"I'll miss the handshakes with Tom Brady, I'll even miss those Patriot fans in Foxborough", said Manning, adding with a smile: "And they should miss me, they sure did get a lot of wins off me".
One of the most prolific passers ever in the NFL, Manning revolutionized the quarterback position during an 18-year career that included two Super Bowl titles, five most valuable player awards and a slew of passing records.
"When I look back on my National Football League career, I'll know without a doubt that I gave everything I had to help my team walk away with a win", he said, voice breaking with almost every word.
The boys got to play golf together, and they even let me come along with them.
Manning played college football for the University of Tennessee. It was his older brother informing him of his decision to retire after 18 years in the NFL. This could be the end of his career and not playing football - being injured and not in there.
"Knowledge and wisdom and his work ethic was something that was contagious", Gary Brackett, who played nine seasons with Manning, said. One I know he certainly doesn't mind sharing is being tied with Brett Favre with the most victories as a starting quarterback.
There, he picked up where he had left off, playing every game for his first three seasons, while completing nearly 68% of his passes and throwing for an average of at least 291 yards per game.
The relationship between Manning and the Colts has been the subject of some debate since news of his retirement broke on Sunday.
"Everywhere around the state it bleeds blue and he had a profound impact on that", Joe Reitz, who played two seasons with Manning, said.
I've got to say is that the Broncos and the people of Denver have been great to Peyton, both about this and for the entire four years.
The team has also produced a glossy program, especially for the goodbye news conference that features Manning hoisting the Lombardi Trophy following Denver's 24-10 win over the Carolina Panthers a month ago. "Absolutely, absolutely I will", Manning said.
Then after the Super Bowl, a sexual assault allegation from his days at Tennessee resurfaced - a female athletic trainer alleged he had placed his exposed genitals on her face during an exam; Manning said he was "mooning" another athlete in the room.