"Thank you to the Indianapolis Colts organization and all the fans across this country," Peyton Manning said. "You can't fathom how much I enjoyed my 14 years there or the warmth that my family feels for you."
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Manning went on to talk about those around him during his time as a Colt.
"I'd be wrong not to mention Jim Irsay, Bill Polian, some great coaches, support staff and a host of wonderful Colts teammates, many of whom will be life long friends."
In short order, Manning started to change the city of Indianapolis when he arrived.
"When I was drafted by the Colts, Indianapolis was a basketball and car racing town, but it didn't take long for the Colts to convert the city and the state of Indiana into football evangelists."
Peyton talked about his horrible rookie season, in which he set the record for most rookie interceptions.
"I still kid Eli that he would have broken it if he started all 16 games."
He finished with a story about the team's rise to success through Manning's guidance, ultimately winning 12 games seven years in a row and a Super Bowl.
"I will miss a steak dinner at St. Elmo's," Manning later said when recalling what he'll miss in retirement.
No, thank you Peyton, and we'll miss you.
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