Peyton Manning has officially retired from pro football. The quarterback who has been one of the largest faces of the NFL made his emotional announcement Monday to an audience that consisted of his family, former and current teammates, former head coaches and executives and many members of the media.
The press conference began with statements from Broncos’ CEO Joe Ellis, Vice President John Elway and Head Coach Gary Kubiak. Each praised Manning and thanked him for his time in Denver. Then, Manning took to the podium and began to speak about the relationships he made throughout his 18 year career and all that he will miss about the game.
“I revere football, I love the game,” Manning said. “18 is a good number, and today I retire from pro football.”
In under 13 minutes, Manning thanked the University of Tennessee and the two franchises who he played for in his NFL career. He also said he thanked all the head coaches for whom he played.
It was a wonderful speech from the future Hall of Fame player. Manning fought back tears the entire time as family and friends watched him speak on the podium. He finished his speech with a scripture reading (2 Timothy 4:7).
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have kept the faith. Well, I fought the good fight, I’ve finished my football race and after 18 years, it’s time.” Manning said. “God bless all of you and God bless football.”
Manning retires from the game a five-time NFL MVP and a two-time Super Bowl champion. He is a 14-time Pro Bowl player and his teams made the playoffs 15 times during his career.
After answering a few questions from the press, Manning closed the conference with a simple “Omaha”. And that was it. Manning is now officially gone from the football field, but he will soon be in Canton, Ohio along with the NFL’s legends.