Tony Dungy told me to not make 'an emotioal decison' about retiring

by Michael Foust, Guest Reviewer |
Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (L) and head coach Tony Dungy celebrate on the field after defeating the Chicago Bears in the NFL's Super Bowl XLI football game in Miami, Florida, February 4, 2007. Dungy advised Manning to take his time to decide on whether he will retire after leading the Denver Broncos to win Super Bowl 50. | REUTERS/Shaun Best/FILE PHOTO

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Christian Examiner) – The entire sports world apparently believes Denver's Peyton Manning will retire, but the NFL legend didn't announce anything following his team's Super Bowl victory Sunday night and instead repeatedly referred to advice his former coach, Tony Dungy, gave him.

Dungy coached Manning in Indianapolis when the two teamed up for the quarterback's first Super Bowl title.

"I got some good advice from Tony Dungy, who's going into the Hall of Fame and my old coach and he said, 'Don't make an emotional decision'," Manning said. "This has been a very emotional week and emotional night."

Manning, 39, just completed his 18th season in the NFL and has battled injuries in recent years, including a rib injury at the beginning of this season and then a tear of the plantar fasciitis in his left foot that kept him out several games in November and December. Up until 2011 he actually enjoyed a mostly injury-free career, but a neck injury kept him out of that entire season, and in March 2012 the Indianapolis Colts cut Manning, opting to build for the future with new quarterback Andrew Luck.

Dungy, who retired in early 2009 and now works as a TV analyst, is a member of Exciting Central Tampa (Fla.) Baptist Church. He is well known for his Christian faith and has written several books about his spiritual walk, including "Quiet Strength."

"I called him," Dungy told Sports Illustrated Peter King, "and I said, 'I don't know what you're going to do, but if you haven't decided yet, don't decide now. Don't decide at halftime of the last game, or five minutes after the last game. Don't do it in the moment.' I think (former NFL coach) Dick Vermeil made that decision in the moment, and he regretted it. I said, 'Let the adrenalin wear off and then decide.'"

The Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-10, giving Manning his second Super Bowl title as a starter. He has appeared in the game four times.