Retiring quarterback Peyton Manning a cinch for the HoF

This past week an emotional Peyton Manning officially announced his retirement from the Denver Broncos and the NFL. He summed up his historic 18-year career in a press conference that lasted less than 15 minutes.

He began by thanking family, friends, former coaches and teammates, then reminisced about meeting a great Hall of Fame quarterback during his very first season.

“I had a chance to shake Johnny Unitas’ hand and he said, ‘Peyton, you stay at it,’” Manning said. “Well, I have stayed at it, I stayed at it for 18 years. And I hope old No. 19 is up there, with his flattop and maybe his black high-tops on and I hope he knows that I have stayed at it.”

Manning won five MVP awards, led two different teams to Super Bowl wins and racked up many records.

I was never a fan of the teams Manning played for, so I was not a fan of his, but always had great respect for his ability and the class in which he carried himself. I often wished the Buffalo Bills could acquire Manning. He was a top-tier quarterback his entire career, while the Bills have suffered through 20 years of back up quarterbacks as starters.

Manning closed his speech with a reference to a Bible scripture; 2 Timothy 4:7.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith,” he said. “Well, I fought the good fight, I’ve finished my football race and after 18 years, it’s time. God bless all of you and God bless football.”

Then he shouted his signature line-of-scrimmage command, “Omaha.”

There is no doubt Manning will not have to wait longer than the official five years to be inducted into the Broncos’ Ring of Fame as well as the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but the way time flies, it will seem like only a few months before that happens.

DESALVO GETS AHL TRY-OUT

Tulsa Oilers forward Dan DeSalvo signed a Professional Try-Out Agreement with the Manitoba Moose, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Winnipeg Jets. However, DeSalvo wasn’t one of the current Oilers under contract with the Jets or the Moose – he was an unsigned free agent.

This is the first time the 24-year old rookie has had a call-up to the AHL and a PTO contract is good for a maximum of 25 games.

DeSalvo, played college hockey at Bowling Green State University the past four years and played in 55 games with the Oilers this season, producing 51 points (16 goals and 35 assists) and he led all ECHL rookies at the time of his promotion.

OILERS AT HOME

The Oilers will host the Missouri Mavericks Friday night at 7:05 p.m. at the BOK Center. It will be Alzheimer’s Association night and the Oilers will wear specially designed purple-trimmed uniforms which will be auctioned after the game, to raise funds for the Alzheimer’s Association. There will also be a silent auction of various items, and a custom painted goalie mask will also be a part of the auction.

Tulsa will host the Allen Americans on Saturday night at 7:05 p.m. and the game will have a St. Patrick’s Day theme. The Oilers then travel to Allen, Tex., on Sunday for a 7:05 p.m. game against the Americans.

Next week, the Oilers will head out west to play the Utah Grizzlies three games in four nights.