ESPN is celebrating their 20th anniversary, and one of the things that they are doing in order to commemorate the event is release a list, chosen by their staff, of the top 20 athletes in sports over the past 20 years.
One player representing the Indianapolis Colts franchise appeared on the list, and it's a pretty easy guess as to which player that was. Longtime quarterback Peyton Manning checked in as the seventh-best athlete of the past 20 years by ESPN.
Peyton Manning? "[He's] the best quarterback I've coached against," says Bill Belichick, who knows a thing or two about Canton-bound signal-callers. Manning's 530 touchdown passes are an NFL record. His 55 in 2013 alone are also. He has accrued more than 4,000 yards passing in 14 seasons, and that too is an NFL standard. And he stands with Favre as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to beat all 32 teams. Manning doesn't just win. He wins ... and wins ... and wins ... and wins.
Ahead of Manning were the likes of Michael Jordan (1), LeBron James (2), Tiger Woods (3), Tom Brady (4), Roger Federer (5), and Serena Williams (6). The only football players to appear on the list were Brady, Manning, and Brett Favre (15).
Not only is Manning one of the top athletes in any sport over the past two decades, he's also one of the top players in NFL history. Drafted by the Colts first overall in 1998, Manning spent the next 14 years with the franchise, playing in 208 games and completing 64.7 percent of his passes for 54,828 yards and 399 touchdowns, leading the Colts to the winningest decade in NFL history, eleven playoff berths, two AFC titles, and a Super Bowl trophy. He has spent the last three seasons with the Denver Broncos, and in his career Manning holds the all-time NFL record with 530 touchdown passes and is closing in on the all-time passing yardage record, which he likely will set this season (Manning is at 69,691 yards).
Manning is the greatest player in Colts franchise history and one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL, thus making him an easy choice to appear on ESPN's list. His greatness has been amazing to watch, that's for sure.