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Meet the NFL's Mr. Reliable: Peyton Manning, The Game's Most Dedicated Player

INDIANAPOLIS - JANUARY 24:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts looks to pass  while playing against the New York Jets during the AFC Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 24, 2010 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts defeated the Jets 30-17.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Lucas WeickCorrespondent IJune 4, 2010

In baseball, there is a man named Albert Pujols, commonly nicknamed the "Machine" for his consistency and dedication to making his team better.

Well, football has Peyton Manning.

He is a man who has won a record four MVP awards, been a Pro Bowler 10 times in his 12 years, and hasn't missed a single game in his career.

He owes it all to his outstanding dedication to the game that he grew up with and has been a star in for well over a decade.

He has the best work ethic of any player in the NFL, always striving to improve his game, even at age 34.

To have such a commitment to excellence is almost unheard of in today's game, but that is what makes Peyton Manning such a special player. It's not all his accolades and records; it's his unrivaled dedication to be the best every year that he plays.

And he is one of the most respected players in the NFL for it—and one of the quietest and humble players in the game.

Since being drafted by the Colts back in 1998, he has avoided controversy and scandals, which is always refreshing to hear in today's NFL. Especially with other players out there like Adam "Pacman" Jones, Michael Vick, and Ben Roethlisberger.

Even now, while his favorite receiver, Reggie Wayne, is sitting out of training camps here in early summer because he wants more money, Peyton is working diligently with the players in camp.

Even though he has won the last two MVP awards and should be the highest paid player in the game, he's not complaining about his contract.

He serves as a role model for every player out there—the consummate professional.

While he has only won a single Super Bowl in his career, and is notorious for "choking" in the playoffs, I would not trade this generation's Johnny Unitas for any other player in the NFL. Period.



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