INDIANAPOLIS — Peyton Manning's legacy stretches far beyond his career on the field, especially in Indianapolis.
It’s hard to find someone who doesn’t know about number 18’s legacy. He transformed the city into a football town and put the horseshoe on the world stage.
He also inspired generations of football fans.
“Born and raised here in Indianapolis so I’ve always been a huge Colts fan and a huge Peyton Manning fan,” said Christian Munson.
Munson and his friend snapped a pic with the Peyton Manning statue outside Lucas Oil Stadium Sunday ahead of his induction into the hall of fame.
“I remember I met him. I was in second grade. I shook his hand at an event at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. I thought I shook hands with the ‘second-coming.’ I didn’t wash my hand for like two weeks,” Munson said.
For Florida native Neema Nowroozi, Peyton Manning is his hero and inspiration.
“I am a big sport junky. Anyone that knows me back home will say that and he is the reason why. Not just for football and the Colts—basketball, hockey, golf, you name it, it all started from a love of following him and supporting him throughout the years,” Nowroozi said.
A look back at Peyton Manning's legendary career in the NFL
Even from the start, Peyton gave Colts fans something to believe in.
“I got season tickets that first year when they drafted him. I just knew from watching a little bit of Tennessee playing, great things were going to happen here,” Rick Cole from Anderson said.
He was right.
“I was at that game when he took us to the Super Bowl. Watching the people in the streets, cheering and screaming, it was crazy that game,” said Mary Page from Kokomo.
For many fans it’s what Peyton did off the field that meant the most.
“I think he just inspires people with the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital He’s inspired so many people to do well and he’s one of the best to ever play the game. He deserves this,” said Terri Renken from Kokomo.
Because for Hoosiers, he’s “Always a Colt.”