In case you haven't heard, Peyton Manning's new deal with the Denver Broncos is kind of a big deal. How big you ask? So big that team is willing to unretire the No. 18 so that Manning may wear it on the field this season. The number was last worn in 1963 by Frank Tripucka, who quarterbacked the Broncos during the franchise's first four seasons. Tripucka, now 85, graciously agreed to let Manning wear his jersey after 50 years in retirement.
"It's perfectly OK for him to go ahead and use it,'' Frank Tripucka said last week from his New Jersey home. "I would be honored to have him wear it.''
"It's been retired for 50 years, that's long enough.''
Manning became synonymous with the No. 18 after wearing it for 14 seasons with the Indianapolis Colts. Tripucka wore the number for only four seasons in Denver, but did it proud by becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for over 3,000 yards in a season in 1960. He also threw 51 touchdowns to 85 interceptions in his career.