Six Things To Know Before The Manning Statue Reveal

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Sculptor Ryan Feeney’s super-secret Peyton Manning statue will be unveiled at 3 p.m. Saturday on the north plaza of Lucas Oil Stadium. Ahead of the football festivities, IM has your Peyton party primer:

1. Pre-Peyton Party. Fans who roll in early can enjoy a free pre-party. Football fanatics and beer lovers can take in a Manning memorabilia display while sipping $3 Bud Lights. Gates open at 12 p.m. But leave your backpacks at home: the NFL’s clear bag policy will be in effect.

2. Snag a slice. Not to worry: fans won’t be penned in without pizza. There’ll be plenty of Papa John’s available for purchase. Because you didn’t really think the perennial pitchman would pass on the chance to pad his pizza empire, did you? (Try saying that five times fast.)

3. Pick up a poster. The first 20,000 fans through the gates can snag a free special-edition Manning poster. Can’t make it on Saturday? Pick one up in advance at one of these participating Papa John’s locations.

4. Score a selfie. Fans can snap selfies with bronze-painted Manning statue impersonator Robert Shangle, who will be roaming the downtown area Friday and appearing at Saturday’s ceremony. Fans can peep his location here.

5. Hobnob with football’s famous. We know Manning will be at Saturday’s ceremony, but what other famous names might he have invited? Marvin Harrison? Edgerrin James? We’re not sure, but we know who’ll be playing hooky: Jim Mora. The team’s head coach from 1998-2001 still nurses a grudge after being fired from Indy 16 years ago. Mora says Manning asked him to attend, but he declined.

6. Seriously, think twice before passing on the pizza. The 3 p.m. ceremony is standing room only, and it’s hard to celebrate Peyton when you’re passed out from hunger.

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