Peyton Manning announced his retirement from the NFL this week and while there’s no doubting his impact on the sport, it got me thinking. How do we measure a player’s legacy or even a person’s legacy?
The easiest way to measure someone’s legacy is by their accomplishments. But that is pretty subjective because everyone has different standards. For example, Manning won two Super Bowls but the number of Pro Bowls he was elected to could matter to someone else. Accomplishments are as subjective as the person wishes them to be.
Having money could be a legacy too. With all the money Manning received from the NFL, he wouldn’t have to work another day in his life. That’s not including endorsement earnings or appearance fees. Once again, measuring Manning’s possessions is subjective because money can only take you so far.
The real legacy I believe Manning and should be measured is how much they impact the people around them.
When Manning’s gone, what will we all say about him?
We’ll talk about his long and extensive knowledge and his career, but what else will we talk about?
We’ll talk about how much Manning impacted each one of us. We’ll remember what we were doing when the Broncos won Super Bowl 50 or when Manning broke Brett Farve’s career passing yards record. It won’t matter how much money Manning had, what he did after football or how many touchdowns he threw for.
We’ll measure Manning for the person that he was or whoever we imagined he was. Dealing with the passing of my grandfather last week cemented that idea for me.
Measuring someone’s legacy is not about what they have or don’t have, it’s all about who they were and how they made you better.
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