“Pundits will speculate that my effort and drive over the past 18 years were about mastery. And about working to master every aspect of the NFL game. Well, don’t believe them, because every moment, every drop of sweat, every bleery-eyed night of preparation, every note I took, and every frame of film I watched, was about one thing. Reverence for this game.
“When I look back on my NFL career, I’ll know without a doubt that I gave everything I had to help my teams walk away with a win. There were other players who were more talented, but there was no one who could out-prepare me. And because of that, I have no regrets.
“There’s a scripture reading, 2nd Timothy 4:7: ‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.’ Well, I’ve fought a good fight. I have finished my football race. And after 18 years, it’s time. God bless all of you and God bless football.”
This is how Peyton Manning ended his press conference announcing his retirement from football. It was an emotional speech that perfectly encapsulated his career and who he is as a person. Vol fans, media, fellow NFL players, and even celebrities took to the internet to congratulate Peyton on the end of his football career.
Here’s the best of Twitter’s reaction to his retirement…
The last of a dying breed. A classic.
— Houston Kress (@VolRumorMill) March 7, 2016
This is an exceptional retirement presser. Would you expect anything less from Peyton Manning?
— Patrick Schmidt (@PatrickASchmidt) March 7, 2016
Peyton thanks the equipment guys. That’s who he is. All class & a guy more comfortable with the guys that make it happen than being a star.
— Brian Rice (@briancrice) March 7, 2016
Love you buddy. pic.twitter.com/XvFTAmNQYV
— The Mayor (@MayorOfRheatown) March 7, 2016
Congratulations to Peyton and his beautiful family on his retirement announcement. As always, done with class and passion!
A true champion.
— Phillip Fulmer (@phillipfulmer) March 7, 2016
— WVLT News (@wvlt) March 7, 2016
— Vol Photos (@Vol_Photos) March 7, 2016
Greatest speech of all time!
— BigOrangePruitt (@BigOrangePruitt) March 7, 2016
I can't handle emotional Peyton.
— Charlie Burris (@Charlie_Burris) March 7, 2016
I wish Peyton Manning was running for president.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) March 7, 2016
Damn…they don't make em like that anymore.
— Russell Smith (@Russell___Smith) March 7, 2016
"God bless all of you, and God bless football." pic.twitter.com/gCrX1ZjdLr
— Nathan Odom (@NathanOdom11) March 7, 2016
— Michael D. Greene (@UTslick68) March 7, 2016
That was incredible.
— Bill King (@BillisKing) March 7, 2016
Even Peyton's press conference was the GOAT. pic.twitter.com/ffxBsqHgQt
— LNVF (@LoneNutVolFan) March 7, 2016
"Oh and before I go, I'm going to be the QBs coach at Tennessee. Go Vols"
— Chad Fields (@CfieldsVFL) March 7, 2016
If you just watched that speech from Peyton and you aren't teary eyed, then you are not a VFL and you have no soul.
— The Coonskin Cap (@TheCoonskinCap) March 7, 2016
Football will never be the same 🙁
— gmannVOLS (@gmannVOLS) March 7, 2016
Feels like a part of football just died. Peyton has been my idol ever since I could walk. It's hard to see him go.
— Neyland Trae Cotten (@TraeCotten) March 7, 2016
My sad realization from PM presser: while he is a #VFL Manning does not belong to us; he belongs to the game of football. He transcends UT.
— Mike (@MikeL_LWOS) March 7, 2016
Welp, I'm worthless for the rest of the day now.
— Seth Stokes (@SethStokesWORD) March 7, 2016
Manning's good bye is up there with Lou Gehrig's speech to the Yankees as one of the greatest retirement speeches of all time.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) March 7, 2016
The thing I’ll remember most about Peyton is his humility. Never acts like he’s above anyone or anything. Loyal to people behind the scenes.
— Wes Rucker (@wesrucker247) March 7, 2016
I am grateful to have shared the field in your LAST game but most importantly I am grateful to… https://t.co/HJa2p4XqT4
— Cameron Newton (@CameronNewton) March 7, 2016
Ending his retirement presser with "Omaha"… What a legend… Congrats Peyton
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) March 7, 2016
One last "Omaha." Thank you, Peyton! pic.twitter.com/SlIErKvt2m
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) March 7, 2016
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) March 7, 2016
Peyton Manning's farewell speech: a clinic on class, gratitude, humor, intellect and emotion. Football's GOAT ambassador moves on. #18
— Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) March 7, 2016
— Tennessee Football (@Vol_Football) March 6, 2016