My last ALL TIME GREAT has retired from football this year.
From a youth, I have always been an avid fan of football. But as the years passed by, the teams that I loved all changed and the members of the teams that I respected have all retired. This year… the last one of the old-timers has retired.
Payton was born on this day in 1976 to Archie and Olivia Manning. He was born with the passion of playing football in his veins. His father, Archie, was a two-time All-American and a 14 NFL professional player. His brothers seemed born and bred for football as well.
Payton Manning has received more awards and accolades in his playing years than you can throw a stick at. From high school all though his professional years, Payton was a #1 prospect and over-achiever.
It was not his ‘skills’ that made Payton a #1 player- although having his skill-set was certainly not a detriment! He was driven to succeed. Payton was not only driven to be the best that he could be personally, and he sought to make all of the players around him just as successful.
This was seem in his last years as a professional football quarterback. Payton was no longer the most-sought-after prospect because of his skill-set. In fact, most of the world- the football prognosticators, anyway- thought his skill-set had seen its better days. He used what he was best at… never accepting the status quo, and finding a lining in every pathway… to create a success. This was how he led his team to his final Super Bowl Championship.
I will always have fond memories of watching Payton lead teams to victories… and then humbly and magnanimously, thank all those who were around him for making it possible. He was one of the few professional players who really meant those words!
Written for Reminiscing the Arts: March 24th.