Peyton Manning is 37 years old and coming off the best regular season of his historic career. He made the Super Bowl for the third time and has the chance to win his second ring. Would he walk away from the game and retire if he wins? That’s the buzz around the Super Bowl, and some even feel like this may be his last game ever.
Manning said during the week when asked if this would be his last game that he still wants to continue playing.
“When you still enjoy the preparation and the work part of it, I think you ought to be still doing that. I think as soon as I stop enjoying it, if I can’t produce, if I can’t help a team, that’s when I will stop playing. If that’s next year, then maybe it is. I certainly want to continue to keep playing,” Manning said.
National NFL writer Mike Freeman at Bleacher Report and formerly CBS Sports says a lot of people believe Peyton Manning will retire win or lose. He believes Manning didn’t publicize his decision because he doesn’t want to turn the game into a huge storyline about him retiring. That’s what happened when Jerome Bettis and his Pittsburgh Steelers played the Super Bowl in his hometown of Detroit for the 2005 season. It happened with Ray Lewis last year when everyone knew he was going to retire. Both were lucky enough to win the big game, but will Manning be?
If Manning is considering retirement, he’s keeping it quiet on purpose.
But at 37 years old, how much more can Manning give to the game? He just won his fifth MVP award, which is an NFL record. If he can win a second Super Bowl, his career would be validated beyond belief. What more would he have to show?
I didn’t believe most of the retirement speculation surrounding Peyton until I saw Drew Brees’ interview with David Letterman. In the interview, he talked like he thought Peyton Manning would be retiring. That really made me think it could be coming to an end.
Also during the week, Peyton talked about how much he’s enjoyed being in the New York area and getting to play uncle to brother Eli’s children. Eli has two kids, as does Peyton. Peyton and his wife Ashley have been married since 2001 and met before Peyton entered college. She’s really only known him as a guy to whom football has been his life. Imagine how things will be for them when he no longer has to worry about playing. They have fraternal twins — Mosley Thompson and Marshall Williams — who will turn three years old in less than two months. You don’t think he might want to quit worrying about listening to practice plays with his helmet on in the hot tub so he can spend time with the wife and kids? I bet you he does.