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Irsay on Peyton: I speak for all Colts fans, we feel like he’s ours

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 07:  Peyton Manning (L) speaks as Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay listens during a press conference announcing that the Colts will release of Manning at Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on March 7, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Joey Foley/Getty Images) Getty Images

Colts owner Jim Irsay said today that although Peyton Manning has just retired as a Super Bowl-winning quarterback with the Broncos, folks in Indianapolis will always view Manning as, first and foremost, a Colt.

“It seems like a short four years ago we were up here on a difficult day. I’m happy to report that as we temporarily went different directions, we both enjoyed a lot of success on the field. It was always strange watching 18 out there without the horseshoe on his helmet, not always easy. I think I speak for all Colts fans when we feel like he’s ours.”

Irsay recalled where the Colts were (as one of the worst teams in the NFL) before Manning arrived, and all that Manning accomplished.

“I just can’t say enough for what he has meant to this franchise, to this city and state,” Irsay said.

The Colts officially announced today that they will construct a statue of Manning outside Lucas Oil Stadium, and that Manning’s No. 18 will be retired.

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86 Responses to “Irsay on Peyton: I speak for all Colts fans, we feel like he’s ours”
  1. denver1983 says: Mar 18, 2016 12:18 PM

    The Colts wear Orange jerseys now? Weird..

  2. mataug says: Mar 18, 2016 12:19 PM

    Peyton is the sole reason that the state of Indiana started caring about a sport besides basketball.

  3. touchdownroddywhite says: Mar 18, 2016 12:20 PM

    So the guy says “screw you” to the fans in Indy just to stick it to Irsay and the result is a bunch of money will be spent to build him a statue? Wow

  4. bubbybrister/shovelpass says: Mar 18, 2016 12:20 PM

    And Peyton wasn’t even on Jim Irsay’s draft board !

  5. truthfactory says: Mar 18, 2016 12:21 PM

    This breakup (and reunion) was 1000% more civil and mature than the Brett Favre mess.

    I’m sure Manning felt disrespected when he was let go, but he was adult enough to understand the future was already in the building with Andrew Luck and handled it all with class.

  6. broncoscountry33 says: Mar 18, 2016 12:22 PM

    Or say is such a clown. Way to butcher that situation.

  7. publikwerks says: Mar 18, 2016 12:24 PM

    They should have a game, maybe the saturday before the superbowl, where the Colts and Broncos could play for who gets Peyton.

  8. johny248 says: Mar 18, 2016 12:24 PM

    Hindsight is 20/20 Jimmy….. Maybe you should have been so quick to let him go. It’s like the guy who broke up with a girl and then realized what a mistake he made once he saw her happy and getting married to someone else. Anywayz , much respect for Mr. Manning. It really shows a lot to see that he is big enough of a person to not hold a serious grudge after being fired.

  9. ReligionIsForIdiots says: Mar 18, 2016 12:25 PM

    He would have retired a Colt had you not given up on him and refused to surround him with an offensive line and a defense for his last five years in Indianapolis.

  10. phluffyclouds says: Mar 18, 2016 12:25 PM

    Panthers fan in Denver, I know the Colts never booed him off the field like Bronco fans did at the Chiefs game I went to this year

  11. laces out says: Mar 18, 2016 12:27 PM

    I can picture Ryan Leaf watching the press conference from his couch like Ben Stiller at the end of Dodgeball

  12. 6ball says: Mar 18, 2016 12:29 PM

    .
    “It seems like a short four years ago we were up here on a difficult day. ”

    Irsay then added, ” Luckily I have absolutely no memory of it, thanks to pharmaceuticals. ”
    .

  13. damcmp says: Mar 18, 2016 12:30 PM

    Peyton is first and foremost a media ho!

  14. milehighmike7 says: Mar 18, 2016 12:35 PM

    You can’t have your cake and eat it too JIM! Manning also belongs to Broncos Country and had a Hall of Fame career with us too. You decided to share him when you let him go. If you only wanted him to be viewed as a Colt, then you would have kept him. He belongs to TWO franchises! He has TWO rings and one with each.

