Broncos Legend Peyton Manning to Receive Huge Honor vs. Washington

Getty Hall of Fame quarterback, and former Denver Broncos star, Peyton Manning, will have one more label attached to his illustrious playing career, Sunday, October 31, 2021.

The last time the Denver Broncos prepared for a big halftime ceremony, aiming to celebrate a former franchise legend, the day didn’t go entirely as planned.

Hopefully this time, the Broncos (3-4) represent their past properly, while also being able to end its current four-game slide.

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Don’t Let History Repeat Itself

When the Broncos made legendary head coach Mike Shanahan the 34th member of the franchise’s Ring of Fame, during halftime of an October 17 matchup with hated divisional rival Las Vegas Raiders, the roof caved on the home team. The rabid fan base was giddy with anticipation heading into the matchup, figuring the ghosts of excellence past would spur the home team — altogether ending a two-game slide, while sticking it to the Raiders.

Alas, the planned pettiness backfired on the Broncos, suffering an embarrassing and listless 34-24 defeat, while drawing the ire of Pro Bowl safety Justin Simmons. The Broncos, however, get a second crack at trying to properly honor its storied past, when they host the Washington Football Team, October 31.

The Sheriff Gets His Due

Shanahan is likely the greatest head coach in franchise history, and Sunday’s halftime honoree, Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning, may already be considered the second-greatest signal-caller in team history, despite only playing four seasons in the Mile High City.

That’s how great an impact Manning had when he joined the Broncos, via free agency, back in March, 2012. The deal was for five years and $96 million, and Broncos Country would likely come to an agreement that it was all worth it.

Manning, who led the Broncos to two Super Bowl appearances in his four seasons in Denver — including a Super Bowl 50 victory in his swan song game — was voted into the franchise’s prestigious club back in June 2021. Manning helped the Broncos win the AFC West in all four seasons that he was on the team. And after his storied career commenced, he was a shoo-in for the Pro Football Hall of Fame — a place where his bust will forever reside after being inducted in August of 2021.

Nicknamed “The Sheriff,” Manning regulated a Broncos squad that was coming off a shocking playoff appearance in the 2011 NFL playoffs, which was spearheaded by soon-to-be erstwhile quarterback Tim Tebow. But Tebowmania could only take the Broncos so far, and that’s when then-president and general manager John Elway swung big and knocked the recruiting of Manning out of the park.

Rarified Broncos Air

The level of success that the Broncos had during Manning’s reign in orange and blue can really only be matched by Elway’s illustrious run as quarterback. During the time of the Ring of Fame announcement, in June 2021, Broncos president and CEO, Joe Ellis, heaped high praise on Manning, saying the culture change and the success was primarily due to one man.

“It comes as no surprise that Peyton Manning was unanimously elected as the 35th member of the Denver Broncos Ring of Fame,” Ellis said back then. “His four seasons in Denver were marked by record-setting individual success and exceptional leadership that helped the Broncos to multiple Super Bowls and one of the winningest periods in team history.

“When Peyton arrived in 2012, his impact and standard was felt throughout our team, the entire organization and in the community. Coming back from a serious injury — with a new team in a new city — to not only win MVP [2013], but to have one of the greatest single seasons ever by any player was a remarkable feat.”

The Broncos bestowed a rare honor on Manning, as he’s just the second Bronco to be elected to the Ring of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame in the same season. Hall of Fame cornerback Champ Bailey was the first, in August of 2019. Manning will also be just the fifth quarterback in the franchise’s Ring of Fame, joining Elway, Frank Tripucka (the Broncos’ original No. 18), Charley Johnson, and Craig Morton.

The pregame ceremony will start at 12:30 p.m., local time, at the Broncos’ Ring of Fame Plaza, where Manning’s pillar will be unveiled, and he will be donning his orange jacket. He will then also participate in a Q&A session with Denver’s KOA NewsRadio’s Dave Logan, who is a Colorado and Broncos legend in his own right.

Manning’s name will then be unveiled on the Ring of Fame façade, and he will be given his ring for the Ring of Fame at halftime of the October 31 game, which starts at 2:25 p.m. local time.

Follow Tony Williams on Twitter: @TBone8

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