers in some cases). He gave guys like Blair White a shot in the NFL. He earned this city respect and brought in millions and millions of dollars to a small Midwestern city.

But now its all over, and it ended in a fashion that none of us could have imagined in our worst nightmares. He had no chance to say goodbye on the field, no option to retire with a horseshoe still on his helmet, and in a tear filled press conference today, he was forced to say goodbye. It is a shame really to see our Franchise leave on such a sad note.

BUT unlike Brett Favre, this sad ending will one day be rectified. We are fortunate as Colts fans to know that this separation is on good terms. It was hard to watch both Jimmy Irsay and the Franchise choke up as they made their announcements, but at the same time, it was unbelievably encouraging knowing that one day, Peyton will walk away from the NFL a Colt forever.

For the 2012 season I will continue to root for the Colts and I will continue to root for our Manning. It will be painful to see our Franchise wear a different helmet, but be rest assured Colts fans, he is still and always will be a Colt, and one day he will be honored by all as the Greatest Colts Player in franchise history. he has to be right? After all, he is…… THE FRANCHISE!!!


  1. I’m cheering for the Indianapolis Colts, not the Manning Colts, always have, always will.

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