  15. granadafan says: Mar 18, 2016 12:36 PM

    The NFL is considering a rule change to the intentional grounding by QBs. How about the NFL put a rule in for intentional tanking by franchises?

  16. jag1959 says: Mar 18, 2016 12:37 PM

    touchdownroddywhite says:
    Mar 18, 2016 12:20 PM
    So the guy says “screw you” to the fans in Indy just to stick it to Irsay and the result is a bunch of money will be spent to build him a statue? Wow
    ___________________

    What???
    Manning was cut by the colts. That screwing went in the other direction. jimmy is fortunate Peyton cares enough about his legacy and marketing to give him the time of day.
    As always I have great respect for Manning as one of the greatest players of the cap era but none for the colts ownership and front office.

  17. thenoshows says: Mar 18, 2016 12:38 PM

    Harbaugh had the Colts pretty competitive for a bit before Manning got there, they may even have been to the AFC championship game against the Steelers in 1995.

  18. randomguy9999 says: Mar 18, 2016 12:38 PM

    PM is definitely epic and set a standard for commitment to the game as a science and a career… both the Colts and Broncs are changed forever because of him.

  19. rushbacker says: Mar 18, 2016 12:39 PM

    You can have him back. We’re keeping the trophy, though.

  20. thestatsishere says: Mar 18, 2016 12:40 PM

    And imagine if Irsay and Polian had actually given him a real defense?!?!?!!

    Of course he’s Indy’s but dude, he’s a Denver Bronco too. You don’t lead a team to two rings (I count the AFC title rings too) and not be “theirs” as well.

  21. oiler1980 says: Mar 18, 2016 12:41 PM

    Did Irsay say he’s had success on the field?

    So hanging a finalist banner, executing the Special Team version of the butt fumble and declaring a day for dropping off drugs at the stadium is success?

    I have to get a new dictionary…

    Go Pats!

  22. c9zz says: Mar 18, 2016 12:43 PM

    They love him so much they cut him. But he’s “ours.” LOL

  23. patsfan4lifesbchamps says: Mar 18, 2016 12:44 PM

    The Colts were in no position to put together a SB caliber roster in 2012. Denver was half way there, they won a playoff game with Tebow for crying out loud. Then Elway went all in free agency acquiring big names. Had he stayed with the Colts, he wouldn’t have a second ring.

  24. ravenbiker says: Mar 18, 2016 12:45 PM

    The statue will have 1 foot up on a box of Omaha Steaks and be holding a Budweiser, right?

    Are the Irsays going to take the statue with them the next time they leave in the dead of the night in a snowstorm?

  25. denverdave3 says: Mar 18, 2016 12:45 PM

    touchdownroddywhite says:

    So the guy says “screw you” to the fans in Indy just to stick it to Irsay and the result is a bunch of money will be spent to build him a statue? Wow

    —–

    Really, Dude. Aren’t you aware of his neck surgeries, a 2-14 season and a guy named Andrew Luck and salary caps? Peyton didn’t abandon the Colts, they said bye bye to him.

  26. iammrbinky says: Mar 18, 2016 12:52 PM

    Perhaps the statue should be a naked Peyton sitting on Irsays face.

  27. rlpftt says: Mar 18, 2016 12:52 PM

    He’s only Superbowl victory is against Rex Grossman with the crappy Colts! LooL!

  28. hahalolrofl says: Mar 18, 2016 12:56 PM

    The Colts cut manning, then Elway brought him onboard. This changed the tone of the Broncos. Two AFC championships later, one superbowl win and scads of QB records broken by Peyton . . . . all in four years with the Broncos. The colts accomplished the same thing with Peyton, but it took them three times as long.

    Imagine if Peyton had a competent organization the entire time.

