Peyton Manning has been named the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year.

The Denver Broncos quarterback follows in the footsteps of some of the biggest names in sport, as well as some who have suffered dramatic falls from grace.

Lance Armstrong, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa have all won the prestigious award in the past, but have all be tarnished by drug use during the peak of their careers. Sosa is the only one to still deny using PEDs, although the New York Times claimed in 2009 that he failed a test six-years previously.

That said, the likes of LeBron James and Tom Brady have also claimed the honour, which is given to ‘the athlete or team whose performance that year most embodies the spirit of sportsmanship and achievement’.

Whilst Manning’s best achievements were perhaps last year, coming back from four neck surgeries, he’s posted some quite outstanding numbers this season at Mile High Stadium.

The 35-year-old has 47 touchdown passes, and needs just four more to pass Brady’s single-season record of 50 TDs in one season.

With two regular season games to go, few would bet against the former Indianapolis Colt, who is looking to take his side on a charge to the Super Bowl in New York.

Whilst the SI Sportsman of the Year award won’t particularly help in any way, it is another tip of the cap to the veteran QB’s incredible longevity at the very top of the game.

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