Formerly of the Indianapolis Colts, Peyton Manning is virtually guaranteed a future spot in the NFL Hall of Fame. He is the Colts’ all-time leading passer, and played a crucial role in revitalizing the Colts’ fan base since his arrival in 1998.
He was a famous market spokesman, and winner of seemingly endless awards and records. He was perhaps the city’s most scintillating citizen, loved by many and revered from afar by even more. His conduct off the field left an indelible mark on the city, one that will forever be a part of the history of Indianapolis, the town he once called home. He will always be one of the most famous people of Indianapolis.
A Timeline of Events
March 24, 1976: Born Peyton Williams Manning in New Orleans, to mother Olivia and father Archie Manning, quarterback for the New Orleans Saints. His younger brother, Eli Manning, is also a star quarterback in the pros, playing for the New York Giants. Cooper, Peyton’s older brother, was forced to end a promising football career due to spinal stenosis.
Youth: Peyton spent his early years in a historic old New Orleans home, next to famous neighbors Anne Rice, author of Interview with a Vampire, and Trent Reznor, famous rock singer. Along with his brothers, he was carefully trained by his pro-quarterback father.
High School: Peyton broke records at Isidore Newman High School in New Orleans, and he was named National Player of the Year for the Gatorade Circle of Champions. The name Peyton Manning was at the top of the short list for quarterback recruits for the entire nation.
College: Peyton chose the University of Tennessee out of the many colleges heavily recruiting him at the time. There he continued to improve and broke many more records. By the end of his junior year, his name once again went to the top of the nation’s recruitment list, this time for the pros. Although he didn’t win the coveted Heisman Trophy, Peyton Manning was the first overall pick the next year in the NFL draft.
Personal: On March 17 of 2001, Peyton married Ashley Thompson in Memphis, Tennessee.
Career Records and Accomplishments
- Peyton Manningwas a high school All-American quarterback who became the number one draft pick in the nation at graduation.
- In 1994, he was named Southeastern Conference Freshman of the year.
- In 1995, Peyton was named a finalist for the All-SEC and Davey O’Brien award.
- As a senior in 1996, Manning became runner-up for the Heisman Trophy.
- In 1998, Peyton Manning was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts, where he has quarterbacked ever since. As a rookie, he broke no fewer than five NFL rookie records to earn a place on the NFL’s All-Rookie First Team and was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week.
- In 1999, Manning was named to the Pro Bowl and Second Team All-Pro.
- In 2000, Peyton Manning again received the honor of AFC Offensive Player of the Week, not once but twice, and again was named to the Pro Bowl and Second Team All-Pro.
- In 2001, Manning again was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week, and introduced the Colts’ now-famous “no huddle offense,” known as the Pre-Snap Routine.
- In 2002, Manning, with 27 passing TDs and 4,200 passing yards, was again named to the Pro Bowl.
- In 2003, Manning received multiple AFC Offensive Player of the Week awards and AFC Offensive Player of the Month awards, with numerous perfect games and perfect passing ratings.
- In 2004, Manning received AFC Offensive Player of the Week four times, and AFC Offensive Player of the Month after still more stellar performances. During this season, he won NFL’s Most Valuable Player award by a landslide, as well as the high honors of NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year and ESPY’s Best NFL Player and ESPY’s Best Record-Breaking Performance.
- In 2005, backed by a much-improved team defense, the Colts scored a decisive and perfect 13-0 record by the 15th week of the season, and Manning’s QB rating, at 104.1, was the league’s highest for the season. He received the Man of the Year Walter Payton Award and, for the third year in a row, Manning was named First Team All-Pro.
- In 2006, Peyton Manning led the Colts to a decisive win against the Chicago Bears in the Super Bowl XLVI and received the high honors of Super Bowl MVP and ESPY’s Best Championship Performance.
- In 2008, Manning, despite a battle with an infected knee bursa sac that required surgery, overtook Terry Bradshaw on the NFL list of all-time wins, with 108. For the 17thtime, he was named the AFC’s Offensive Player of the Week.
- 2009 was a banner year for Manning. The durable QB started all 16 games for the 12th consecutive year, and earned his 10th Pro Bowl selection — tying him with Johnny Unitas for most Pro Bowls in team history. In addition to setting and extending numerous NFL records, Manning threw for his second highest yardage total of his career (4,500), and surpassed 30 touchdowns for the fifth time in his career. He was also named the league’s MVP for the fourth time, and led the Colts to their second Super Bowl since coming to Indy.
- 2010, he became the fist QB since 1960 to begin a season with three straight games with at least 3 touchdown passes and no interceptions. He notched is 45th game-winning drive versus the Kansas City Chiefs. He was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week for his performance versus the Tennessee Titans. He became the first QB in league history to lead an NFL team to 9 straight playoff appearances.
- The 2011 season began with the Colts placing the franchise tag on Manning. They subsequently signed him to a 5-year, $90 million contract. Unfortunately, an MRI revealed he would need a spinal fusion surgery. The surgery took place on September 8, 2011. He went on to miss the entire 2011 season.
Professional Highlights And Recognition
The Court Appointed Special Advocate Association made Peyton their national spokesperson, as well as an honorary chairman for their annual fund drive.
In May, 1998, Peyton Manning was chosen as the Louisiana Special Olympics’ Grand Marshall, at the age of 22.
In January of 1999, Peyton Manning received the title of “Outstanding Young American,” from the Junior Chamber of Commerce of the United States. Only nine other young people were so honored.
In 1999, Peyton Manning created the “PeyBack Foundation,” a charity for disadvantaged youth. In 2001, Manning received the American Dream Award from the Hudson Institute, in recognition of his work with the PeyBack Foundation and in the community at large.
In September of 1999, Peyton Manning had a cereal from Famous Fixins, Inc. named after him, “Peyton’s O’s.” It had a limited distribution and a portion of the proceeds from every box went directly to Peyton’s charity, the PeyBack Foundation.
Peyton Manning has the distinction of being the NCAA Foundation Board of Directors’ only active player.
Peyton has been featured by and worked for many educational projects, including the Indiana College Savings Plan Campaign as spokesman, the Indiana Department of Education’s ISTEP Exam and the Northern Indiana Community Foundation scholarships fundraising campaign as keynote speaker.
Peyton Manning was named Honorary Chairman in 1999 by the Boy Scouts of America Crossroads Council.
The “Peyton’s Playbook” is a kid’s guide to healthy living and the importance of making the right decisions, which Manning co-authored.
With his father Archie, Peyton co-wrote the book Manning: A Father, His Sons, and a Football Legacy.
Peyton Manning is probably the NFL’s most personable player, and a super-star on the Indianapolis sports scene. Counting endorsements, it is estimated that this megastar earns about $30 million dollars a year, with no end in sight for the near future. With his reputation as the most recognizable, perhaps the best loved of all the NFL’s stars, Peyton Manning is a shoo-in for the NFL Hall of Fame.
A popular joke says it all: After Peyton Manning got to heaven, God was showing him around. They came to what would be Peyton’s new house, a one-story affair with a Colts flag in the window. God said, “You’re lucky. We don’t give a house to just anybody up here.” Peyton, however, noticed a mansion next door with black and gold trim and a Steelers flag in the window. Trying not to sound ungrateful, he said, “Hey God, how come Ben Roethlisberger gets a bigger house than me?” God, laughing, answered, “That’s not Ben’s house. That’s mine!“
For more information on Peyton Manning, please visit his website.