Colts owner Jim Irsay approached the podium first in Indianapolis this morning to announce that Peyton Manning would be released from the Colts.
Irsay said it was a difficult decision, but he knew it was the right one. He spoke of how a “37-year-old owner met a 22-year-old quarterback out of Tennessee and all of the dreams they wanted to accomplish together.”
They did accomplish quite a bit together for the city of Indianapolis.
As hard as it is for some Colts fans to swallow, this was the best decision for the franchise long-term. It doesn’t make it any easier though.
Peyton patted Irsay and said thank you as he strode up to the podium. He immediately broke down while conveying to the media how he doesn’t know any other way to play football than the Colts way.
He added how this was his home and he will always be a Colt. When asked where he will play he answered that he does not know, but he does know where he has been.
“I have been a part of a great organization here with a great owner who I still have respect for,” Peyton said. “I have been a Colt nearly all of my adult life, but sometimes in life and in sports we all know nothing lasts forever.”
He noted that he and Irsay have been close and made great memories together.
Peyton went on to say how much appreciates the fans and the city of Indianapolis.
“It truly has been an honor to play here in Indianapolis,” he said. “I will have nothing but good thoughts and memories toward the Colts, Jim Irsay, the media and especially the fans.”
Here is the video:
It is the end of an era in Colts football and they are not only losing a great quarterback, but a great person.
Call me naive if you want, but it truly sounded like Manning and Irsay will remain friends over the years. Irsay announced no other Colt will ever wear No. 18 again and Peyton said he felt he could return to Indianapolis whenever he wanted and would feel at home.
It was great to see the usual robotic Peyton Manning show emotion. I loved it. It showed me the power of loyalty and how a professional athlete can be in love with a city.
It seems these days all we hear about are athletes demanding to be traded, not begging to stay. That is what separates Manning from the rest.
He will always be a Colt.
He will always be a legend and a hero in Indianapolis and to all Colts fans.