Almost as if by design, Manning has made himself not only an essential key to the success of the Colts, but also to the NFL as well.
A game that features Manning has instant hype and credibility and is something that even casual fans want to watch.
The looming possibility that Manning may have played his last snap without anyone knowing it at the time is a frightening one for Colts fans and NFL fans alike.
Here are a few reasons why it would be a tragedy for Manning's Hall of Fame career to end now.
Some people find Peyton Manning's constant schilling of corporate products annoying, but you have got to hand it to him because nobody upstages Manning in his own commercials.
Sadly, while Aaron Rodgers is doing a good job of making up for Peyton's absence on the football field in terms of play, he's falling short during the commercial breaks.
Think about this way, the enduring image of this commercial is a fat guy in a cheese head banging on the window, but everyone has Peyton yelling "CUT THAT MEAT" seared into their memory.
That may not go away even if Manning retires, but it will certainly slow down and leave the door open for more subpar QB acting, and nobody is stepping up to fill that void.
Just when Eli starts to show signs of being a true NFL-elite quarterback, there's a rumor that his brother will retire? Right when signs were pointing to the Manning Bowl getting really good?
Say it ain't so?
There's no such thing as a bad Manning Bowl, but whenever the next one was slated to happen was going to be a good one.
Without Peyton, the NFL has to continue to hope that the Harbaugh Bowl continues to be two good teams, but it's just not the same as brothers on the field.
One record in particular that fans would like to see Manning take a shot at is all-time leader for passing touchdowns.
Manning has a sizable gap to close, but it's not completely insane to think that Manning could average 30 TD tosses a year for the next four years and own the record for himself. Not to mention, with the continued focus on passing his yardage could wind up close to 70,000 as well which might put him above Favre as well.
It would be a fitting mantle for Manning to be the statistical king of QB production, but he would probably prefer to be on top of Super Bowls instead.
There are a lot of deserving quarterbacks in the NFL who never even reached the summit of the NFL once. Fran Tarkenton and Dan Marino are two of them to be sure, and Manning is lucky to not have a seat at that table any longer, but Manning's impact on the NFL seems to be deserving of more.
After all, even though Manning has got one, his legacy would always be that he should have won more. Ending his career now leaves those last glorious opportunities to solidify his legacy with another Super Bowl win on the table.
Some reading this might find the idea laughable that he could lead this franchise, in its current state of disarray, to a championship, but that's the legend of Manning.
If anyone could do it, it would be Peyton, and NFL fans should have the chance to see him try it a few more times.