Why Peyton Manning is my Favorite Football Player
Peyton Manning can be a polarizing figure in the NFL at times. Is he the greatest? Is he overrated? Should he have retired earlier? Despite all of these questions, and everything that fans and the media want to put on him, there's no denying that he is one of the greatest quarterbacks to play the game. The stats speak for themselves.
Here's a quick look at his career stats:
- Completion % - 65.3
- Total Yards - 71,940
- Yards per Game - 270.5
- Touchdowns - 539 (Interceptions - 251)
- Rating - 96.5
What Peyton Manning record do you think is the best?
Those in and of themselves are pretty impressive. Now let's look at some of the NFL records he holds:
- Most career touchdown passes - 539
- Most career passing yards - 71,940
- Most career wins as starting quarterback - 186 (this is shared with Brett Favre)
- Most touchdown passes in a season - 55
- Most seasons passing 4,000+ yards - 14
- Most passing yards in a season - 5,477
- Largest career TD-INT differential - 272
- Most career games with a completion percentage of at least 70% - 66
- Most games with a perfect passer rating in a career - 4
- Only quarterback with nine straight seasons of 12+ wins as a starter
- Most games with at least 5 touchdown passes and no interceptions for a career - 5
- First quarterback to defeat the other 31 teams in the regular season
- Most regular and postseason games with at least 300 passing yards - 93
- Most games with at least 400 yards passing - 17
- Highest yards per game in a season - 342.31
As you can see, he holds quite a few records. And that's not even all of them. For a more complete list go here.
Despite all of these records, that's not the real reason why I love Peyton Manning.
My First Peyton Manning Experience
Growing up in Utah, I didn't really have much exposure to the NFL. Some people followed the Broncos because they were about the closest team. Those who were BYU fans tended to follow the San Francisco 49ers, as Steve Young was their quarterback. Personally, I didn't follow any of them. I was a Utah Jazz fan, and followed BYU football. I didn't have any idea who Peyton Manning was, that he had been a big star at Tennessee, and ended up as the #1 draft pick. I was oblivious to all of this. That is, until I saw this commercial. After seeing this, it endeared me to him forever.
Peyton Manning: The Person
Now I'm not out to make Peyton seem like some sort of God or Saint, but I think he's an outstanding person. Does he have his share of problems and vices? Sure, but we all do. But I would like to share a few stories that I have heard that make me love the guy more. These, on top of his play, are really why I love Peyton Manning
A young man, aged 15, who lived in Evansville, Indiana was killed in a car accident. The man who hit him was 4 times over the legal limit. Logan Brown was a huge Peyton Manning fan. Unfortunately, he never got the chance to meet him. Logan would have turned 16 very soon, so on his 16th birthday, his family received a letter and picture from Peyton. The picture was signed by him, and the letter shared his mourning with them. For more, go here.
Gift to Woman With Breast Cancer
This is another story of a hug Peyton Manning fan. Kari Barnett Bollig had stage 4 breast cancer, which had spread to her bones and her lungs. Since things were so rough, she just thought she'd take a chance and write to Peyton. Not only did she receiver an answer, but Peyton flew her and her husband to Denver for the season opener against Baltimore. He supplied tickets, on-field passes, and spent time with them after the game. I'm sure Kari would have been fine with just a letter, but she got so much more. For more on the story, go here.
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning high-fives Air Force Staff Sgt. Christine Myers after she catches a pass from him aboard a C-17 Globemaster aircraft e
USO Spring Troop Visit
Peyton, along with other players and personnel from the Colts organization, were able to go on the USO Spring Troop Visit. This trip started at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and also went to Spain, Italy, Djibouti and Afghanistan. He had the opportunity to meet with many soldiers, lifting their spirits, and taking pictures with them. I think this is just a really cool thing. He took almost two weeks of his time to do this.
Did I Mention....He Has a Freakin' Hosptial
Okay, so it's not really his hospital, but it's called the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital. This hospital is part of the St. Vincent hospital in Indianapolis. Peyton has a public and private relationship with them, which led to the eventual renaming of the children's center to the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital. How freakin' awesome is that.
Cole Branigan, a patient at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital in Indianapolis, Ind., gets serenaded by Sgt. Jeremy Otkin (near left), Sgt. Jay Goldsborough (ob
The Final Word
So, to sum it up, Peyton Manning is awesome. He's a great quarterback. He's a great guy. He's just great. If there was one athlete that I could spend a day with, it would be Peyton Manning. Whatever you think of him, you can't deny the good he has done.