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Farewell to One of the Greatest

Peyton Manning got up in front of the cameras and told the NFL and people around the world what they had been expecting since the AFC championship game when audio picked up part of his conversation with Bill Belichick. Those words were in an essence, “I’m retiring.”

Manning is retiring as the NFL’s all-time passing yards leader, most touchdown passes and tied for the most regular seasons win in history with Brett Favre.

Manning also holds many individual season records including 55 touchdowns in a season and 5,477 passing yards in a season.

During his 18-year career, Manning won two Super Bowls and a Super Bowl MVP, while losing two others. He was also named the NFL MVP five times, which is the most of any player in history.

He was also named to 14 Pro Bowls, which is tied for the most with three other players.

Manning is one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game of football, not only in this generation but since the NFL was formed. He took four teams with four different head coaches to Super Bowls, which had never been done before.

Manning also holds numerous organization records with both the Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos.

Some of the accolades almost didn’t happen. Manning endured many surgeries to repair his neck, which forced him to sit out the 2011 season. It was a point in his career where he almost called it quits because doctors weren’t sure he would be able to play again. He did his physical therapy and work outs to prove he was still capable of playing at a high level.

The former number one overall pick thanked the organizations he played for, the coaches he played for, the cities and fans in which he played, the University of Tennessee and his home state of Louisiana for the support from childhood to today.

Manning has been an ambassador for the game of football and he will continue to be whether it’s on the sidelines coaching somewhere or in a broadcast booth. This isn’t the last we have seen of him.

Manning isn’t just a football player though. He is also a funny guy. Manning has been on Saturday Night Live on three separate occasions and even hosted it in 2007. He is also in commercials for many companies and products, so people will continue to see him all over TV.

Thank you Peyton for 18 years in the NFL and the many exciting plays and teams you were a part of. Thank you for playing the game the right way and always staying humble, win or lose. And, thank you for always making us laugh.

We will end this the same way Manning did his retirement press conference

OMAHA.

Images via: SBNation.com, CBSSports.com, BusinessInsider.com