INDIANAPOLIS – Peyton Manning has no desire to be a politician, but he sounded like one near the end of his press conference in Indianapolis last week.
Manning was asked about the upcoming 10-year Super Bowl XLI anniversary for the 2006 Colts.
After dodging previous questions about his future post-football life and his legacy among the pantheon of great players in league history, Manning attacked this question like he would a reeling secondary.
"The 10-year anniversary is exciting," Manning said at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center.
"Jim (Irsay) and Pete (Ward), I don't know if there are plans, (but) I think the Colts are playing the Bears this year. I think it would be appropriate to have that reunion. I don't think the Bears would like it so much, but that really doesn't matter that much to me (laughs). I think that would be a good time to have it. I hope we do."
While no date has been set for such a reunion, a gathering to celebrate the Super Bowl XLI victory at some point next season is expected for the Colts.
Manning, who turned 40 years old on Thursday, believes there was something different about the 2006 Colts, after coming off an excruciating home playoff the year prior to the Steelers.
"That 2006 team was a special team," Manning said, echoing what Tony Dungy has long said about the 2006 Colts. "We had gotten close. We were knocking on the door and had some disappointing losses and some tough starts to the offseason because of the previous game that we just got beat.
"One thing we never did is we never, ever gave up and we kept fighting. We kept fighting. It would have been so easy to have just said, 'Hey, well we kind of had our window here and we missed it. Some players are going to go somewhere else.' But Jim and Bill (Polian) were committed to keeping that core group intact and believing that these were the right people and we were going to get over the hump. So to do it that year in the fashion that we did it, beating a team that kind of had our number in the playoffs (New England) in that game here. And then winning that game (in Miami) in the rain where Prince sang "Purple Rain" in the rain. I don't know if it could have gotten any better than that."
This past year, Manning watched the Broncos celebrate their Super Bowl XXXII reunion over the Green Bay Packers.
Manning couldn't help but look out on the field and reminisce back to the 2006 Colts and the moments they created for the rest of their lives.
"It was a special group and I hope that we do (a reunion) because there is a bond there that never gets taken away," Manning said.
"I could see firsthand the bond that these (Broncos') guys had and this was 20 years (ago) that these guys were talking about plays from that season, talking about moments in the locker room (and) the funny things that occurred. It was probably more of that and less on the field stuff. I can remember not being envious, because I knew that I was going to have that. I knew that I will always have that with this (2006) group. I look forward to that if it's the 10 or the 15 or the 20 (year reunion).
"I will be at all of them. I can assure you."