- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Who ranks with Peyton Manning as a local icon?
That’s the question Doug Williams takes on here.
Some personalities -- through longevity, likeability, community connection and greatness -- become icons for their cities and fans, more than the sum of their scoring averages, records or all-league selections.
Just as Manning is Indianapolis, John Stockton and Karl Malone are Salt Lake City, Cal Ripken Jr. is Baltimore, Tony Gwynn is San Diego and Vince Lombardi is the man who turned Green Bay, Wis., into Title Town, USA.
"What makes him unusual, he came to a team that was so bad and turned them into such a good team for so long," Pete Fierle, manager of digital media communications for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, says of Manning. "And how many times [leading up to the Super Bowl] was [Lucas Oil Stadium] referred to as the stadium Peyton built? What modern player could have that tag line? I can't think of any."
Once upon a time, passing three-hour radio block on a slow summer day, a friend and I took calls as we ran through every major league city in America trying to pick one iconic sports figure for each.
Some are easy. Some are incredibly difficult.
Williams has some fun hitting on some of them.
Do you consider any more connected to his city than Manning? Please hit the poll.