The Denver Broncos are certainly going through a rough patch at the moment. However, it wasn’t always like this in Broncos Nation. Especially not when Peyton Manning led the Orange Crush. And the NFL world sometimes finds it hard to believe that it’s been seven years since he retired. The post-Peyton era saw the ‘TB12 domination’ until a new generation of quarterbacks came in to fill the void.
However, quarterbacking wasn’t Peyton’s only skill, also born with the gift of the gab. And his retirement speech can still raise the hairs on the neck of many football fans.
Peyton Manning retired as a comeback hero
After 18 years in the NFL, two championships, and many more individual accolades, Peyton Manning is arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks to grace the league. And his mental makeup has more to do with his journey to the top.
After 14 seasons of calling the plays from the pocket for the Indianapolis Colts, and winning Super Bowl XLI on the way, a brutal neck injury almost brought Peyton’s pro-football career to an end. However, after taking a year off for recovery, Peyton displayed his ultimate warrior mentality when he returned, albeit with a different team. And the rest is history.
Other than taking the Denver Broncos to a world championship in the twilight of his career, Eli Manning’s big bro also set some all-time NFL records during his comeback phase. Records that still stand. Like the most passing yards in a regular season (5477) and the most single-season passing touchdowns (55).
“I love the game. So you don’t have to wonder if I’m gonna miss it. Absolutely I will,” Peyton had said while choking up. Peyton specifically listed some of the things he’d miss most in the NFL. His Colts teammates Jeff Saturday, Reggie Wayne, Edgerrin James, and late Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas will always remain close to Manning. “The fact that he mentioned DT,” one fan noted.
Fans still get emotional watching the farewell video
Peyton also spoke about how much he would miss having the post-match talk with his father and former NFL quarterback Archie Manning. Also, the thirst to know if his brother Eli and the NY Giants won. “I’ll miss the handshakes with Tom Brady,” Peyton finally said, commemorating one of the greatest quarterback rivalries in the NFL.
“There were players who were more talented, but there was no one who could out-prepare me. I fought a good fight and finished my football race. And after eighteen years, it’s time,” the 5x league MVP ended.
“Greatest retirement speech of all time,” one fan wrote.
Even seven years later, fans could not hide their emotions. “Who’s cutting onions,” one fan asked with a crying emoji.
“Football is not the same without him. Thank you for those legendary 18 years,” another commented.
Tom Brady, also retired this year with an emotional minute-long farewell video. And Brady can lead in the Super Bowl rings department with the seven. However, Peyton Manning’s retirement speech will certainly be hard to top for any future retirees.