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Eli Manning Keeping Family Tradition Alive

this is a discussion within the Saints Community Forum; Eli Manning keeping family tradition alive By Eli Manning Special to NFL.com Having a father who played in the NFL was great, and it must be even better for kids who are old enough to enjoy it. For me personally, ...

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Old 06-05-2006, 01:35 PM   #1
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Eli Manning Keeping Family Tradition Alive

Eli Manning keeping family tradition alive

By Eli Manning
Special to NFL.com

Having a father who played in the NFL was great, and it must be even better for kids who are old enough to enjoy it. For me personally, I was only three years old when my father Archie retired, so I really don't remember him playing at all. What I do remember is that in the years after he retired, he did the radio call on Saints home radio.

Every week, he would take my two brothers and me to the games, along with one of my brother's friends. We'd get there around 9 or 10 a.m. and roam around the Superdome before anyone else got there. We'd run around on the field, in the locker room, just about everywhere. Once the game started we'd go sit in the stands. Then after the game, we'd go down to the locker room and talk to the players. I can still remember that Saints locker room and all the Saints I met and was friendly with ... all the guys from the "Dome Patrol" ... Ricky Jackson, Ron Johnson, Sam Mills, Pat Swilling. I was such a big fan of those guys. On offense, I was friendly with quarterbacks Bobby Hebert and Steve Walsh, but back then, defense was the big story on that team.

Still to this day, I've never played a game on any level in the Dome. We almost did last year, but then Katrina moved the game against the Saints up to New York. Peyton has played there four times.

What I remember about my dad back then is how he handled himself around the fans. He was still the hero to a lot of fans and was very well known around the community, so lots of people would always come up and talk to him. He would sign everything they put in front of him and was always polite. As a kid, that left an impression on me. I tried to learn from that and try to carry myself the same way now.

Once I went off to Ole Miss, there was probably more pressure on me than I realized at the time. When I committed to Ole Miss, it had been 30 years since he left.

Nowadays, it's fun playing in the NFL along with Peyton. I talk to both my dad and Peyton after every game. My dad tries to get to as many games as he can, but if he's not there, we'll talk by phone right after it on the ride home or on the bus to the airport.

I do the same thing with Peyton. I try to get home from a 1 p.m. game to see his games if he is playing at 4 p.m., and afterwards I'll always leave him a message and discuss some element of his game. On television, everyone sees the big plays, but more often than not, there is some unbelievable play that was overlooked by the announcers and fans. I'll tell him something like "great read on that deep seam to Marvin," or some other less noticed thing that he did really well.

Sometimes we talk about common opponents. Two years ago, we played in Green Bay a week after Peyton and the Colts had played them. I didn't get to see it live, but when we watched the film of the Packers the following week, we noticed that the Colts had thrown the ball 21 consecutive times to start the game. I had to call him and talk about that, because that is a quarterback's dream to be able to throw the ball that much.

This year, we play the Colts the first week of the year, and that is going to be a big game obviously. For one, it's the season opener, but everyone will surely make a big deal out of Peyton and me facing off. My parents will be at the game, and everyone always asks them who they will root for. The answer is that they will root for offense. They'll probably be hoping for one of those Arena League scores where both teams just move the ball up and down the field and the final score is about 50-49. As long as we both end the game healthy, they won't care who wins.

Having my dad play in the NFL ahead of me and my brother alongside me has been great, and I have learned so much from both of their experiences.



My Guardian Angel wears a hard hat.
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Old 06-05-2006, 06:00 PM   #2
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RE: Eli Manning Keeping Family Tradition Alive

I hope this young man can get past his "Family Tradition". In my eyes, Archie choked during the 4th quarter of many games. Peyton at least waits until a championship is on the line. I think their entire family are first class kind of people, but in football games there is a very long history of failures. I know Archie got sacked a lot, and had to put up with some very bad teams around him, but he did have opportunities and basically failed. Peyton is almost a mirror image, but at least can get his team to a winning season. At least for now, Peyton does not come up big when it counts. Maybe Eli has taken notes and can get past it. The jury is still out...
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Old 06-05-2006, 08:50 PM   #3
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RE: Eli Manning Keeping Family Tradition Alive

Wow, Matt, harsh read. I absolutely don't agree with you on your choke call for Archie. You must not have been alive or old enough to actually watch those games in person to make such an uninformed comment like that.

And if you bothered to watch the recent playoff games Payton has played, the Refs took the games from him against NE and his O-line decided to imitate your sister and lay down for every big hunk that came at them. If you think that was HIS fault and part of a "family history" of failure, your "eyes" aren't seeing any reality to which I can relate.

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Old 06-05-2006, 09:02 PM   #4
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OMG... Let me guess, your a huge Brooks fan, eh Matt? "Dissing" Archie or the Manning family is like disrespecting the Saints or New Orleans to me, personaly. Also, I was not old enough to watch the games Archie played in personaly but I have been fortunate enough to see plenty of games, entire games, replayed from old tapes or when my cable had NFL Network. The last thing he did was choke, if anything he made desperate plays from time to time just trying to make a miracle happen with ZERO help around him with time running out and no other option but to take things into his own hand. Its funny how a player like Favre can make a bad call, get lucky and be called a hall of famer, but a player like Manning can make the same call and not have a reciever make an amazing catch over the defender and be called a choker. Just my two cents.

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Old 06-05-2006, 09:07 PM   #5
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Thats brutaly wrong !! Archie is a legend in our franchises history, NOBODY disses Archie without having some kind of proof. So lets see this info to back up the aligations of $#*^
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Old 06-06-2006, 08:32 AM   #6
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Great article, thanks..
Archie choke?, are you kidding me?
Try telling thousands of fans at the Dome that he choked and see how far you'll get with them.
Archie is gold in LA , nothing will ever change that..
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