  29. indytom87 says: Mar 18, 2016 1:07 PM

    Wow…alot of haters. You will be bragging to your grandkids that you saw him play.

  30. Patskrieg says: Mar 18, 2016 1:07 PM

    If there’s one thing the Colts love it’s taking credit for other people’s accomplishments.

    Your 2015 AFC South Finalists

  31. bradyakagod says: Mar 18, 2016 1:07 PM

    Irsay dumped Manning like yesterday’s garbage and the colts haven’t won a Super Bowl since and Manning won one and Andrew Luck never will as long as Brady is in the NFL and he knows it. So even if Luck eventually gets a Super Bowl it will be without Brady in the NFL and won’t be earned.

  32. jd7920 says: Mar 18, 2016 1:12 PM

    I’m sure for this event, Irsay probably piped in crowd noise–just like he did all the years Peyton played there.

  33. fordmandalay says: Mar 18, 2016 1:13 PM

    What happens if Petty Peyton is still bitter about the Colts letting him go, though? Will he refuse to go into the HoF as a Colt? And he might also be peeved at the Broncos for not ‘treating him right’ and pushing him out the door. Nobody holds a grudge like Manning over tiny slights, real or imagined, so maybe he’ll demand a generic ‘NFL’ jersey to represent him.

  34. mmack66 says: Mar 18, 2016 1:16 PM

    touchdownroddywhite says:
    Mar 18, 2016 12:20 PM

    So the guy says “screw you” to the fans in Indy just to stick it to Irsay and the result is a bunch of money will be spent to build him a statue? Wow
    —————

    Manning got cut by the Colts after they sucked for Luck.

    They would have been the Browns if they hadn’t signed Manning, so a statue seems fitting.

    Irsay can afford it.

  35. eagles3333 says: Mar 18, 2016 1:21 PM

    NFL players don’t go into the Hall of Fame as a player from a specific team as in baseball. They go in as players. No hat or logo. It will talk about both teams on his plaque.

  36. cleepord says: Mar 18, 2016 1:23 PM

    Why did you let him go then? I hate that about the NFL. All pro sports really. No loyalty unless it works with the salary cap.

  37. clancy528 says: Mar 18, 2016 1:24 PM

    Petty Peyton? Nobody has more class than Peyton, the things he did for people behind the scenes in Denver will never be forgotten. And lucky for us he is going to stay living in Denver. I am glad that Irsay finally gave him the respect he earned and happy for him. As for the HOF, you don’t go in as one team or another, there are no helmets on the HOF busts, that’s just stupid baseball! Congrats Peyton on all your honors in both cities, you have earned it!

  38. bigbenh8tr says: Mar 18, 2016 1:33 PM

    Dallas fan here but grew up watching Manning as a colt. Will always be remembered by everyone outside Denver as a Colt. His career in Indy was everything I remember about nfl and fantasy football looking back at middle school and high school.

    Ex. Do we remember Montana as a 49er or Chiefs player?

    That’s what I thought.

  39. brintfatre says: Mar 18, 2016 1:35 PM

    Remember when he decided he no longer wanted to play for the Colts?

  40. jdubkc says: Mar 18, 2016 1:38 PM

    I say it depends on where he retires from.

  41. bleedingfacemask says: Mar 18, 2016 1:38 PM

    Irsay isn’t going to want to pay for that statue himself. He’ll find a sponsor that will pay for it instead.

    And they’ll find a tasteful way of working a pizza into the statue…

  42. wartface says: Mar 18, 2016 1:39 PM

    Peyton Manning is such a classy guy he will not participate in this foolish spat.

    He will go into the Hall of Fame as a great a player, a great teammate and someone that made everyone better, including those he played against.

    He was so tactical he coached his coaches… No one had ANY doubt, Manning ran the offense.👌

  43. silverhat78 says: Mar 18, 2016 1:40 PM

    If he was yours Irsay, then why did you let him go?

