The Indianapolis Colts are paying double homage to Peyton Manning by retiring his number 18 jersey, meaning that no player for the Colts will ever receive that number again, and by erecting a statue to him outside the team’s stadium this coming October.
The statue should be quite easy, as when Manning was finishing his long, illustrious career with the Denver Broncos, he often looked to be a statue standing in the pocket on passing plays, where his aged legs prevented him from moving around with the proficiency of which he was capable during his heyday with the Colts.
Colts owner Jim Irsay had this to say about Manning, “Peyton will always be a Colt.”
Those words do not exactly ring true for Manning fans around the league and specifically with the Colts, as he was unceremoniously dismissed following the 2012 season when several neck surgeries lowered his value below what Irsay was willing to spend.
Irsay, who reportedly sleeps with an axe at his bedside, is also notorious for having spirited the Colts out of Baltimore in the dead of night to move to Indianapolis when the Indiana city offered him financial incentives in order to attract a NFL franchise from the withering city of Baltimore.
Manning is the first Colt to have his jersey number retired since the Colts relocated to Indianapolis in 1984. Manning joins seven other Colts players to have had their number retired, including number 19. Johnny Unitas.