About goddamn time, and I mean that in the nicest way. We all knew it was coming. We all expected it to happen. We’ve been writing and discussing his legacy for months, even before the season ended. We waited for him to announce it after the super bowl win. It was getting to the point that I was beginning to wonder if he really was that stupid. I love you, Peyton, but you have nothing left to give. Maybe he held off to today because of some part of his contract that helps the Broncos if he waited this long or something. Whatever it was, he finally just announced it. It’s finally over.

Lets ignore the ugly thing that’s uncomfortably swirled around the past few weeks and just remember the great stuff.

I’ll miss him. I’ll probably still make jokes about him even when he’s gone. He’s the best QB I ever saw play the game. I’ll miss watching his feet go ten million miles per hour as he progresses through his reads and finds the open man almost every time. I’ll miss the stupid red mark on his forehead. I’ll never forget the moment I realized he spoke out of the side of his mouth, because I could never unsee it. I’ll miss watching him throw TDs constantly. I’ll miss how one time Bill Belichick went for a 4th down deep in his own territory just to try and prevent Manning from getting the ball.  I’ll never forget that game many years ago against the Bucs when he got like 3 scores in 2 minutes to win it. I’ll miss when things go badly for him, and we get that glorious thing known as Manningface. And when he starts yelling at people in the sideline. I’ll miss turning off his games half the time because watching a robot systematically dismantle a bunch of outclassed defenses could get disturbingly boring at times.

As much as ESPN overdid it, I’ll miss his battles with Brady. I’ll miss that 2013 season when he seemed like an unstoppable monster. Except he was. I’ll miss his constant onslaught of commercials because honestly, I liked them. I thought his deadpan good ol’ boy vibe was nice to watch. I still watch his SNL skit with him abusing children from time to time for a laugh. Same with the laser rocket arm commercial. CUT THAT MEAT. I hate the Nationwide ads but that’s because they are terrible. The Papa Johns commercials are even worse. Bring back Mastercard.

Peyton is a legacy player. He was never the athletic prospect who could outrun you. He never had the strongest arm. He was just the smartest man on the field, at all times, even when his physical body started to disobey him. He revolutionized the game. He’s a first ballot Hall of Famer. Farewell, Sheriff.