While the future of Peyton Manning is surrounded by uncertainty, his legacy and what he has done on the field will never come into question. A Super Bowl victory, Super Bowl MVP, 14-time Pro Bowler, 7-time First Team All-Pro, 3-time Second Team All-Pro, 3 AFC Championships, 5 MVP Awards, 2 Offensive Player of the Year Awards, 2012 Comeback Player of the Year and 2005 Pro Bowl MVP.
Manning also owns a few regular season marks, for most career touchdown passes, most touchdown passes in a season, most passing yards in a season and most fourth quarter comebacks of all-time. In 2013, he was named Sports Illustrated's Sportsman of the Year. It's safe to say that Manning has accomplished much over the course of his decorated career, but today he has accomplished something new that has eluded him for 17 years.
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has been chosen by his National Football League peers to receive the Bart Starr Award, which is given annually to a player who best exemplifies character and leadership on and off the field. Through this honor, Manning will join the list of Bart Starr Award winners that includes Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Kurt Warner, Aeneas Williams, Jason Witten, London Fletcher, LaDainian Tomlinson, Reggie White and Mike Singletary, among many others.
Manning will receive the Bart Starr Award in person at the "Athletes in Action" Super Bowl Breakfast. While Manning has won the 2015 Bart Starr Award, Benjamin Watson and Justin Tuck were selected by their NFL peers as finalists for the honor, in recognition of their outstanding character and community contributions.
Manning does so much for the community, whether it be in Indiana, New Orleans, Tennessee or Colorado. Manning's presence is felt everywhere. The PeyBack Foundation has provided more than $10 million worth of impact to at-risk youth in Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana and Tennessee, through it's grants and programs since its inception in 1999.
Manning also started the Peyton Manning Scholarship program at Tennessee that has honored 20 incoming college students in the last 16 years on the basis of academic achievement, leadership and community service.
Most importantly, Manning gives his time, leadership and presence to a broad range of worthy causes including the St. Vincent’s Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, which in 2007 was renamed the “Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at St. Vincent.” Manning also serves as a member of the American Red Cross National Celebrity Cabinet and the Pat Summitt Foundation.
Gregg Doyle of the Indianapolis Star recently wrote a piece exposing Manning for what he truly is, a guy who does much for the community, without seeking recognition. What Manning does outside of the grid-iron limelight truly is remarkable; going the extra mile with all fans, calling patients at the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital with their parents permission and reading every piece of fan mail sent to him.
No matter what you think of Manning and his future in the NFL, his impact on the community cannot be understated. His leadership is an example that everyone should strive for, both on and off the field.