David Letterman kills speech as special guest at Manning's statue unveiling

Rendering of Peyton Manning statue outside Lucas Oil Stadium

Rendering of Peyton Manning statue outside Lucas Oil Stadium

It stands outside Lucas Oil Stadium.

After almost a year and a half of planning and sculpting, the statue finally stands outside of Lucas Oil Stadium.

The guest list was as long as it was distinguished. Even David Letterman made a surprise appearance in what Manning informally dubbed an all-Indiana event - with the exception of Goodell. This man didn't do it alone, but by God he was at the center of it. Look around us: he changed the skyline - this used to be a small town; it was a wonderful small town - this man has changed the skyline of this city.

In addition to the statue, Manning's No. 18 jersey will be retired and he will be the 14th member inducted into the Ring of Honor, joining Dungy and Polian.

Within a few short years, Manning and his teammates had converted them.

By nearly any measure, Manning had one of the greatest careers in National Football League history.

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In his entire 17-year career, Manning finished with 71,940 passing yards, 539 touchdowns, 251 interceptions, and a 65.3 completion percentage.

Manning, in only a Peyton Manning way, closed the ceremony with a touching message.

"He put the sheen on the horseshoe, and the horseshoe, because of him and Jim Irsay and Tony (Dungy), really means something now", Polian said. "He is an iconic football player that transcends football".

"I still think we would have pursued it because it was the right thing to do for the city", Campbell said before contemplating what would have happened without Manning. "Thank you very much, God bless you", said Peyton Manning.

The five-time NFL MVP concluded the event Saturday by proclaiming "I will always be a Colt" and throwing autographed footballs into the crowd. The Colts only missed the playoffs during his rookie campaign in 1998 and his last official season in Indianapolis, one in which Manning didn't play while recovering from a neck injury.

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