More often than not, a team and high-profile veteran will butt heads and the veteran will leave and move his career somewhere else. In Green Bay, Brett Favre made a mockery of the Packers by announcing his retirement in a tearful farewell and then recanting that and forcing the team to release him. That was not the case today for the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning.
Standing side by side at a podium, Jim Irsay took the mic and lauded his 14 year QB in an emotional farewell to arguably the best QB the Colts have ever employed. Manning took to the mic moments later and he too choked back emotion as he thanked Jim Irsay and especially the fans. The press conference finished with the two men shaking hands and giving each other hug then walking out of the room.
Unlike retirement news press conference’s this was not a retirement. Manning made it clear when he said, “I don’t want to retired”. The split was a long time coming as both men knew the end was near and at times it appeared that the two sides would fight it out through the media. Instead, they kept it cordial, put aside their differences, and together made the announcement in what was an absolutely classy show of friendship and mutual respect. Jim Irsay also announced that no one would ever wear the number 18 jersey in Indianapolis.
The only question now is where Manning will end up and who will be the first team he visits.