2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Broncos: Peyton Manning’s message to graduates

Published: May 19, 2014, 1:44 pm, by Paul Klee

We’ve got a column coming in Tuesday’s Gazette on Ben Garland, the former Air Force lineman who’s trying to make the Broncos’ 53-man roster again. His mission this week is more big-picture oriented, though. 

Which takes us to Peyton Manning, the man Garland would be assigned to protect. The Broncos quarterback continued his early presidential campaign — I mean, offseason — with a stump speech at the University of Virginia’s valediction ceremony over the weekend. In a 20-minute address, Manning tossed footballs to two graduates (and the mother of a graduate, it appears) and talked about, yes, the big picture.

Peyton’s pitch can be summed up in a couple words: Play nice.

“More than half the world’s population is under 30 years old,” he said. “The sheer number of you creates a gigantic opportunity to change the workplace as we know it. Shake it up. Be the ones that throw open the shutters and let a little fresh air in. While you’re at it, make the workplace a more civil place to be.”

Manning continued his message with this:

“Make kindness a priority, not a blurred line. There are some people who will criticize your generation’s altruism as childlike fantasy. Yet you’re the generation that can put ethics and values back en vogue again. You’re the generation that can challenge leaders in business, government and other professions to make decisions based not solely on the bottom line, but also on what’s good for your community and others around the globe.”

Is it a little cheesy? Sure. Is it true? That, too.

You can see Manning’s entire speech here.

Twitter: @Klee_Gazette