Moving with Manning
By Bret Walts
What exactly has Peyton Manning done for the Colts? Compare the Colts’ 13 seasons before Manning to the 13 seasons with Manning and you will understand.
While Manning was with the Colts they appeared in two Super Bowls, including one Super Bowl victory. The last 13 seasons without Manning at starting quarterback, the Colts had six losing seasons and only three playoff appearances. That was hardly the success the Colts achieved with Manning at the helm.
Manning made the move to the Denver in the offseason and made his first appearance as a Bronco this preseason. With his departure some are wondering what the effects will be on the Colts’ fan base. Junior Claire Williams is a Colts fan that will be sticking on the Colts’ side of the field.
“I’ve always been a Colts fan and I’m not changing that just because one player leaves!” Williams said.
Many will say they are a “Peyton Manning fan” rather than a Colts fan, considering the game changer that Manning has been for the team the past several years. As stated earlier, Manning made the Colts the powerhouse team that fans grew to love, leaving some fans following him to Denver.
Junior Sydney Schulten says that she was a Colts fan with Manning there but plans on being a Manning and Broncos fan now, a team she had already liked.
“I did like them before (Manning), and I will definitely cheer for them this season,” Schulten said.
Schulten believes that Manning can give an already strong Broncos team a chance to win.
“Manning will probably never be as strong as he was pre-surgery, but he is still one of the greatest QB’s and can give the Broncos a chance at greatness,” Schulten said.
Manning’s departure leaves some fans feeling conflicted. Junior Derek Vaal says he considers himself both a Colts and Manning fan.
“Colts for life, but I still respect Peyton and his leadership he brought to the Colts,” Vaal said.
Manning’s exit from Indianapolis has left Colts and Manning fans feeling at odds. Some will follow Peyton and proudly wear blue and orange. Several fans will stick as dedicated Colts’ fans, and some will continue to follow both. Manning’s presence transformed the Colts into what they are today. This season, the two go their separate ways. Both will enter new, unfamiliar territories.