The Sheriff is heading back to the town that made him famous.

Peyton Manning first started turning heads and gaining national attention for his incredible talents on the football field in Knoxville, Tennessee when he took over as the starting quarterback for the University of Tennessee Volunteers in 1995. His 39-6 record (including bowl game appearances) over the course of his time at the University, along with his wickedly sharp football mind and physical skills, helped him become the number one overall pick of the Indianapolis Colts in 1998. As those of us who live in the Hoosier state know all about, Manning's 14 year run with the team equated to one of the most successful runs in the team's history, and made him beloved by Colts fans everywhere, myself included.

Since leaving Indy, he finished his career with the Denver Broncos, where he won his second Super Bowl before hanging up his cleats, and has gone on to be a pitch man for a number of companies, including Nationwide Insurance alongside Brad Paisley, and a business owner. At one point he had ownership stake in 31 Papa John's franchises, and now he's getting into the bar business.

Graduate Hotels, a national chain that sets up hotels near universities, like UT, and designs the interior around the school's storied athletic programs. Other locations include Ann Arbor, Michigan, home of the University of Michigan Wolverines, Eugene, Oregon, home to the University of Oregon Ducks, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, home of the University of North Carolina Tar Heels.

The Knoxville location opened its doors on August 13th, a 10 minute walk away from Neyland Stadium. It features 112 rooms, all decked out in the Tennessee colors of orange, white, and blue.

Upon opening the doors, Graduate also announced the partnership with Manning and the bar he helped design, Saloon 16. The name is a play off his nickname, "The Sheriff," and the number he wore during his playing days in Knoxville.

In a press release, Graduate Hotels says the bar features, "...coveted, unseen memorabilia from Manning’s personal collection to more subtle nods to the people, places and experiences that had the most impact on his college years."

My family and I are big Vols, Colts, and of course, Manning fans. He's the reason my son took such an interest in the game of football, and has played since 3rd grade (he's a sophomore in high school now). We have a close family friend that lives in Knoxville, so you can bet we'll be stopping by Saloon 16 next time we head that way for a visit.

Check out the pictures below to get a peak at what's inside not only the hotel, but Peyton's bar as well.

[Source: Graduate Hotels]

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