Peyton Manning turned Indianapolis into a football town. If you are a 20-year-old Colts fan, all you really know is Peyton Manning, and winning. If you are a 40-year-old Colts fan, chances are you rooted for a different team at one point in your life.
Regardless, Manning won the city, and now both of those fans bleed blue.
Meece points out that this unparalleled run of success gave rise to literally every single writer here at Colts Authority. Without Manning we'd likely not be writing about football and certainly we wouldn't be doing it together. That's just a tiny side effect. He believes the Manning years had a social and economic impacts that are wide-ranging and changed the face of the city.
And He's right. In this moment Colts fans must prove that they're more like the crowd in Green Bay and less like the crowd in Jacksonville. It is incredibly tempting for fans to find another winner at this juncture or to even abandon the sport entirely and return to their hardwood roots. Their choice remains to be seen.
What will your choice be?
The whole reason I became a football fan in the first instance was because of Number 18. When I first began watching football, I had never even been to Indianapolis nor had ever heard of Peyton Manning. I have been a California native all my life. Nevertheless, I found myself rooting more and more for this Peyton Manning guy - who I considered a class act on and off the field. Next thing I know, over a decade later, I have remained a Peyton Manning fan (traveling to him see him play and rooting the Colts on). However, I admit, my love of the Colts centered on the class act wearing the number 18. Ultimately, wherever Peyton Manning goes, my loyalty goes. I don't mind admitting I'm a Peyton Manning fan first, and a Colts fan second. Good Luck Peyton wherever you end up. This fan will follow...
I will cheer both for the Colts and for whatever team Manning plays for (if he even does) for as long as he is their starter.
I'm a Colts fan first, Manning fan second (maybe 1B?). You've got up years and down years. The down years are harder to stay enthusiastic about, but as long as we're fielding a marginally competitive team, I'll be watching every game that is broadcast up here in the New England area (worst area to be a displaced Colts fan ever), and gamecasting the rest. I'll have to admit that the Pacers start this year has been refreshing, though!
Peyton wasn't going to be around forever anyway. Fate has dealt the hand, and while we might want to keep Ace of Spades Manning, we have two other pairs and we gotta go for the full house.
@18to88 My choice? I think Colts have made solid GM/HC picks. I'll stick with them, but I'd miss 18 a whole hell of a lot.
I learned about football and became a football fan because of Peyton, and grew to love him more learning more about him as a young college student who made mistakes and a leader who did not ask for pampering (like if he went to Ole Miss) or special treatments.. just work hard, day in and day out and hone his crafts... yes, Irsay already lost me. But there will be Colts fans there who will root for the Colts regardless... we are all fans, rooting for what we love. My love is Peyton, he makes me love football...... which once i considered a stupid sport hitting people for no reason (pardon me, I came from a soccer world)....
@lefpsyd Ditto. I don´t have to choose. My loyalty to Peyton is absolute, and my love of the Colts extreme.
And if you are a 30 something Colts fan you've known other team AND the heartbreak of Captain Comeback and the pain of rooting for a losing team year after year. I remember what it was like to be the only kid in 6th grade to still be rooting for my Colts when they got that lone win against the Jets.