The bulk of Manning's career, of course, was spent with the Indianapolis Colts. He helped lead the Colts to a Super Bowl XLI victory, and Colts fans still root for Manning. That will especially be true tonight, as Colts fans hope to see the greatest player in their team's history win one more title.
Among that group of Colts fans rooting for Manning is Colts owner Jim Irsay. "I can't say I'm a Bronco fan, but I can say I'm a Peyton fan," Irsay said this week when talking with RTV6's Dave Furst. "And so I think all of us here in Indianapolis, and I communicated with Peyton literally an hour or two after the game and just told him how ecstatic everyone here was and how much they're rooting for him and how happy we are for him."
Irsay said that he wants Manning to retire as a member of the Colts, but that for the time being, it's about Manning and the Super Bowl. And when talking about the opportunity that Manning has in front of him, Irsay could hardly contain his excitement.
"No question," Irsay said when asked if he wants Manning to sign a one-day contract to retire as a Colt. "Obviously he always picks the right sort of way to go about things. You know how good he is in dealing with that part of his career with the public side so to speak, but we would love it. I told him, ‘the airplane's waiting for you. The red carpet is clean and lined for you.' We would be honored to have him come in and sign that contract for a day and retire here. That would be really special.
"Again, I'm just so excited that he has this chance," Irsay added. "I mean, I am so happy for him. And you know the great thing about it is his kids will probably have a chance, son and daughter, to remember this someday, because they're old enough now, probably, right at that age that's right when you start having your first memories recalled and stuff. So I guarantee you to have them there and for them to have a chance to see him play. I mean, you have kids, I have kids, grandkids, sixth one on the way, but there's nothing like that, to have your kids have an important part in your life. So to have them there and have this experience, to have Archie and Olivia still healthy and around for this, it's just so great for the whole Manning family and so fitting. So we're excited, we'll be rooting hard, [and] I know everyone here will be rooting hard for him."
I think it's safe to say that Jim Irsay won't be the only one rooting for Peyton Manning, as most Colts fans are hoping the quarterback can go out with one more championship win.