Manning's legacy in Indianapolis lives on

Michael Wade

This Super Bowl has, of course, had special meaning for central Indiana because many Colts fans still consider themselves fans of former Colts and current Denver quarterback Peyton Manning.
Finding support of Manning around Indianapolis Sunday night was not difficult. Many people were disappointed - some even heartbroken - that Peyton Manning lost in the Super Bowl because even though he's no longer a Colt, and no longer represents Indianapolis, he's left an incredible legacy.  

Just about anywhere you look in Indianapolis, you will find some reminder of a player whose presence transcended the game.  

"He put us on the map," said Ryan Trivedi.

Intentional or not, 18 is everywhere.  And so is one man's impact. Even though the number may now be Bronco orange, it's glowing on Monument Circle.  

"To not support him is really disloyal," according to Comiesee Simpson of Indianapolis. "Because the Lucas Oil Stadium being built and a lot of things that was brought downtown, even the Super Bowl coming down here, was because of the championships that Peyton Manning brought."

The hospital that bears his name is chock full of memorabilia.

"You cannot walk around Peyton Manning Children's Hospital without seeing Peyton in some way, shape or form," said the hospital's Ann Coleman.

And even though he's moved to a new city and new team, he still makes regular visits, encouraging young patients.  

"It kind of feels nice to know that I'm where he - where his name - is entitled," said Michael Wade, a ten-year-old patient.

The man donated tens of millions to make life more comfortable and better for others, and helped make football a little bit more accessible.  

"He made being a quarterback more of a people person.  I never met Peyton Manning in my life but I feel like he's my friend," said Simpson.

A friend who's had a really, really tough night. 

"He's still number one on my list," said Shawn Williams.

And though he may have lost a game.  He's won a city's collective heart.  

"I'm always gonna be a fan."

Even though he doesn't live here, Manning continues to raise money for charities in Indianapolis. He'll be back in town in April to host a fundraiser for the hospital.  He's helped raise more than $2-million for the hospital in the past five years.