This Day In Sports: Peyton Manning’s emotional Indy exit

March 7, 2012, 10 years ago today: Rather than pay him a $28 million bonus due that week, the Indianapolis Colts release one of the NFL’s all-time great quarterbacks, Peyton Manning. At an emotional press conference, Manning said goodbye to the Colts after 14 years that saw him transform the franchise into a Super Bowl champion and become the face of Indianapolis itself. “I’ve been a Colt for almost all of my adult life, but I guess in life and in sports, we all know that nothing lasts forever,” Manning said. “Times change; circumstances change; and that’s the reality of playing in the NFL.” Manning had trouble collecting himself as he concluded his statement: “Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart. I truly have enjoyed being your quarterback.”

The only four-time (now five-time) MVP in NFL history had missed the 2011 season with a neck injury that required surgery. To that point, Manning had led the Colts to 11 playoff appearances, eight division titles, three AFC Championship Games, two Super Bowls, and one Super Bowl title following the 2006 season. Manning would choose Denver as his new team 12 days after the farewell presser.

In the Mile High City, Manning proved he had plenty of gas left in the tank. In the final four years of his career, Manning helped the Broncos to division titles each season plus two Super Bowls, one of them resulting in a title in the final game of his career in February, 2016. (And we’ll use this opportunity to mention again that former Boise State standout Matt Paradis was his center.)

Manning established himself over the years as an entertainer as well. And not just because of his famed audibles at the line of scrimmage (think: “Omaha! Omaha!”). Manning has starred in a string of commercials that let his sense of humor roll. And during this past NFL season he and brother Eli hosted “Monday Night Football with Peyton and Eli,” an alternate ESPN2 telecast that featured the duo basically as two guys sitting on their couches and watching the game, with famous guests dropping in. As far as Manning’s show biz career highlights go, I’m partial to his hosting of “Saturday Night Live” in 2007.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)

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