This little bit of fluff at Forbes is under the headline, "How Peyton Manning got Indiana Kids To Think Football Is Cool":
When Peyton Manning appeared on “The Late Show with David Letterman” early in his Colts career, Letterman, an Indianapolis native and diehard local sports fan, asked Manning about his impressions of the city. I don’t remember the response verbatim (and I can’t find it online), but I remember Manning noting that the city was all about “basketball and car racin’,” and that he hoped to convert a few Hoosiers into football fans first.
It’s safe to say Manning succeeded beyond his wildest expectations.
Since joining the Colts in 1998, Manning has not only turned a moribund pro franchise into one of the most successful in the league, but he also, though his play and his off-the-field endeavors, turned many of the basketball-and-car-racin’ people of Indiana into football fanatics, eagerly signing up their kids to play.
That's a little much, isn't it? I mean, I like Manning, and he has created a lot of good will in the state for the Colts and the NFL. But kids here already had the football bug, despite all that Hoosier Hysteria hoopla. Let's face it, sports fans, football is a much more complex and interesting sport than basketball, which gets pretty boring at the pro level. Oh, gosh, look, another tall man ran down the floor and dunked the ball. And, sorry, Danica-pushin' Dave, watching cars drive around and around lap after lap got old a loooong time ago.