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Peyton Manning inducted into Colorado Sports Hall of Fame

DENVER — A gold jacket is no doubt coming soon for Peyton Manning, but on Wednesday, his induction into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame was more than enough.

"I am honored and humbled to be included in this year's class of inductees into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame," Manning said during his induction speech. "I've learned a lot about the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame over the years, and I've previously attended this banquet as an Athlete of the Year winner. This is certainly a first-class event and a first-class organization."


Manning, who was recognized alongside five other inductees Wednesday night, joins an impressive group that includes many former Broncos players and members of the organization.

Several of those people — including John Elway, Steve Atwater, Rick Upchurch and Billy Thompson — were on the dais on Wednesday as Manning accepted his award and delivered his remarks.

Throughout the evening, there were constant reminders of Manning's enduring popularity in the Mile High City. Olympic gold medalist Mikaela Shiffrin, who was named Female Athlete of the Year and spoke via a pre-recorded video, was just one of the honorees who gave the former Bronco a shoutout.

Even two years after his retirement, Manning still remains a crowd favorite.

The crowd erupted when an introductory video showed Manning's record-breaking touchdown pass in 2014 — and it only got louder when the attendees heard Dave Logan's call for Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to "move over."

Though his accomplishments — which included two Super Bowl appearances, an MVP award and plenty of records — were what earned him a spot on stage Wednesday night among the other inductees, Manning accepted little of the credit.

Follow along through Peyton Manning's night at the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame's induction banquet, from photos with fans to catching up with his Broncos family. (Photos by Ben Swanson unless noted)

He praised the other inductees. He thanked Elway for bringing him to Denver. He lauded President and CEO Joe Ellis for devoting the necessary resources to ensure the Broncos' success.

He recognized his former head coach, Gary Kubiak, with whom he won Super Bowl 50.

He identified the training staff, video staff, equipment staff and a handful of others — labeling them all "Hall of Fame" people.

And perhaps most notably, on the night of his own Hall of Fame induction, Manning called for Owner Pat Bowlen to be selected for the Pro Football Hall of Fame's next class.

"When you think of the Broncos, you think of a winning tradition," Manning said. "There have been more Super Bowls than losing seasons in the 35 years under Pat Bowlen. I want to recognize and thank the [members of the] Bowlen family who are here tonight. We are all thinking of Mr. Bowlen and hopefully, the next Hall of Fame dinner we are at is recognizing him in Canton."

Soon enough, the Broncos contingent will be in Canton commemorating Manning, as well.

On this night, however, there was plenty to celebrate in Colorado.

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