TEMPE, Ariz. -- I spent six years total in the state of Indiana -- four at Indiana University for undergrad, one writing for a newspaper in Northwest Indiana and another in Indianapolis for grad school -- all during Peyton Manning's tenure with the Colts.
I saw first-hand how a city fell in love with its quarterback and showed him the utmost respect. Manning and the Colts parted ways while I was in grad school. It's a scene I'll never forget. I was at an internship and the news conference announcing Manning's departure went on in every TV in the building. People stopped what they were doing, put down their work, paused meetings, all to watch Manning say goodbye. The entire city of Indianapolis was on hold. People cried.
So, it doesn't surprise me that he's the most respected player in the NFL. In a survey of the Arizona Cardinals locker room, six of 10 players said Manning was their most respected player. His work ethic is second to none around the league and his intensity is tough to rival. And when a player can command an offense, a locker room, a team, a city or a state the way Manning has, it's hard to argue with the title of Most Respected.