“Few have left their marks on a sport as Peyton Manning has. Simply put, he revolutionized NFL football. Peyton energized it as had no one before him, he made it more fun for our fans, and made the game better.
“Off the field, Peyton has been a tremendous ambassador for the game and the epitome of someone who gives back to the community. He is the most recognizable face in the history of the NFL, and perhaps its most popular.
“I will miss seeing #18 on the field on Sundays and I am proud and thankful for all he's done for the Colts, our community, and the NFL. On behalf of Colts and NFL fans worldwide, I thank Peyton and congratulate him on an incredible career.”
Manning, 39, spent 14 of his 18 years with the Colts, for whom he rewrote the franchise record books, won four of his league-record five NFL MVP honors and one of his two Super Bowl rings (Super Bowl XLI in 2007).
Selected No. 1 overall in the 1998 NFL draft, Manning is praised for turning Indianapolis into a pro football city with, among other accomplishments, leading the Colts to a dozen regular-season wins in seven consecutive years. Lucas Oil Stadium, which opened in 2008, is commonly referred to as, “The House That Peyton Built.”
WTHR-TV columnist Bob Kravitz reports Manning will be honored in Indianapolis with a noon press conference at the Colts complex on March 18.
Phillip B. Wilson also can be found on Facebook and Google+.