Manning’s Legacy As Large As Forehead
by Jeremy Gross on Friday, February 12th, 2016
As the sports world continues to buzz over the Denver Broncos’ decisive upset of the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50, the focus, as it almost always does in football, flows to the starting quarterback of each team. Super Bowl MVP Von Miller and the Broncos defense prevented the world from seeing even one “dab” celebration from Panthers’ quarterback, Cam Newton. Therefore, many fans are looking back not only on Peyton Manning’s impressive game, but his entire career. Super Bowl 50 might have been the 39-year-old superstar’s last professional football game.
Manning was born with football in his blood. His father, Archie Manning, spent 14 seasons in the NFL as a New Orleans Saint, a Houston Oiler, and a Minnesota Viking. At the University of Tennessee, Peyton stood out as one of the best in college football. After moving from third to first string his freshman year due to the team’s injuries, Manning played three more seasons in Tennessee, placing 6th in the Heisman voting in the process and winning numerous awards; he was a consensus first-team All-American, the Maxwell Award winner, the Davey O’Brien Award winner, the Johnny Unitas Award winner, and the Best College Player ESPY award winner, among others.
The Indianapolis Colts selected Manning first overall in the 1998 NFL draft. Manning’s illustrious career is highlighted by his two Super Bowl victories, once in Super bowl XLI and the second this past Sunday, his five NFL MVP awards (four as a Colt, one as a Bronco), and his 14 Pro Bowl Selections (an NFL record). In his total 266 regular season games played, Manning has won 186 of them and lost just 79. Including postseason, he has won 200 games, setting a record for most in the NFL. After spending 13 seasons in Indianapolis, Peyton was sidelined for the entire 2011 season with a neck injury. After the Colts drafted star Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck first in the 2012 draft, Manning moved to Denver to play for the Broncos. Throughout his career, Manning’s games that often received the most media attention were his matchups with Patriots’ quarterback, Tom Brady. Though Brady has won 11 of the 17 meetings, his praise of Manning is an indicator of Manning’s incredible talent.
“To me, he’s the greatest of all time. He’s a friend of mine, and someone that I always watch and admire, because he always wants to improve, he always wants to get better, and he doesn’t settle for anything less than the best. So, when you watch the best and you’re able to learn from the best, hopefully that helps me get better,” said Brady in an interview.
Sports fans around the world will certainly miss the Brady-Manning rivalry if the rumours of Manning’s retirement are confirmed, but it seems that no one will miss their meetings more than Tom Brady.
As the NFL all-time leader in career touchdown passes and passing yards to name a few accomplishments, Manning ensures that his legacy won’t soon be forgotten. Like Babe Ruth said in The Sandlot, “Heroes are remembered, but legends never die”.
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