  44. supra23 says: Mar 18, 2016 1:40 PM

    Dallas fan here but grew up watching Manning as a colt. Will always be remembered by everyone outside Denver as a Colt. His career in Indy was everything I remember about nfl and fantasy football looking back at middle school and high school.

    Ex. Do we remember Montana as a 49er or Chiefs player?

    That’s what I thought.
    ——————————-

    Manning had 2 superbowl appearances and one victory as a Bronco. Its not just a footnote in his career, I’d argue he was more successful as a Bronco than in Indy as a past his prime aging QB. Shame on Indy for not utilizing his potential his entire career.

  45. turtlehut says: Mar 18, 2016 1:41 PM

    I hope this time the number “18” will stay retired much longer than when the Bronco’s and Elway “convinced” Frank Tripuka, suffering from dementia, to allow his number to be “unretired” for Mr. Manning.

  46. justsayin70 says: Mar 18, 2016 1:46 PM

    phluffyclouds says:
    Mar 18, 2016 12:25 PM

    Panthers fan in Denver, I know the Colts never booed him off the field like Bronco fans did at the Chiefs game I went to this year

    —————————-

    How many 4 pick games did he have as a Colt? It’s not the fault of Broncos’ fans that Colts’ fans have lower expectations as evidenced by their “AFC Championship Participant.”

  47. whispersd says: Mar 18, 2016 1:50 PM

    “You don’t lead a team to two rings (I count the AFC title rings too) ”

    Lol.

    Of course Irsay puts up a banner for just making the AFC championship game, so I’m sure he’d jump on this idea.

  48. bunkmcnulty says: Mar 18, 2016 1:54 PM

    PM was great, but “Jimmy” does not speak for Colts fan prior to 1984.

    Those prior Colts fans own a legacy of football played by the best QB of that era and quite possibly all time. And IMHO, given the rules of the game, the shorter season, and the lack of technology and physical fitness provided for today’s athletes, number 19 is the greatest QB to ever wear a horseshoe. No knock on PM, but even he knows the reverence afforded Johnny U. You could tell that in his retirement speech.

  49. whispersd says: Mar 18, 2016 1:55 PM

    ” I’d argue he was more successful as a Bronco than in Indy as a past his prime aging QB. ”

    You can try making that argument, but you’re not going to convince anybody outside the city limits of Denver. As a Pats’ fan, no player ever scared me as much as Peyton when he was on the Colts. In the last couple of years, the Broncos’ defense scared me. But Peyton? Not so much. Re-watch the 2nd half of the AFCCG and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

  50. coxandreweric says: Mar 18, 2016 1:56 PM

    Irsay’s comment on liking “to have more of these (rings)” has come home to roost. What a foolish, negligent comment to have made.

  51. sidepull says: Mar 18, 2016 1:57 PM

    I bet they are going to have to cantilever the base of the statue so that big block head doesn’t topple it over.

  52. ( . Y . ) says: Mar 18, 2016 1:58 PM

    I thought this was a no brainer that Manning will always be remembered as a Colt. Broncos fans are arguing that Montana should be known as a Chief. Rice should be known as a Raider. Bettis should be known as a Ram. Etc.

    Yeah Manning did some impressive things in his 4 years in Denver, but he is not a Bronco. His time in Denver is a footnote to what he did in Indy. Funny everyone acts like the Colts were a joke when he was there. Comments like if they had a competent GM, or if they had a defense, etc. I remember a Colts team that won 110 games in a 10 season span. The only reason Manning didn’t get the number of rings that he probably should have gotten, is simply Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the Patriots.

  53. deacon85 says: Mar 18, 2016 2:02 PM

    “I think I speak for all Colts fans when we feel like he’s ours.”
    —————–
    I think I speak for all Patriot fans: you keep him, we’ll take Brady any day of the week and twice on Sundays.

  54. daytontriangles says: Mar 18, 2016 2:17 PM

    You could have kept him but you cut him.

