Star quarterback ends career with honor

Longtime National Football League superstar Peyton Manning announced his retirement from professional football on March 7.

His formal retirement will take place on April 5, 2016. The NFL quarterback has played professionally for a total of 18 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts and then with the Denver Broncos. His last season ended with a Super Bowl title.

Manning’s career is one that is brimming with accomplishments. Among the 21 major NFL records that Manning holds are the most passing touchdowns in an NFL career [539], most passing yards in a career [71,940] and most touchdowns in a single season [55], according to SB Nation.

Students at John Brown University have fond memories of watching Manning play. Meghan Hardwick, a lifelong fan of Manning, expressed that she loved to watch him display his intellect as
well as his athleticism.

“I loved how so often, coaches would either step aside or ask him for advice when the other team kept blitzing, because they knew that Manning would know how to break it,” Hardwick said. “It was so fun to watch when a play had been called and he changed it at the last second because he knew what the other team was going to do.”

David Carlson, senior construction management major, pointed out that Manning was also the kind of player that would make his teammates better. He said that he has noticed this take place on the Broncos this past year.

“He led the team well and set us up really well for next year,” Carlson said. “All of our running backs and wide receivers have grown through him.”

While one could simply be impressed with his accomplishments and presence on the field, Manning is also greatly revered as a reputable person off the field. Alyssa Garza, a Broncos fan, said that she appreciates Manning’s unassuming demeanor.

“He is very humble,” Garza said. “He doesn’t let the pressure of the media get to him.”

Garza also pointed out that she was impressed with how Manning balanced different aspects of his life with his football career.

“He balances his football life, family life and religious life very well,” she said. “Whenever I would go to games he would always bring his kids with him. I think that’s a great thing to do as a dad.”

“His morals are not shady like some players we’ve all heard about,” Hardwick said. “He is consistent in what he believes, and I never had to dread a post-game interview, because even if he lost, he would still be classy.”

Carlson mentioned that, although his team is losing a star player, he was happy to see Manning finally retire. He did, however, say that he would miss Manning’s presence in the Broncos’ organization.

“He had a great career with the Colts, and we were lucky to get him,” Carlson said. “He’s done a lot for his teams, both on and off the field. I think he’s a really good guy and a really good player. We’ll miss him next year.”