There will always be an argument about the best quarterbacks to play professional football. This list will include names like Montana, Favre, Elway, Namath, Bradshaw, and Brady, among many others, but this conversation cannot take place without the name "Manning" being inserted.
I am not here to make his case as the best quarterback ever. I am here to talk about his legacy as a quarterback, a football player, a personality, and an overall person.
As a quarterback, Manning has arguably meant more to his team than any other player in football history. His arrival in Indianapolis changed the image of the Colts almost instantly.
After a short adjustment period, he quickly became the biggest problem for opposing defenses in the NFL.
The rest as they say, is history.
Most know about his football attributes. His cunning knowledge of the game reflects his work ethic. The passion he exudes is contagious. His professional approach to the game has made the Colts a model of success in the NFL. Manning makes every player on his team better, and every player on the other side of the ball adjust to the Colts' style of play.
What most don't consider is what Peyton does off the field. He graduated early from the University of Tennessee. During school he was a model student athlete and a front runner for the coveted Heisman Trophy. After being drafted into the NFL, he remained active in his alma mater, and still does to this day.
A lot of people are also familiar with his antics on non-football television. He has been in numerous TV ads, and most of them have become popular due to Peyton's light-hearted humor. He was also one of the most popular Saturday Night Live hosts in recent years.
What makes him the full package, however, is his contribution to the public. He especially tries to take care of his home state of Louisiana. Manning makes contributions to several causes around the world, but none seem to take priority over his beloved native land.
After the notorious disaster of Hurricane Katrina that ravaged the gulf coast, Manning took special interest in the matter. Along with donating money, he also contributed his time and energy to try to assist with the relief effort. The people affected by Katrina received tremendous help from Peyton and the rest of the Manning family.
These are just some of the attributes that should be contemplated when taking Peyton Manning's legacy into consideration. His on-the-field accolades will be discussed for decades to come, but we must not forget the other factors that define the character of the storied Colts signal caller.