    Enjoy many more years of participation banners, Colts fans!

  55. pastanow says: Mar 18, 2016 2:26 PM

    Irsay must have liked the view better than the folks at Tennessee since he was kissing Peyton’s rear so hard.

  56. vipod4ever says: Mar 18, 2016 2:51 PM

    Anyone catch the “Jim Morrison Grave Stone” analogy by Irsay?

    Foster Brooks has got nothing on Jim Irsay!

  57. cross300 says: Mar 18, 2016 2:52 PM

    Didnt feel that way 4 years ago when Peyton got cut. When your an addict the memory is the first thing to go.

  58. steelerben says: Mar 18, 2016 3:14 PM

    “I think I speak for all Colts fans when we feel like he’s ours. Therefore I would like to announce that we will be raising a banner to commemorate the victory in Super Bowl 50 on the day we unveil Peyton’s statue.”

  59. broncosrchamps says: Mar 18, 2016 3:24 PM

    Colts could have traded Luck for a boatload of picks and players and then had 4 more yrs with a shot at a Superbowl.

    Instead the Broncos got to those two Superbowls winning one. It’s all about the rings, not the future. You have to strike for the big game when you have the chance and the Colts blew it.

    How come no one calls them on what was a horrid decision.

    Now you have Luck coming up on FA and you are going to have to pay him 30 million a yr. 30 million for a QB who hasn’t won a thing yet.

  60. orangeraider says: Mar 18, 2016 3:33 PM

    Big deal.
    One Super Bowl victory with the Colts. Should have been a lot more.
    An underachiever if ever.

  61. araidersfan says: Mar 18, 2016 3:40 PM

    I’m not a Colts fan but as a long-time follower of the NFL with a very good knowledge of league history I can definitely say that in my mind there’s no doubt that Johnny Unitas is still the best QB in the history of the Colts franchise.

  62. jakescott13 says: Mar 18, 2016 3:44 PM

    I speak for all non-Colts fans…we are glad Jim Irsay is yours.

  63. addair154 says: Mar 18, 2016 3:51 PM

    So wil the statues pants be on or off?

  64. projectshadow316 says: Mar 18, 2016 3:54 PM

    So will Manning’s statue have him jamming a needle full of HGH into his ass?

  65. hyprcaffeinated says: Mar 18, 2016 3:55 PM

    I heard the Colts plan to save money by using the Hoover Dam as the model for the statue’s forehead. Sounds legit.

  66. greenmtnboy31 says: Mar 18, 2016 4:11 PM

    Statues are supposed to be for a hero, not someone who pads their stats with meaningless regular season passes in blowout games.

  67. DawgPound83 says: Mar 18, 2016 4:12 PM

    A Peyton statue? I just need a female PT, truck nuts and a camera.

  68. drewzducks says: Mar 18, 2016 4:17 PM

    I’m thinking something along the lines of Michaelangelo’s “David”, but with a strategically placed fig leaf.

  69. edelmanfanclub says: Mar 18, 2016 4:28 PM

    When I think of Peyton I think of him as a Colt in his prime. He was great for Denver too but he spent the end of his career there, although his 2013 was amazing. I can see why people see him as both, he broke the all time td record and won a sb in Denver. However I’ll remember him in his peak in Indy. That’s just me though.

  70. bert1913 says: Mar 18, 2016 5:02 PM

    drunk people crack me up

  71. realtruthteller100 says: Mar 18, 2016 5:09 PM

    ppl forget that irsay is a drug adict

  72. remembertheagenda says: Mar 18, 2016 5:13 PM

    Im a Colts fan.

    I cant stand that choker.

