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Peyton Manning: I'm excited about having a free fall

Peyton Manning played football for so long that you could forgive him if he doesn't remember what life was like before it revolved around pigskin.

Speculation about Manning's next step was immediate in the aftermath of his star-studded retirement news conference in March. Would the legendary quarterback go into coaching? Would he go the front-office route like John Elway? Was he destined to be the next Troy Aikman in the broadcast booth?

Instead, Manning has done none of those things. At least not yet. Turns out the Sheriff is in no rush to figure out what comes next.

"I'm really excited about having a free fall (season) for the first time in 22 years," Manning told The Denver Post.

This fall, the University of Tennessee alum plans to attend at least three Vols games. He wants to see the defending champion Broncos in action and plans to attend a 10th anniversary celebration of the Colts' Super Bowl XLI win. He'd also like to see his brother Eli play in a game where a camera won't be trained on his face for four straight hours.

"I'm going to see my little brother play in some normal games as opposed to always seeing him play in a Super Bowl where you can't breathe until the last play," Manning said.

Manning's outlook on retirement reminds us of something Derek Jeter said in a New York Magazine profile shortly before he ended his 19-year career with the New York Yankees in 2014. Jeter was stuck in traffic on the West Side Highway after one game and caught a glimpse of a barbecue festival being held in a nearby park.

"It made me think about how I haven't been to any summer barbecues for over 20 years," Jeter said. "I'm looking forward to having one next summer."

We'd be surprised if Peyton Manning isn't involved in professional football -- and involved in a very visible way -- at some point in the near future. But right now, Manning seems content to, well, enjoy the barbecue.

Can you blame him?

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