American sports fans are fascinated with people ending their career when winning a championship in their twilight years. There was Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway retiring after his second consecutive Super Bowl title, Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis last year. Even in other sports like Michael Jordan in 1998 after winning his sixth NBA title, of course he un-retired later.
If the Broncos win the Super Bowl, many people feel like quarterback Peyton Manning should retire and end his career with the same storybook ending. Manning said he isn’t quite sure he is ready to do that though and he said he wants to keep playing when asked if Super Bowl XLVIII could be the last game for him.
“Well, I know there’s a number of players that have walked away as champions, and I’m sure that’s a great feeling for those people. John Elway, Ray Lewis did it last year, Michael Strahan,” Manning said, via Pro Football Talk.
“In talking to Ray Lewis and in talking to John Elway, they couldn’t play anymore. That was all they had to give. They truly left it all out there.
“I certainly had a career change two years ago with my injury, with changing teams, and so I truly have been kind of a one-year-at-a-time basis. So I really have no plans beyond this game, had no plans coming into this season beyond this year. I think that’s the healthy way to approach kind of your career at this stage.
“I still enjoy playing football. I feel a little better than I thought I would at this point coming off that surgery. I still enjoy the preparation part of it, the work part of it. Everybody enjoys the games, everybody’s going to be excited to play in a Super Bowl, but I think when you still enjoy the preparation and the work part of it, I think you probably still ought to be doing that.
“I think as soon as I stop enjoying it, if I can’t produce, if I can’t help the team, that’s when I’ll stop playing. If that’s next year, maybe it is. But I certainly want to continue to keep playing.”