For anyone born in Indiana between 1990-2000, the glorious shadow of one Peyton Williams Manning was inescapable. Peyton, along with Marvin Harrison and Edgerrin James, ruled this province with an iron, touchdown-machine fist. Few athletes have owned a city the way Peyton did. An incredible percentage of the state lived and died by what this man produced on a weekly basis and most of the time, we lived very well. Of course, nothing good can last and the marriage eventually fell apart. I’ll never forget where I was the day I watched Peyton choke up as he thanked Indiana for 14 beautiful years.
As a levelheaded man, I can comfortably admit that the Colts made the right move parting ways with The Sheriff. They put business over emotion and dumped, at the time, an injured Peyton for the future of the league in one Andrew Luck. I 100% can’t fault them in that. With that being said, I’m still 100% rooting for Manning until the day he retires.
My head wants the Colts to do well, but my heart is still with the man that got me into football and sports in general. Without Manning, there wouldn’t be a Lucas Oil Stadium, and Jack Nicholson would probably have season box seats to Los Angeles Colts games. Until he hangs it up for good, I’m riding it out with Peyton the Gawd.
A few months ago, P Murder announced that he was returning to Denver for would could very likely be his last NFL season. As such, I feel obligated to write about the man while he’s still playing. Peyton’s already had enough written about his statistical success to fill the Library of Congress. So instead here is the definitive, totally objective, absolutely indisputable list of the 6 biggest power moves of Peyton Manning’s career.
- Peyton gets first win over Ryan Leaf
Coming into the 1998 draft, P Money and Ryan Leaf were both considered worthy of being drafted first by the Colts. The consensus was that Peyton was the safer, steadier pick and Leaf was the flashier guy. Peyton was also by all accounts, a harder worker and a way nicer guy while Leaf was a drunk, arrogant douche. Leaf made it known that he had no desire to play in Indianapolis, basically making Manning the first pick by default, with Leaf getting picked 2nd by the Chargers. Peyton started the season 0-4, but decided to cut the horseshit in week 5 when the Colts played San Diego and Manning beat Leaf for his first NFL win. Peyton then went on to become worth $120 million while Leaf was eventually benched, cut from the team, arrested, and now looks like he collects Colt 45 bottles behind an Arby’s. THESIS STATEMENT: Fucking with Peyton is bad for your health my dude.
- Peyton Manning’s Day Off
Stories of Peyton’s competitiveness are legendary, but you would have to assume that even a demi-god would take a day off like the rest of us mortals. You would also be wrong. The above picture is Manning taking a vacation day to rehab an injured ankle with a helmet on (to listen to play calls made during practice) and an iPad (to watch footage of said practice). WE’RE TALKING ABOUT PRACTICE. I one time sat and played Trivia Crack in a bathroom stall at work for 45 minutes to avoid creating a PowerPoint presentation for my boss. THESIS STATEMENT: Peyton works harder on his days off than you’ve worked on anything in your entire life you mongrel.
- Peyton relearns to throw a football
In 2011, Peyton underwent his two surgeries for a neck injury that forced him to sit for an entire season and rendered his right arm basically useless. The guy had a choice. He could either retire as one of the GOATs, or he could relearn to throw a football at the age of 35. Football players age in dog years and at 35 you might as well be learning to tie a diaper on to yourself. Sure enough, the man dug deep and relearned a process he had been doing his entire life. 2 years later, he broke the single season record for touchdown passes and his team became the first to ever score over 600 points. I’ve called off of work due to a hangover over 20 times in 4 years. THESIS STATEMENT: P Moneystack’s body does not operate the same as yours, he is better than you.
- Peyton knocks SNL out of the stratosphere
After Manning won a Superbowl with Indianapolis in 2007, he hosted an episode of SNL. Many (most) athletes are not particularly funny. Athletes hosting SNL are just supposed to make a few skit cameos, introduce the band playing that night, and just generally not fuck up. Peyton Manning is not an athlete; he is a renaissance man that can do just about everything short of cut the federal deficit. This was one of the funniest things I’ve seen from SNL that didn’t involve Eddie Murphy or Will Ferrell. This was like Jesus taking a break from bringing dead people back to life so he could turn water into a fine merlot and get the New Testament turnt to the heavens. The people said, “Holy shit this guy can do it all.” THESIS STATEMENT: Peyton’s huge noggin size makes sense when you factor in all the audibles and punch lines he’s storing up there to drop on that ass.
- Peyton doesn’t appreciate Donald Brown
As much as we like to reduce sports to numbers with fantasy football, box scores, and analytics, it will always be a human game played with human emotion. This makes for some incredible sports footage. Think MJ shooting free-throws with his eyes closed to taunt someone, Reggie talking his shit to Spike Lee, or one of Tom Brady’s estrogen fueled tantrums on the sideline. However, Peyton losing his shit mid-play on a teammate that missed a block might be the funniest sports moment I’ve seen. I present to you “Goddamnit Donald.” Turn up the volume and enjoy. THESIS STATEMENT: Friend or foe, Peyton doesn’t have time for you, mortal.
- Peyton makes me cry
As I said before, I understand the majority of Indiana has moved on from The Sherriff. However, if you can’t admit the 06-07 AFC Championship was the single greatest game the Indianapolis Colts have ever played, you are a liar my friend. Trying to explain everything the preceded that game and the emotion the comeback produced would be impossible, so I won’t even try. If you were there, you know. THESIS STATEMENT: I don’t know man; this game still gives me chills.
I honestly had a list that was like 20 items long for this but narrowed it down. Who knows, maybe I’ll make a part 2. I have enough material to keep cranking Peyton Manning lists out like they’re James Bond movies. Shouts to Daniel Craig and Sean Connery. Not so much Pierce Brosnan. Final, massive shoutout to Peyton Manning. May he watch over and guide us.
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