Indianapolis will always be a Peyton Manning town. Except when he's playing the Colts, you can expect to find people all over cheering on the legendary quarterback. For ardent Colts fans, it's because of all of the tremendous years of play on the field and the memories that came with them. For those who don't care much for football, it's because of the tremendous impact that Manning had (and still has) on the community. In short, Manning is a hero in Indy like few others.
It should be little surprise, then, that as Manning played in the Super Bowl on Sunday night with the Broncos in perhaps his final NFL game, Indy tuned in. The Super Bowl is such a huge event that not always do the home markets (in this case, Denver and Charlotte) have the highest ratings. That was true of this year's game, as the market with the best ratings (among the 56 measured) was Nashville, Tennessee. Charlotte was eighth on the list, and Indianapolis came in tenth - ahead of Denver.
According to Colts.com, the game got a 54.6 rating in Indy, meaning that 54.6% of households were tuned in to the game. By comparison, Nashville was first on the list with a 57.7 rating, Denver was at 53.9, and the average rating nationwide was 49.0. The fact that so many in Indianapolis tuned in to the game is not surprising, nor is the fact that the market ranked in the top ten when it comes to the Super Bowl viewership rating. It is surprising, however, to see them finish ahead of Denver. I guess you could call it the Peyton Manning factor, especially since viewership in Tennessee was massive, too (where Manning went to college).
The Super Bowl capped off a very special weekend for Colts fans, as on Saturday Marvin Harrison and Tony Dungy were elected to the Hall of Fame and then on Sunday Manning won his second Super Bowl. Three of the greatest contributors in Colts history all had tremendous achievements this weekend, making it a very good one for Colts fans even though their team wasn't playing. The culmination of it was Manning and the Broncos' victory on Sunday night, one that a number of former Colts were on hand to witness. Colts fans from all over were watching as well, including in Indianapolis, where over half of all households were watching the game and where it got a better rating than even Denver. Clearly, Peyton Manning is still very special and beloved by people in Indy and by Colts fans all over.