INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — WISH-TV is celebrating Peyton Manning all week: “Salute to Peyton.”
There’s not too many people who know Manning better than his former coach, Tony Dungy. The Hall of Fame coach and Manning brought Indianapolis Colts fans moments they’ll never forget: six straight division titles, 12-winning seasons and a Super Bowl win.
This weekend, the Colts will celebrate Manning’s incredible career in Indy, and Dungy said No. 18 deserves every accolades coming his way.
But, it’s what he did off the field that keeps his former coach smiling.
“To me that’s what I love … things people would never hear about … but just going the extra mile to make Indianapolis a better place to live, and I don’t think there’s an athlete in the country that is more identified with their city than Peyton Manning is with Indianapolis,” Dungy said.
Manning’s 14 years with the Colts was the best thing to hit this franchise. Manning and Dungy made it to the playoffs every season the Hall of Fame coach was in Indy.
So what’s the one thing that Dungy takes away from his time with Manning?
“The one thing that I think about when I think of Peyton is the word ‘commitment.’ He was committed to his team. He was committed to winning. He wanted to not only be a good teammate but a good leader and he was committed to the city, and I don’t know if I’ve been around anybody who’s worked as hard on and off the field to do things the right way. I would say ‘total commitment.'” Dungy said.
Dungy shared with WISH-TV story after story about his former quarterback, and it’s no secret Manning is the master when it comes to perfection and he just didn’t hold himself to that high standard but everybody.
“Not only demanding that of his teammates, but he’s performing at that level day in and day out and then challenging you. Why isn’t everything at this level from lunches to breakfast to the condition of the field and everything has to be at a championship level because that’s what we expect,” Dungy said.
The Super Bowl win with Dungy and the countless victories are why this weekend belongs to No. 18. He will become the first Colts player in Indy to have his jersey retired and, of course, a statue.
“When I got the news that there was going to be a statue in front of the stadium of Peyton, my first thought was he’s (Manning) not going to like this,” Dungy said and then laughed. “I’m sure he doesn’t. But, it needs to be done, it’s well-deserved, and the city is going to appreciate it. I’m going to appreciate it so even though he may not like it … he’s got to put up with it.”
And putting up a statue is exactly what the Hoosier state would want for its quarterback.