    #goodriddance
    #worst2timechampofalltime

  73. mazenblue says: Mar 18, 2016 5:14 PM

    Imagine if Irsay drafted Ryan Lief instead??? WOW that would have been a sad biography on ESPN

  74. bubbybrister/shovelpass says: Mar 18, 2016 5:54 PM

    They should put the statue in Omaha…

  75. BobbyHanks63 says: Mar 18, 2016 6:01 PM

    I he was yours…. you hypocrite….you would have kept him and if not you wouldn’t have tanked the season to ‘Suck for Luck” Denver believed in him and you didn’t, that’s got to count for something, so he belongs to Denver just as much, as he ‘once’ did for Indy. You can’t have it both ways you pulled the plug not Manning, so your plan was to ‘Suck for Luck’ and steal at that time the next great Quarterback, Andrew Luck’…So now you just ‘SUCK’!

  76. mosesthejuggernaut says: Mar 18, 2016 6:05 PM

    Irsay cut him. Didn’t want “Star Wars” numbers. He had that, but only one measly ring to show for it. Peyton’s fault. Well, he looked ok in Orange Jim.

  77. hitit49 says: Mar 18, 2016 6:11 PM

    Indy is a weird place. No mention of Johnny U but a Harbaugh banner flies

  78. deepizzaguy says: Mar 18, 2016 6:22 PM

    Peyton earned his statue in Indianapolis since he did lead them to one Super Bowl win over the Chicago Bears. At least the birds can rest on his statue outside of Lucas Oil Field.

  79. senatorblutarsky says: Mar 18, 2016 8:49 PM

    Irsay on Peyton: I speak for all Colts fans, we feel like he’s ours
    ____________________

    Says one illegal drug user about another.

  80. gp1390r says: Mar 18, 2016 9:22 PM

    Hindsight is 20/20 Jimmy….. Maybe you should have been so quick to let him go. It’s like the guy who broke up with a girl and then realized what a mistake he made once he saw her happy and getting married to someone else. Anywayz , much respect for Mr. Manning. It really shows a lot to see that he is big enough of a person to not hold a serious grudge after being fired.

    ————————————————————–
    Actually, no it isn’t. You seem to forget there were serious questions that Manning could ever play again. At the time of his release he still hadn’t regained full strength in his throwing arm. Also, his cap hit would have crippled the Colts in his final years. The team was old and injured. Notice that very few players that were purged from the Polian era caught on with other teams. Gary Brackett, Melvin Bullitt, etc. All starters, the only notable guy that played for another team was Jeff Saturday and he got benched. I love Manning as much as the next Colts fan. But this was a business decision…and it worked out for both parties. Manning got his 2nd ring (he wouldn’t had he stayed in Indy) and the Colts have 10+ years with a top level QB in Luck

  81. finfansince68 says: Mar 18, 2016 10:43 PM

    our’s? then why’d you cut him….oh our mistake Mr Irsay – you say you were under the influence when that decision was made?

  82. pierrepoint1 says: Mar 19, 2016 12:13 AM

    Amazing how Irsay threw Manning under the bus, blamed him for not winning more Super Bowl titles and cut him to save money.

    Now all of a sudden, Irsay is welcoming Manning home like the long lost son?

    Give me a break.

  83. petersjeffrey36 says: Mar 19, 2016 12:58 AM

    multiple history revisionist here huh.. more then one person call ed the break up a civil one.. mustve forgot Irsay talking trash before Payton even got one foot out the door, one said Payton left the Colts.. no he was cut, even with that he deserves recondition as the last great colt was Johnny Unitas .. Payton made them relevant … any comments of only having two rings.. well how many other active or even recently retired qbs have that claim

  84. houndofthebaskervols says: Mar 19, 2016 8:51 AM

    Was Irsay drunk when he made that introduction? Sure looked like it.

  85. keys2heat says: Mar 19, 2016 12:33 PM

    There is NO way a freakin’ statue of Peyton Manning will be as “popular as Jim Morrison’s gravesite in Paris”……lol

  86. prijak1 says: Mar 19, 2016 4:15 PM

    Irsay you are a scum! Your drunk ass let Manning go and now you are saying he is yours ! Shut up you Drunk! You and GM Randy Grigson are meth heads !

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