Peyton Manning, a Champions Champion
I will never forget Peyton Manning’s first game as a professional member of the Indianapolis Colts. I was a Diehard Dan Marino fan and looked forward all pre-season long for opening day Sunday, September 6, that day Peyton Manning hit Marvin Harrison in the right corner of the end zone in the final minute against the Miami Dolphins in the opening week of the 1998 season for his first touchdown pass. Some 420+ touchdowns later, he’s still going strong.
Manning finished that first game 21-of-37 for 302 yards accentuating a one-touchdown, three-pick day. He was going up against a master in Dan Marino with a club that was simply outmatched. The Colts didn’t have the talent to hang with the playoff-bound Dolphins. Manning kept the Colts close for a while, but a pick-six in the fourth quarter put the team down 15 points. Manning was sacked four times behind an Colts line that would take half a season to gel. Manning’s final throw of the day was both cosmetic and historic. It changed nothing, but it signified that everything had changed.
In his rookie season, he passed for 3,739 yards with 26 touchdowns, set five different NFL rookie records, including most touchdown passes in a season, and was named to the NFL All-Rookie First Team.[Manning’s first win came against fellow rookie quarterback Ryan Leaf, 17–12 over the Chargers. Weeks later, Manning faced off against San Francisco 49’ers star QB, Steve Young he threw three touchdowns, tying a Colts rookie record, but the 49ers kicked a late field goal to win 34–31 In November against the N.Y. Jets, Manning threw for three touchdowns in a 24–23 win; he was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for this performance. It was the first game-winning drive of Manning’s career, as he hit Marcus Pollard with the game-winning TD pass. Manning was certainly a bright spot in 1998 for the Colts, but he also threw a league high 28 interceptions as the team struggled to a 3–13 record with a defense that gave up more than 27 points per game. The Colts lost many close games, including five games in which they had led by double-digits at some point.
Colts release Peyton Manning as Indianapolis Colts Quarterback in March 7, 2012 after 14 seasons.
After a May 23 neck surgery, Manning could not use the Colts’ facilities for practice and workouts due to the NFL lockout. He was so reluctant to have witnesses to his recovery that he used the Colorado Rockies baseball team’s trainers at Coors Field in Denver. Manning was unable to complete his throwing motion, and his arm strength was so poor that he was compared to Chad Pennington. Based on an MRI, doctors told him in the late summer that he needed spinal fusion surgery and that at his age they could not guarantee his return to the NFL. On September 7 the Colts officially ruled Manning out for the season opener against Houston, ending his consecutive starts streak of 208 games (227 including playoffs); the team signed Kerry Collins out of retirement and named him interim starting quarterback. After seeking other opinions, Manning had the second surgery on September 8.
“To me, he’s the greatest of all time. He’s a friend of mine, and someone that I always watch and admire, because he always wants to improve, he always wants to get better, and he doesn’t settle for anything less than the best. So, when you watch the best and you’re able to learn from the best, hopefully that helps me get better.”
Manning stated that while he did intend to play during the 2011 season, he would not “fight” the front office to stay off injured reserve if his roster spot was needed. Manning started practicing throwing footballs again in mid-December, with teammate Joseph Addai even claiming his passes looked “game ready.Ultimately, Manning did not play a single game in 2011, and the Colts went 2–14 without him, only the second season since Manning was a rookie that the Colts did not win at least 10 games.
Manning was released by the Colts on March 7, 2012.Upon his release, Colts owner Jim Irsay announced that no Colt will ever wear the #18 jersey again, though it is not being officially retired at this time.
After a crazy 2 week tour of prospective teams from the San Francisco 49ers to the Tennessee Titans (who were offering a blank check to the University of Tennessee all-time leading passer with 11,201 yards and 89 touchdowns and winner of 39 of the 45 games he started, 4 of those losses to the University of Florida) interviewing and working out for the Miami Dolphins and the Denver Broncos, Peyton had to make a decision if and where to continue his assault on the NFL passing records. Then on March 20, 2012, 13 days after being released by the Colts, Peyton reached an agreement with Broncos GM John Elway and owner Pat Bowlen on a five year contract worth 96 million dollars. Everyone in Denver was elated by this news that although #18 is retired in honor of Frank Tripucka, he gave Manning permission to wear it. Everyone except Denver’s first round draft pick in 2010 Tim Tebow who On July 29 2010 signed a five-year contract with the Broncos that had a base value of $11.25 million with a possibility of 33 million with incentives. The contract also included $8.7 million guaranteed money for the passionate quarterback from Peyton’s nemesis, the University of Florida where Tebow led the Gators to 2 SEC championships (2006,2008) as well as 2 National Championships (2007,2009). Incidently, Tebow made his SEC debut against the Tennessee Volunteers on September 16, 2006 His performance included a ten-yard run on his first carry and converting a critical fourth down near the end of the game, which led to the Gators’ go-ahead touchdown, But today we are talking about Peyton Manning.
Peyton Manning silences the critics.
Yesterday November 18, 2012, Peyton Manning moved to second on the NFL’s all-time passing touchdown list during the second quarter of the Denver Broncos’ 30-23 victory over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.
Manning surpassed former Miami Dolphins great Dan Marino on the all-time list with the 421st touchdown pass of his career — a 13-yard strike to Demaryius Thomas in the back of the end zone. Manning finished the game completing 25 of 42 passes for 270 yards and three touchdowns. Brett Favre’s 497 TD’s are Peyton’s next challenge but as tough as he is and at only 35 years old it seems very possible. By next season he ought to surpass Marino’s 61,361 passing yards for second place on the All Time List with Favre’s 71,838 not too far away as well. But Peyton’s ultimate goal is to lead the Bronco’s to another Super Bowl Championship which in 2006 Manning led the Colts to a 29–17 victory over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI and was voted Super Bowl MVP.
Manning, who had been criticized for failing to win big games, exorcised his big-game demons with the win. “In years’ past when our team’s come up short, it’s been disappointing”, he told reporters. “Somehow we found a way to have learned from some of those losses and we’ve been a better team because of it.” For his role in the Colts’ championship run, Manning was awarded the ESPY for Best Championship Performance.
He led the 2009 Colts to his second Super Bowl appearance ultimately won by Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints , but again, today we are talking about Peyton Manning, a true champion! I could fill up the page with all of Peyton’s highlights and awards but what strikes me the most is that Peyton Manning is a true Champion today because of his persistence, his hard work and continuous regimen of practice striving for his ultimate goal of perfection. Try telling him that perfection is unobtainable and he will work harder. He is a relentless field general that changes plays in a split second after reading the defensive alignments and he has silenced all the critics that said he would never come back from the neck surgeries that sidelined him and caused the Indianapolis Colts to have the worst record in football after the 2011 season without him. With the first pick of the 2012 draft the Colts selected Stanford star quarterback Andrew Luck after Mr. Isray decided that Peyton was done.
Never count out Peyton Manning! He is a warrior who continues to strive in the face of any and all adversities. Peyton is one of my role models because he is a winner, not a whiner!
How about you? Winner or whiner? Do you believe in yourself? Have a never say die attitude? The attitude of Champions, the attitude of greatness that is instilled in every single one of us. We will not be defeated by the economy, the job market or any thing else we have no control of. What we do have control of is our destiny! We have control of our future. We have control of the 24 hours that each one of us is given every single day. The only difference is that champions use their 24 hours differently than others. I implore you to be a champion and take total control of your future, your destiny, your finances. Click the link below and take the first step towards your Championship life! Your destiny awaits you, make the decision right now to be a champion!!!