WTHR sports team shares thoughts on Peyton Manning
The Eyewitness Sports team shared their recollections of covering Peyton Manning during his career with the Colts. This follows Wednesday's announcement by the team that Manning will no longer play for the Colts.
Rich Nye was in New Orleans when Peyton was drafted.
"I remember sitting on his porch out back at his home in New Orleans. It was the first time I'd met him, obviously. He walked up in a pair of shorts. We'd already watched him work out. Then we went back to the house to have our conversation. He was so prepared, so had it together even back then. And that never changed about Peyton Manning. He was always in control of the situation and today is the first time where I can remember where Peyton didn't have control of the situation. It was out of his hands in terms of his career and it was out of his hands in terms of his emotion."
Eric Yutzy: "I'd spent several seasons with the Titans and I'd seen him from the other side. So to come and cover him for the first full year I did, to say, really, this is what he is on the field - masterful in all circumstances, never an opportunity for the game to be out of reach; to witness that firsthand, to be able to say down the line, I covered that guy in his prime, that's gonna be a pretty phenomenal story to tell the kids and grandkids."
Dave Calabro's greatest memory of Peyton is "watching him with young kids and the impact he's had on our hometown."
"I've had the privilege of working alonside Peyton Manning for 14 years. I was a young sports reporter at Channel 13 when he came on the scene and I also did Colts radio, and my job was to interview Peyton after every game his rookie year live on the radio. The first season, obviously, they only won three games. I got an early glimpse of what this guy was really about and what he was made of. Despite all the adversity, I only heard him say one cuss word over a span of 16 weeks. That's despite getting grilled by every national media you can think of. That's how he's always carried himself," said Dave.
He was also impressed by "all the special things he did for different charitable organizations around town. Most of the time he'd ask the TV cameras not to show up for some massive giveaway or hosting kids at the Children's Museum or the surprises at Riley Hospital."
"I've enjoyed covering him immensely. I'm gonna miss him a lot," said Rich.
WTHR anchor John Stehr writes:
As the Peyton Manning Era ended today, it was hard not to think of how it began.
Many of you will remember when a fresh-faced young 20-something in his first job after college came to Indianapolis to try to make a name for himself. He and his new team took their licks that first year, but they came back stronger, becoming arguably the best team in the NFL. 10 straight playoff appearances and eventually winning it all on a rainy night in Miami in 2007.
But while he was helping the team pile up wins on the field, Peyton Manning was change the culture of a city. Indianapolis has a rich basketball heritage. We still like our basketball here, but make no mistake about it, Indianapolis is now a "football" town.
Without Peyton Manning, there would probably be no Lucas Oil Stadium, no Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis, and maybe even no Colts franchise still in town. He did it in a way Hoosiers could embrace: hard work, dedication, focusing too hard on the goal to complain about the journey. This slow-talking southerner from Louisiana (by way of Tennessee) became an Indiana treasure.
Perhaps even more important than the thrills he gave us on the field, Peyton gave the city reason to hope off of it. He endowed a children's hospital, fed hungry Hoosiers on holidays, and brought high school players to the football palace that he helped build so they could dream big dreams too.
One of the more famous quotes about football is this: "Football doesn't build character. It reveals it." Peyton Manning has been revealed to us over the years. Our team, and our city, are better for it.