INDIANAPOLIS --- The last time Peyton Manning was inside the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center on West 56th Street, it was an emotional and sad goodbye, but his reunion Friday in retirement was one of positive reflection and joyful memories as he spoke about how the past four years played out for Manning's first franchise and him.
Wearing a Colts horseshoe on the lapel of his suit and posing for a photo with Andrew Luck in Owner and CEO Jim Irsay's memorabilia room, Manning answered if the script could have played out any better than it had for both, with Peyton winning a 2nd Super Bowl and the Colts securing their future with a second consecutive franchise quarterback.
"Things work out the way they're supposed to work out," Manning told Colts.com Friday, after his press conference to announce his #18 would be retired and to also announce construction of a Peyton Manning statue outside Lucas Oil Stadium.
"I had a great visit with Andrew. I've known Andrew for a long time. He and I got a good picture together. He was nice enough to dress up in his Colts t-shirt, fresh off a workout, which we were laughing about" joked Manning, who was in a suit for the photo. "We were out in Palo Alto, where he spends some time. So I was talking to him during the Super Bowl. He was saying, 'Anything I can help you with.'"
Manning also said he got a great congratulatory text message from Chuck Pagano shortly after the announcement of his retirement.
"I've known Chuck for a long time, as an opponent," said Manning. "That's how old I am, all the different places he's been."
All this is to say Peyton Manning still feels very much a part of the Indianapolis Colts.
"I'll always have a connection here," said Manning. "I'm a big Andrew fan and a big Chuck Pagano fan, as well. I think they're in good hands for the future for sure."
On a day when Peyton Manning spoke about the past, present, and future of the Colts franchise, it just felt right to see him back in the building wearing that Colts horseshoe on his lapel.