Monday, March 7, 2016

A Tribute to One of the Greats

            Today, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will announce his retirement. He will be ending an illustrious career that started in 1998 as the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL Draft. He's won two Super Bowls in his career: He won one with the Indianapolis Colts (Super Bowl XLI) and one with the Denver Broncos (Super Bowl 50).
            If you don't know who Peyton is, you ought to know. He's the first NFL quarterback to reach the 200 win plateau. He's also won the NFL MVP five times, an NFL record. Speaking of records, here's a breakdown of some of the records that Manning holds:

  • NFL's all-time leader in passing yards (71,490)
  • NFL's all-time leader in touchdown passes (539)
  • Most 4,000-yard passing seasons in the NFL (14)
  • Indianapolis Colts franchise leader in:
    • Wins (141)
    • Passing touchdowns (399)
    • Passing attempts (7,210)
    • Passing completions (4,682)
    • Passing yards (54,828)
            Manning was also the Super Bowl MVP for Super Bowl XLI. He also made the Pro Bowl 14 times, was a seven-time First-team All-Pro, three-time Second-team All-Pro, two-time Offensive Player of the Year, and the 2012 Comeback Player of the Year. On top of that, he was a four-time passing yards leader and a three-time passing touchdowns leader.
            For Manning, the decision to retire is a wise one. He's had a great NFL career with the Indianapolis Colts and the Denver Broncos. Sadly, he was hampered by neck and spinal injuries that have sapped him of his legendary arm strength during his later years with Indianapolis. Later in his last NFL season, he was plagued by plantar fasciitis and poor passing, throwing for a 59.8 completion rate, nine touchdowns, and 17 interceptions.
            Fortunately for Manning, he had the NFL's top defense to help carry him to one last Super Bowl. Manning and the Broncos beat Carolina 24-10 in perhaps the most fitting Super Bowl for what would be his last hurrah numerically: Super Bowl 50.
            If you're not really into the NFL, you might recognize Manning for when he says, "OMAHA!" That's a huge part of what makes him special: calling an audible. In fact, Manning has earned the nickname of "The Sheriff" by Monday Night Football commentator Jon Gruden because of these audibles. Throw in Peyton running a hurry-up offense instead of a standard huddle offense and you have one of the hardest quarterbacks to prepare for and predict in NFL history.
            Manning isn't just known for being one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL. He's also one hell of an actor. Check out some of his best commercials that includes an SNL appearance!!

            For many NFL fans, this will be a bittersweet day. But Manning made the right decision to go out on top. Morphing into an NFL icon, Manning will go down as one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history, if not the best. For such a memorable and illustrious NFL career, the NFL universe thanks you, Peyton Manning.

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