Quarterback Peyton Manning has had a colorful career, full of records, awards, and a recovery from a serious injury. SportsAspire presents a brief run-down of Manning’s career, and his prospects for the future.
|If nothing else in life, I want to be true to the things I believe in, and quite simply, to what I’m all about. I know I’d better, because it seems whenever I take a false step or two, I feel the consequences. -Peyton Manning|
Football quarterback Peyton Manning was born in 1976 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Manning was a longtime fixture of the Indianapolis Colts, playing there for 14 years, before finally moving to the Denver Broncos in 2012. After proving himself at the high school and college levels, Manning settled in Indianapolis, where he proceeded to generate a long list of awards and records for himself.
Manning’s College Years
Manning went to the University of Tennessee, where he immediately began turning heads. During his time there, he racked up a record 39 out of 45 starting wins, breaking the school’s record. He also became the Tennessee Volunteers’ top passing player of all time, with 11,201 yards thrown during his time there. As an undergraduate, Manning did impressive things off the football field as well. He finished his degree in 1997 after only 3 years, and joined the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. Despite graduating early, Manning played a fourth year with the Volunteers (or Vols for short), before moving to the NFL. The University of Tennessee retired Manning’s number 16, in 2005.
Manning and the Colts
In the 1998 NFL draft, Peyton Manning was picked first, which is how he landed with the Indianapolis Colts. During his career with the Colts, Manning helped the team to an impressive record. The Colts won one Super Bowl, two AFC championships, and eight division championships. He was named most valuable player (MVP) of Super Bowl XLI, in which the Colts beat the Chicago Bears 29 to 17.
The Pro Bowl
In addition to winning games for the Colts, Manning played in 11 Pro Bowls, before he moved to Denver. He was named MVP of the 2005 Pro Bowl (after the 2004 NFL season), which the AFC won 38 to 27 against the NFC. After becoming a Bronco, Manning was selected for his 12th Pro Bowl appearance, which made him the quarterback with the most Pro Bowl appearances of all time, beating Brett Favre’s 11 appearances.
Manning Moves to Denver
Peyton Manning’s move to the Denver Broncos in 2012 came after a well-known injury saga. Manning had surgery on his neck in May, 2011, in order to remedy some neck pain and other difficulties he had been suffering. Although he had planned to be back in the game in time for the 2011 season, it turned out that he needed a serious spinal surgery to correct the underlying problem. The surgery and recovery caused him to miss the entirety of the 2011 NFL season, and the Colts released him soon afterward.
Comeback of the Year
Manning’s story turned out to be a good thing for the Denver Broncos, who signed him in March of 2012. His five-year contract cost the Broncos $96 million, and Manning resurrected retired number 18 with the permission of then 84-year-old former quarterback Frank Tripucka. During the 2012 season, Manning led the Broncos to the playoffs, but they were eliminated in the first playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens. Still, Manning’s pretty-good season was good enough for him to be named the Comeback Player of the Year.
Overall, Peyton Manning has been one of the most talked-about players in the NFL. His signature no-huddle offense with the Colts, and his elaborate pre-snap routine have helped give him a unique and memorable image. Many other NFL superstars, including New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, have praised Manning as one of the best quarterbacks of all time, and he seems poised to enter the NFL pantheon-provided he can continue to do great things in Denver.
Apart from playing, Manning, along with his brother and father, run the Manning Passing Academy during the summers, that aims to improve the offensive skills of quarterbacks. Besides, Peyton Manning is NFL’s most marketable player, appearing in several television and printed advertisements for some of NFL’s biggest sponsors.