Sportress of Blogitude

Peyton Manning pens thoughtful, heartfelt tribute to David Letterman

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It was clear that David Letterman was abundantly pleased that Peyton Manning played a role in the final taping of the “Late Show” on Wednesday, taking part in a celebrity-studded “Top 10 List.” After all, Letterman, a lifelong Indianapolis Colts fan, has long been an admirer of Manning, even after he joined the Denver Broncos.

The feeling is clearly mutual, as Manning penned a heartfelt tribute to the retiring late night icon, in which he makes it quite clear that he is and will forever be a “Letterman guy.”

Manning writes that he will never forget taking part in the taping, and notes that Letterman’s program is the only late night talk show on which he has appeared — four times before his appearance on the swan song on the esteemed broadcaster’s career.

Writing that Letterman “sure has been a big part of my life,” Manning relayed a story about how Letterman reached out to him shortly after he joined the Broncos. He recalls that Letterman wanted to make sure it was okay with him if Andrew Luck was presented with a Colts jersey during an upcoming appearance around the time of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Via an MMQB column on SI.com:

He said to me, “I don’t want to do it if it makes you uncomfortable at all.”

I said, “Dave, it doesn’t matter what I think. You do what you feel is best for the show.”

Really, I didn’t care. Whatever Dave wanted to do was fine, but he said, “That’s it! We’re not doing it. Forget it. It’s done.”

That meant so much to me. I didn’t give him an answer. It wasn’t my place to say anything. But the fact that he made that call, I can tell you this: If that were any other show, they sure wouldn’t have called to ask what I thought.

Manning continues to wax nostalgic about his appearances on the show and his friendship with Letterman, and one of the final passages really hits home in establishing just how much the quarterback admires the comedic legend and all-around great guy.

When we finished the Top 10 list on Wednesday, Dave thanked the 10 of us for coming. I just thought, I’m the one who should be thanking him, for all the years of great TV and great comedy. We just shouldn’t let this moment pass without being thankful for everything we’ve seen from him over the years. I’m really going to miss him—and the show.

Damn straight.

(image via FanSided)