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“We are fortunate to partner with a selfless individual who has given his time and resources off the field for the betterment of children and our overall community,” said Vince Caponi, executive chairman of the hospital’s board. “Peyton has the highest respect for our health ministry, and values his time spent with its pediatric patients.”

But to those who know Manning best, this goes far deeper than rooting for an ex-teammate.

“My career is over, so now I can sit back and cheer for the guys I respect and he’s definitely on top of that list,” said Brackett, who served as Indy’s defensive captain while Manning was the offensive captain.

Saturday concurs.

“He’s a friend, so I’m always pulling for him that way. But to see a guy coming back from all the neck surgeries he’s had, at 37, going to another team, going to a Super Bowl, it’s fun to watch,” Saturday said. “Peyton Manning was everything you’d want our of a franchise quarterback while he was in Indy. He won the way you wanted to win. It was exactly what you wanted out of a franchise quarterback.”