He was Goliath to the Texans.
For a brand new franchise it was excruciating dealing with a QB who could surgically dismantle defenses at will. Watching Peyton Manning go up to the line of scrimmage, make calls for what seemed like an eternity then hit receivers for first downs and touchdowns was as frustrating as anything the Texans have had to deal with.
The early meetings at home were probably closer than you remember because the defense was better than you remember. However, the games at the RCA Dome were Manning passing clinics. It took until year five to finally defeat Goliath. It happened largely because the Texans played keep away with Ron Dayne running for 153 yards.
Check out photos of the top 100 players of this year's draft class according to Texans analyst John Harris.
It took four more years for the Texans to get their second win over Manning. This time Arian Foster erupted for 231 yards on his way to the NFL rushing title. Two years later, with Manning as a Bronco, the Texans would prevail in a memorable road game that featured Matt Schaub losing a piece of his ear but getting the better of one of the greatest quarterbacks on that particular day.
And that was it for Texans wins over Peyton Manning. He was that good. Cool, calculated, confounding and conquering. And now, he's finally done.
There has never been a bigger villain in the history of the franchise. No one has had more success. No one has been more difficult to stop.
He gets to walk away after a Super Bowl win. A classic mic drop that his most recent boss performed in the late nineties. His fans and sponsors will miss him dearly. Although it's safe to say Manning's endorsements will only diminish slightly.
Opponents and their fan bases won't miss him. Or will they? Sports needs great players to root for and against. Manning was so good for so long he was like his own franchise, with devotees and detractors trading barbs about his greatness.
As the Texans announcer, I'll be happy that he's out of the AFC and the NFL. But he gave us great tension, drama and entertainment. And isn't that what it's really all about?