An emotional Peyton Manning delivered his retirement speech Monday looking back on a successful 18-year NFL career.
The former Indianapolis Colt and Denver Bronco opened up talking about his rookie season, which he eventually broke the record for most interceptions thrown by a rookie quarterback by throwing 28 in 16 games.
“Every year I pull for a rookie to break that record,” he joked. “I still kid Eli [Manning] he would’ve broken it if he had started all 16 games.”
Manning mentioned his worth ethic and ability to prepare for upcoming games as part of his success in the sport.
He thanked fans all across the country for their support and said it would be the “little things” he would miss of the sport, from his battles with the NFL’s greatest defensive minds or players to calling his brother Eli after their games on bus rides.
“I revere football. I love the game, so you don’t have to wonder if I’ll miss it. Absolutely I will,” he said. “I’m totally convinced that the end of my football career is just the beginning of something I haven’t even discovered yet. Life is not shrinking for me. It’s morphing into a whole new world of possibilities.”
He then quoted the Bible’s 2nd Timothy 4:17, saying he has finished his “football race.”
“Well, I’ve fought a good fight. I’ve finished my football race and after 18 years, it’s time. God bless all of you and God bless football,” Manning concluded.