I have always been a fan of Peyton's, long before his brother got traded on draft day to my team, as Peyton made a team better around him. He could take any WR and make them a star. He took a down and out Indy team and brought them to the playoffs multiple times and to the big game twice, winning once.
After a tough rookie season, he pulled in some incredible record breaking ones. His battles in AFC Championship games against his arch rival Tom Brady were some of the best playoff games you could watch. I honestly think Peyton could have brought home a few more Lombardi trophies if he had a better defense when he was in Indy as that offense he had there was sometimes unbeatable.
Peyton's career ended with some mind-blowing numbers as he played in 266 games, threw 9380 passes for 71,940 yards and a not-so-shabby 557 TDs along with two Super Bowl trophies with two different teams.
To say goodbye to a guy I have watched for 18 years, what were the odds that #18 would retire after 18 years, I wanted to show off a few of my favorite Peyton Manning cards.
#5, is a 1998 Topps Action Flat. I found it at a gas station, yup 18 years ago, for $2.99 and it comes with rookie card and figure. Couldn't go wrong.
#4 is a 1999 Upper Deck Encore insert card I pulled in a pack back then. Beauty of a card!
#3 is his 1998 Flair rookie card. I mean it's Flair, a sharp looking card and his rookie, it's gotta be ranked.
#2 is one of my favorite rookie cards of his, a 1998 Ex2001. Stunning all around. Other than his Contenders rookie auto, I wished I had, this is what I consider the second best looking rookie card of his. (Peyton is in the bottom right corner. This is a old picture I found)
And #1 I got in a trade. Two brothers, two nice patches, one stunning card. It offers me a little bit of everything.
So congrats to Peyton Manning and a tremendous career. I wish you luck going forward and I know we will be seeing you again on television somewhere whether it's in the booth, drinking Gatorade after a sweaty workout or serving us up a slice of Papa John's, you won't ever be too far from our sights.
And as you ended today's retirement press conference, I will end today's blog post in dedication.