INDIANAPOLIS — Peyton Manning was pretty much everywhere in his first few months as a retired NFL player:
But now that the first full NFL season without Peyton Manning since 1997 is officially underway, Colts fans — and football fans in general — are wondering: what's next for "the Sheriff?"
Behind the scenes photos from the Peyton Manning press conference at the Indiana Farm Bureau Football Center. The Colts announced that #18 will be retired and a statue of Manning will be erected outside Lucas Oil Stadium.
The folks over at Sports Illustrated's Monday Morning Quarterback are wondering the same thing. Each year, MMQB releases its "MMQB 100," a look at "the 100 people who will shape the 2016 NFL season, on and off the field." This can include current and former players, coaches, executives, journalists, fans and many others.
So perhaps it would come as no surprise that Manning comes in at No. 79 on this year's MMQB 100. Here's what Peter King had to write about "Private Citizen" Peyton Manning:
"There's a cottage industry out there, and it centers around this question: WWPD? What will Peyton do? Some friends thought he'd take a TV job for a year, just to see if he'd like that. Some think he'll be the next Elway, taking a job running a front office. Some think he'll sit back this year and just do nothing, plotting for the future. One thing we're pretty sure of: He'll pitch a lot of products during NFL games, and we'll be sick of the spots by about week three."
Speak for yourself, Peter. I know I still laugh at Peyton's commercials, even after the 200th time I've seen them.
Anyway, King does bring up a good point.
One thing's for sure: Manning will have plenty of opportunities thrown his way.
If he wants to try TV, it's pretty much a given he'll excel. If he wants a front office job, he certainly has the know-how to get it done, wherever he goes. Heck, if he wants to be a stand-up comedian, he now has film he can study to improve in that area.
And you know Manning will continue to be one of the most generous philanthropists — whether you realize it or not — the game has ever seen.
But Manning has already ruled out an on-field return as a coach — both at the college or professional levels — though you can imagine he'll continue playing a huge role in his Manning Passing Academy with his father, Archie, and brothers Cooper and Eli.
It's almost as if retired Peyton is just as intriguing as Hall of Fame player Peyton.
Check back to see if any other Colts players/coaches/executives/fans/etc. make the list from spots 1-40 in the MMQB 100, which are yet to be released.