Today Peyton Manning, my favorite athlete of all time, will likely play his last game. I could write a book about the memories and moments I’ve shared with family and friends, at the stadium, or even jumping around my living room by myself while watching him play, but that’s not the point of this blog. Everyone knows about his on the field accomplishments and failures, and most everyone knows of his off the field generosity and character. All of those things speak for themselves, and I don’t really have much to add. Peyton Manning changed the game of football. He changed how the quarterback position was played, defended against, and even officiated. More importantly off the field he defined what a professional athlete should be: a role model. If there ever was a “good guy” in professional sports, it’s Peyton Manning.
Tonight while I watch the game with family and friends I’ll try to soak in the moment. I’ll pull for Peyton like I never have before. I’ll tell my boys to remember the moment. I’ll try to convey to them the history and importance of the game, but most of all I’ll point to #18 and say “grow up to be like that guy”. So my point in this blog is not to argue for his status among the greats, or talk about why I think he’s the best ever, or talk about overcoming setback to accomplish great things.
I just want to say, thank you Peyton for the example, and thank you for the memories.