In Indianapolis, the name Peyton Manning means different things. To some, it’s a childhood hero, a boyhood idol, who kids from 1998-2012 emulated in their backyards, tossing touchdowns to a younger brother who usually played the part of Marvin Harrison, in the back corner of the end zone. To others, Peyton Manning is the gracious face whose hospital has helped them and their children in one way or another. But to everyone in the state, he was an icon; a man who transcended football, and became a Hoosier tried and true.
Now, as the quarterback rides off into retirement following his Super Bowl 50 victory with the Denver Broncos, Bullseye wanted to take the opportunity to look back at Manning’s top 10 moments in Indianapolis, in part to say “thank you” on behalf of the city, and to relive some of our cities greatest sports moments.
Following a teary-eyed release from the Colts in 2012, Peyton Manning went on to become the quarterback of the Denver Broncos. In 2013, the Broncos were scheduled to face the Colts in Indianapolis, marking Peyton Manning’s first ever matchup against the Indianapolis Colts. This, without a doubt, became a sentimental moment for Colts fans, and an opportunity for the organization and the fans the opportunity to give him a standing ovation following a tribute video.
9) Hosting ‘SNL’ after Super Bowl XLI
Though commercials have always been a part of Manning’s trademark, the quarterback was granted the opportunity to host NBC’s Saturday Night Live in 2007 following the Colts’ Super Bowl XLI victory. Manning’s humor shined in his hosting duties, showing fans a side of the quarterback not normally seen outside of scripted commercials. You can view a sample of the episode by clicking here, or watch the episode in its entirety on NBC’s website.
8) First victory over Brady and Belichick.
Without a doubt, the biggest of Manning’s rivalries over his 18-year career was not only against the New England Patriots, but against head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady collectively. So when Manning was able to notch his first victory against the two in November of 2005, it was a big moment for Indianapolis Colts fans.
Manning threw for 321 yards, three touchdowns and only one interception in the 40-21 Monday Night Football routing of the Patriots. It was after that victory that the Colts seemed to turn the tide against the Patriots, going on to defeat them the following year in the AFC Championship Game to move on to Super Bowl XLI.
7) 2009 AFC Championship vs. New York Jets
Following a season that saw frustration as the Colts rested their starters as opposed to going for a 16-0 record, Manning led the Colts once again to an AFC Championship, defeating the New York Jets in 2009 to wind up facing the eventual-Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV.
Just like the 2006 AFC Championship game, the Colts found themselves trailing and struggling to move the football. Manning was able to record two second-half touchdown passes to lift the Colts to a 30-17 victory, clinching Indianapolis’ second Super Bowl appearance in four seasons.
Keep checking back to the Bullseye Event Group blog to follow along with the countdown! Next up will be Manning Memories 6-3! And if you’re a huge Colts fan, make sure you check out our London travel and ticket packages for the International Series between the Colts and the Jacksonville Jaguars!