The end of an incredible era in Colts history...dare I say Indiana state history or even the history of sports in general was made official today when team owner Jim Irsay and the man who made the Indianapolis Colts a regular championship contender, Peyton Manning held a joint press conference to announce the quarterback's departure.

I watched the news conference in our break room here at the station and while I knew what the announcement was going to be, it was still somewhat difficult to watch as it dashed any glimmer of hope I had that maybe the two sides could come to an agreement that would have kept Manning on the roster.

Both Manning and Irsay fought to hold back the tears as they too realized this was it. Here's what Peyton had to say about his time with the Colts before taking questions from reporters.

I think for fans like myself, what makes today's announcement difficult is that in our heads, this wasn't how it was supposed to end. Manning was to be a Colt from day one, then ride off into the sunset once his body couldn't keep up with the physical demand of playing professional football. With that said, when the day finally comes (and it will) that Manning hangs it up for good, I won't be a bit surprised if the Colts sign him to some type of honorary one day contract so he can retire as a Colt.

It will be difficult to watch Peyton wear another team's uniform if it happens, but we should be excited about the new era of Colts football with Andrew Luck (presumably) under center. Which begs the question: