Countdown to Kickoff: Peyton Manning


There are currently Peyton Manning days until the 2013 NFL regular season kicks off on Sept. 8. That’s right, you heard me: There are Peyton Manning days until kickoff.

Yes, the legendary quarterback is no longer with the Colts. But when you refer to The Sheriff, you refer to the future Hall-of-Fame signal-caller who wore No. 18 for 14 seasons and won a Super Bowl.

The Colts selected Manning out of the University of Tennessee with the first overall pick in 1998, and from there he became an iconic figure in Indianapolis. Setting nearly every franchise passing record and numerous league records, Manning is widely regarded as one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time.

Having not missed a game since his rookie debut in 1998, Manning missed the entire 2011 season with a neck injury. The Colts collapsed without him, going 2-14 and setting themselves up to have the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. With the uncertainty of the health of Manning’s neck going forward, he was ultimately released on March 8, 2012.

During his emotional press conference, Manning bid farewell to the city of Indianapolis.

“Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart. I truly have enjoyed being your quarterback.”

Owner Jim Irsay felt the shared pain with Manning and vowed that no Colts player will ever wear No. 18 again.

Manning eventually signed with the Denver Broncos and returned to full health in time for the 2012 season. In a highly anticipated NBC primetime matchup, the Broncos are scheduled to visit Lucas Oil Stadium this season during Week 7.

It sure will be odd to see No. 18 wearing an orange jersey in the house that he built, but given the incalculable effect he’s had on the city, he will always be remembered as a Colt no matter what uniform he wears.

Countdown To Kickoff Archive

Aug 21: Peyton Manning
Aug 22: Austin Collie
Aug 23: Ryan Leaf
Aug 24: LaVon Brazill
Aug 26: T.Y. Hilton
Aug 27: Andrew Luck
Aug 28: Donnie Avery
Aug 31: Matt Hasselbeck
Sept 1: Curtis Painter
Sept 2: Dan Orlovsky
Sept 3: Kerry Collins
Sept 4: Adam Vinatieri
Sept 5: Matt Stover
Sept 7: Pat McAfee