After an 18-year career in which he rewrote the record books, Peyton Manning finally called it quits officially on Monday at a press conference. It was an emotional moment for the many who appreciated his legendary achievements, and it was the right time for him to go out (even if some feel he waited a year too long). Like John Elway, the only other Broncos QB to win a Super Bowl and the executive who brought Peyton to Denver, Manning’s last game was his second Super Bowl win. Not many legends get to go out on top, and Peyton took the rare opportunity to ride off into the sunset — and let the waterworks flow when he did so.
Now that he’s retired, one of the most recognizable faces in the sports world ostensibly has his pick of post-playing career diversions. Would the most cerebral quarterback we’ve ever seen try coaching? Will he dive fully into being a commercial pitchman? Certainly CBS, Fox and ESPN would all beg to have him as a talking head in their studios, and he has the intelligence to be one of the best commentators around.
Who knows what path he chooses, but let’s all hope for his sake that he isn’t convinced to get back in the game by the Rams in August. As he said, “I love the game. So, you don’t have to wonder if I’ll miss it. Absolutely. Absolutely I will.” For now, we’re glad Peyton quit while he was ahead.