By Joe Giordano || Assistant Sports Editor
This past Sunday at the Super Bowl, the Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers by a score of 24 to 10 on their way to capturing the franchise’s 3rd Super Bowl title. While Von Miller and the rest of the Broncos defense had their way with the Carolina offense and most likely won the Broncos the game, the main story was Peyton Manning playing in what was perhaps his final game as quarterback. After 17 years at the highest level, Manning said before this game that it was most likely his “last rodeo” and many assumed he would retire following the game. While his stats for the game didn’t jump off the page, one can argue that this was the perfect send-off for one of the greatest and classiest players to ever play the game.
In today’s world, it is very rare to see an athlete who can completely become the face of a sport for over a decade. In the past 20 years, when you say basketball, one thinks of Michael Jordan. When you say baseball, one thinks of Derek Jeter. But when one thinks football, the name Peyton Manning certainly comes to mind. While his play on the field, which includes throwing for the most yards, touchdowns, and winning the most games certainly make him hall of fame worthy, his class and demeanor have set him apart both on and off the field.
Whether you love him or you hate him, every time Manning walked onto the field he commanded the respect of his teammates, opponents, and even coaches. In addition, it is not very often in today’s sports world that someone with such charisma and talent has no off-the-field issues to speak of, but Manning is one of those people. He never let his ego get in the way of his morals and his actions on and off the field, which is truly commendable. It would have been very easy for him to fall into the trap that so many different athletes fall into with the world at the fingertips and get in trouble. However, Manning wasn’t in this for the glory and for the fame. No, he was here to win and for respect.
While the phrase “role model” gets placed on athletes quite often, kids look up to Peyton Manning, the true definition of a good role model to follow. When you look at someone who plays the game the right way, who works hard, and never has a bad thing to say about anyone, look no further than Manning. If parents are looking for someone to have their kids look up to, you don’t have to look any further than Peyton. His whole career has been filled with nothing but class and genuineness and if this is really the last time we see number 18 walk onto the field, it will truly have been an honor for all who got to watch him play. There won’t be another quarterback like him who had the skill on the field, but who also a great heart and mind off of it. From Indianapolis to Denver, Manning always epitomized a true professional.
Sophomore Joe Giordano is the Assistant Sports Editor. His email is email@example.com.