Published: Mon, October 09, 2017
Sports | By Ivan Ross

Colts cap Peyton Manning festivities with number retirement

Colts cap Peyton Manning festivities with number retirement

The Indianapolis Colts retired Peyton Manning's No. 18 uniform at halftime of the team's game against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. "He had a pretty special antenna and connection with fans".

After almost a year and a half of planning and sculpting, the statue finally stands outside of Lucas Oil Stadium.

The five-time NFL MVP concluded the event Saturday by proclaiming "I will always be a Colt" and throwing autographed footballs into the crowd.

"It has been not a very good kept secret around here, but no one is ever going to wear this jersey again", owner Jim Irsay said. He signed with the Denver Broncos and won his second Super Bowl with them after the 2015 season, which was his 18th and final National Football League campaign.

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"Thank you Indianapolis, thank you Indiana".

Manning, in only a Peyton Manning way, closed the ceremony with a touching message.

Manning played the final four years of his career in Denver, helping the Broncos reach two Super Bowls during that time.

"They became transcendent athletes, they become identified far more with the community than the team".

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"I know many of you, like most of us, shed a tear when Peyton said goodbye", said Polian, who selected Manning over quarterback Ryan Leaf in 1998. "He (Manning) wanted to be not only Indy's quarterback but one of its most productive and giving citizens". So let me offer you this - grants to Indianapolis from the PeyBack Foundation: $13 million.

The list of speakers for Saturday's statue ceremony includes Mayor Joe Hogsett, former Gov. Mitch Daniels, Irsay, Dungy, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and longtime center Jeff Saturday.

But he was alive and kicking and ready to celebrate with more than a dozen former teammates back in town Saturday.

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