Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Peyton Manning jokes, chokes up during retirement remarks

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Peyton Manning got through the weekend thanks to hundreds of texts and calls from men he played against or alongside over his unparalleled 18-year NFL career.

He had to crack a few jokes to help fight back the tears at his retirement news conference Monday, when the words didn't always come as easily as the emotions.

His voice cracking, especially when he mentioned his hero, Johnny Unitas, Manning said goodbye to the game he loved in an auditorium packed with friends, family and laughter.

Manning, who turns 40 on March 24, said the timing was right to call one last audible a month after winning his second Super Bowl trophy.

"I thought about it a lot, prayed about it a lot … it was just the right time," he said. "I don't throw as good as I used to, don't run as good as I used to, but I have always had good timing."

Manning came to Denver on March 20, 2012, for the chance to win another title in the twilight of his career. General manager John Elway had the blueprints.

Four years later, he hobbles away a champion, just like his boss did 17 years ago. Manning told the team of his decision over the weekend.

Manning is going golfing this week with brothers Cooper and Eli — whose scheduled Monday morning trip to Denver was scuttled by a stomach bug.

Manning, who holds NFL records for MVP awards (five) passing touchdowns (539) and passing yards (71,940), plans to travel to Indianapolis this month for a lower-key goodbye and said he'll participate in his family's annual passing academy this summer.

After that? Maybe a front office or a broadcast booth beckons. He hasn't ruled out anything but said he, his wife and 5-year-old twins will stay in Denver.

"I'm totally convinced that the end of my football career is just the beginning of something I haven't even discovered yet," Manning said. "Life is not shrinking for me; it's morphing into a whole new world of possibilities."

Elway thanked Manning for coming to Colorado, saying he made his own job easier, noting that with Manning there, free agents were basically asking Elway, "where do I sign?"

"Peyton Manning revolutionized the game," Elway said. "We all used to think a no-huddle was a fast pace, get to the line of scrimmage and get people off-balance. Peyton revolutionized it, and you know what, we're going to get to the line of scrimmage, take our time, I'm going to find out what you're doing and then I'm going to pick you apart.

"I can't tell you how many times I said, 'Dang, why didn't we think of that?'"

After breaking all of Unitas' passing records with the Colts, Manning went 50-15 in Denver with four AFC West titles and two Super Bowl trips. All after retraining himself to throw following a series of neck fusion surgeries forced him to miss the 2011 season and he was cut by the Colts.

Manning choked up several times, especially when he listed all the things he'd miss about football: Deciphering defenses; flights home after a big win; his teammates. And he declined to address in detail a recent rehashing of a sexual harassment claim from his days at Tennessee.

"This is a joyous day," he said, "and nothing could overtake this day."

He ended the session with his signature "Omaha!" then posed for pictures with more than a dozen former Colts and Broncos teammates who he helped to Super Bowl titles.

Manning by the numbers

2 Super Bowl

victories

5 MVP awards,

a record

7 First-team

All-Pro selections

14 Playoff

victories

27 Playoff

games

56 Game-winning drives, first all-time

539 Passing TDs, first all-time

6125 Pass completions, second all-time

9380 Pass attempts, second all-time

71940 Passing yards, first all-time

Peyton Manning jokes, chokes up during retirement remarks 03/07/16 [Last modified: Monday, March 7, 2016 9:39pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs mull options at right tackle as Dotson awaits MRI

    Bucs

    Right tackle Demar Dotson, the Bucs' most experienced offensive lineman, will undergo an MRI on his injured groin Saturday, three weeks before the season opener.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneer Demar Dotson, offensive tackle, brought his coffee and breakfast to One Buc Place, 7/31/15, as he reported to training camp.
  2. For starters: Rays vs. Mariners, with another new look

    Blogs

    Having lost 11 of their last 14 games and dropping to a season-worst four games under .500 at 60-64, the Rays continue to search for ways to get out of their extended offensive slump.

    And with the M's starting LHP Ariel Miranda today, that means another new look to the lineup, which includes having struggling …

  3. Chasing 125: Bucs hope to hit rushing goal more often

    Bucs

    Ever so often, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter pulls back the curtain a bit and shares some of the stats that matter to him most as a coach.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
  4. Bucs-Jaguars was NFL's lowest-rated ESPN game since 2005

    Bucs

    It is just the preseason, and it is the Jaguars, but Thursday night's Bucs-Jags preseason game earned a 1.6 rating on ESPN, which is the lowest-rated preseason game (excluding NFL Network) in 12 years, according to Sports Media Watch.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, left, talks with coach Dirk Koetter during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
  5. Roberto Aguayo, Jonathan Drouin, Tim Beckham are coming for revenge

    Bucs

    Forget the Three Tenors.

    Make it the Three Terrors.

    The 2017 Unfulfilled Expectations Tour is about to hit Tampa Bay.

    From left, former Bucs kicker Roberto Aguayo, ex-Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin and former Rays infielder Tim Beckham. [LOREN ELLIOTT | Times; DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times; Getty Images]