Indianapolis Colts to construct Peyton Manning statue

Peyton Manning is getting a statue.

Just weeks after Manning announced his retirement from the NFL, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay announced Friday that the team will begin construction on a Manning statue which will sit outside Lucas Oil Stadium, a modern downtown complex that Manning helped build over his time with the Colts.

The team will also retire No. 18.

"I think I speak for all Colt fans when I kind of feel like he's ours," Irsay said.

He added: "I just can't say enough about what he's meant for this franchise -- this city and state. Just simply run out of words thinking about how much No. 18 means to us, and so actions are the most powerful thing in life, more powerful than words."

Irsay, a classic rock fiend, likened the new statue to the gravesite of Doors lead singer Jim Morrison at Père Lachaise Cemetery in France, a nod to Manning's affinity for Budweiser. Fans of Morrison and the Doors often left a smattering of flowers, graffiti, candles and beer out in front of the headstone.

"Just like Jim Morrison's grave, even though it's not a grave Peyton, it will be a destination for people to leave cans of Budweiser or notes for you, so we'll collect those and get them to you as years pass," Irsay said. "But we couldn't be more excited about the statue. It's not often you build a statue of someone in their lifetime, but we're really excited about putting this iconic statue outside Lucas Oil Stadium where it will stand for many, many years."

The news during a fantastic Manning news conference, which saw the future Hall of Famer glowing on the podium and rehashing dozens of stories from his time in Indianapolis. If nothing else, it shows just how connected Manning was to the city where he won his first Super Bowl -- and vice versa. Manning was choked up when he began reflecting on his time with Tony Dungy and his Super Bowl loss to the Saints. If the Broncos' news conference was his official retirement, this was by far his most meaningful.

"I can't tell you how honored and humbled I am by that news, I really don't know what to say," Manning said. "It was my honor and privilege to play for that organization for 14 years."

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