Throwback Thursday: Colts Sever Ties With Peyton Manning
It was something that Indianapolis Colts fans didn’t want to believe, something that seemed almost surreal. Nonetheless, it was happening, and it had become a reality. After multiple neck surgeries and fourteen years of glory, the Colts decided to part ways with long-time quarterback Peyton Manning.
A press conference was held on the afternoon of March 7, 2012 in which a choked up, teary-eyed Manning thanked owner Jim Irsay and the fans for the memories made throughout his historic tenure in Indianapolis.
Manning missed all of the 2011 season due to a neck procedure just shortly before the season’s start which ended in the Colts going 2-14 and securing the rights to the No. 1 overall pick of the 2012 NFL draft. Many speculated that the Colts would select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck (whom they would later end up drafting) to replace Manning as the team’s future at the position.
While the future may have remained bright with the vision of Luck taking the reigns of the team, Manning’s departure was a tough pill for a select few diehard fans of the horseshoe to swallow.
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After all, fans watched Manning grow up as a Colt and progress throughout his career with the team. Breaking numerous records along the way while bringing a championship to Indianapolis during the 2006 season. There was nostalgia of the Peyton Manning-Tom Brady feud that resulted in many shootouts and moments as well as the winning culture that Manning had bestowed upon the city, famously said to have converted the city of Indianapolis from a basketball to football city.
Lucas Oil Stadium, also known as “the House that Peyton built,” is said to may have not even be in existence had Manning not put Indianapolis on the map. Lucas Oil Stadium is just one example of the type of impact that Manning left on the Colts and the city as a whole.
That being said, it’s certainly a no-brainer as to how beloved Manning was by his fans in Indianapolis. The emotions were fueled by uncertainties of how Luck would turn out taking over the team and following in Manning’s enormous footsteps. Yet, Luck had all of the intangibles to prove any doubters wrong on his special abilities.
Fast forward to three years later: Manning, now a member of the Denver Broncos, carries on his legacy and led Denver to the Super Bowl in 2013 after a record-breaking year only to be blown out by the Seattle Seahawks. Luck has lived up to his hype coming out of the draft and has gotten the Colts to the playoffs in each of his first three seasons, going further into the playoffs every year and breaking various records (some even held by Manning) along the way.
As we look at the situation now, it seems like a win-win for both the Broncos and the Colts. While Manning might be in a different uniform, he will always be a Colt to many Colts and NFL fans alike.
But from here on out, Indianapolis has Luck on its side.