For 18 years, Peyton Manning was an NFL quarterback, and for years prior to that he was a high school and college athlete as well. In other words, he has been playing football for most of his life, but this offseason he decided it was time to retire.
It can't be an easy decision for any player deciding to give up the game he loves and has spent his life playing, but Peyton Manning doesn't sound like someone who is struggling with retired life.
“People tell me that I’m going to miss football, that I’m going to have withdrawals. But I got my fill,” Manning said at the Northern Colorado Sports Awards recently, according to the Coloradoan's Matt L. Stephens. “There are things I want to do. I want to see the New York Giants play … I want to see my Tennessee Vols. I want to do a lot of things I haven’t been able to do in 22 years.”
Manning got more of a football fill than most players in football history, that's for sure. He retired as the NFL's all-time leader in passing yards (71,940) and passing touchdowns (539), while he also is the league's only five-time MVP. He made 14 Pro Bowls and was a seven-time first-team All-Pro, he made four Super Bowls and won two, and he established himself as the greatest player in Indianapolis Colts history (for which his number 18 has been retired and a statue of him is being built). There are few players in NFL history with a resume that can rival Manning's, so he certainly did get his fill of football.
With that said, even for players who have accomplished a ton it can be hard to leave - and, sometimes, it can be even harder for them. But Manning doesn't seem to be regretting his decision but is instead excited about the possibilities he can now enjoy that he previously couldn't: like attending his brother Eli's games with the Giants and his alma mater Tennessee's games in college. Manning won't be a stranger to football, but he's had his football fill. Of course, that could change before long, and it still wouldn't be a surprise to see him wind up working with a team in an executive role at some point. But for now, it sounds like he's content and that there won't be a Brett Favre-like situation with Peyton Manning.