I’m going to admit this publicly, once and for all, something I’ve admitted privately for years. The day Manning retires - no matter the circumstances - will be a day I shed some tears, and the day the last part of my childhood youth dies away.
Manning is the reason I approached football the way I did…and though I’ll probably never meet him, he has certainly had a big hand in my life. Some may scoff at this, but in the end, Manning has been my biggest childhood idol and hero, and this article reminds me that time has gone on, age and maturity has come with it.
I’m no longer 8, watching a guy named Peyton wave his arms and bark orders around like a squawking pigeon…and football is no longer something confined to Madden ‘98. Life has grown past the confines of my childhood and with growing up came responsibility.
Whether it be the loss of a friend to death, friends becoming tragically ill, car accidents, or whatever life circumstances that were brought into my life, in the end, my experiences from football and sports (and obviously, God’s grace), helped me adapt, shape, cope, and grow.
No matter how it ends, and I’m very afraid this may be the end, Peyton will be one of my idols and heroes forever.