TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – Number 18 is leaving the game. Two-time Super Bowl champion Peyton Manning announced his retirement from the NFL on Monday.
As a former Colt’s player, fans across the Hoosier state are reacting to the news.
“I fought a good fight, I finished my football race, and after eighteen years it’s time,” said Manning, during an afternoon press conference.
They are the words and tears that mark the end of an era. “Peyton on the field was a master orchestrator He knew your game plan on defense better than you did,” said Kevin Lanke. As Assistant Athletic Director at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Lanke got the chance to see Manning’s star qualities up close.
The quarterback spent countless hours on the school’s field during Colt’s Camp.
“He was such a hard worker. He was paid to win games and that’s what he did. You could remember that play in July that he ran that looked exactly like that play in January, and that’s what I will always remember about Peyton,” said Lanke.
Beyond the Super Bowl wins, it was his actions off the field, which made Manning a beloved football champion.
“He was always very willing with his time and signed as many autographs as anybody else did with the Indianapolis Colts,” said Lanke, who added Manning will leave a lasting legacy.
“He has influenced quarterbacks at every level, all the way down to Rose-Hulman to be better studiers of film. I think that’s his legacy to football. To be a part of seeing that happen, it’s a very special time that you’re never going to want to take back.”
Manning played 13-years in Indianapolis before heading to Denver where he finished his career with the Broncos.