ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – Peyton Manning got emotional early on in his retirement news conference on Monday morning.
Manning got teary eyed speaking about his first year in the NFL as an Indianapolis Colt.
“My grandfather would call me weekly to ask if his favorite announcers John Madden and Pat Summerall would be broadcasting our game. ‘Papa,’ I’d say ‘We’re only 2-8 right now. We’re playing the 3-7 Bengals.’ Madden and Summerall don’t broadcast those kinds of games,” Manning said.
“Fast forward to my second year when we had gotten things going a little bit. We were playing the Dallas Cowboys including Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders. I called Papa. ‘Guess what, Madden and Summerall are broadcasting the game.'”
“He said ‘I can’t believe it.’ He was elated, he was very proud and we beat the Cowboys that week”.
Thoughts of family members also got Manning choked up later in his prepared speech.
“There’s no way to measure of properly express what a family like mine can mean. Mom, Dad, Cooper, Eli, extended family, you are the best,” he said. “And Ashley, your support is as potent a motivator any man could have. Ashley’s and my kids’ Marshall and Mosley have only been around a couple of years, but they have changed my life forever.”
“After (games) I’ll miss recapping the game with my dad and checking to see if the Giants won and calling Eli as we’re both on our team buses,” Manning said, referring to his father Archie Manning and brother Eli Manning, quarterback of the New York Giants.
Manning also went into depth in his speech about his experience with the Denver Broncos.
“Grateful is the word that comes to my mind when thinking of the Denver Broncos,” he said.
In addition to thanking the team’s owner Pat Bowlen and the front office, he thanked his teammates for “what they’ve done for this old quarterback” and the fans “everywhere.”
Manning also spoke about one of his greatest rivals — the New England Patriots.
“They sure did get a lot of wins off of me,” he said.
During the conclusion of his speech, Manning’s voice shook as he spoke about how hard he prepared for NFL games. He ended with the words “God bless all of you and God bless football.”
A bit later when Manning took some time answering reporters’ questions, he spoke about whether he considered retiring as an Indianapolis Colts player.
“I’m retiring as a football player from the University of Tennessee who played for the Colts and the Broncos and was very lucky to have played for all of them,” he said.
Before leaving the podium during his Q&A session, he gave a final Omaha! shout.