Anybody who knows me very well, knows that I am a longtime "Manning" fan. I rooted for Archie when he was the only good player on a very bad Saints team. I would have started rooting for him earlier, but played his college ball at Ole Miss. Nuff said!
Now, Archie's sons, Peyton and Eli are carrying on the Manning Legacy. Peyton, already a future Hall of Famer, is the quarterback for the reigning Super Bowl Champion Indianapolis Colts. Eli appears to be coming into his own as third year quarterback of the New York Giants.
Of course, I am impressed by the Mannings' football accomplishments. But, I am more impressed with the way they handle themselves away from the field. Peyton is the National Spokesman for Court Appointed Special Advocates cause, a charity that helps foster children learn to make the right decisions and lead healthy lifestyles. He is also involved in the YMCA and Special Olympics. Eli Manning is involved with Feed the Children, and For the Kidz.
Another thing about the Mannings that impresses me, particularly in this day and age, is that you never see them in the headlines for DUI, domestic violence, drugs, or any of the other pitfalls that other professional athletes encounter on a regular basis. The Mannings realize that, like it or not, kids are looking up to them. And they try to set a good example.
Don't get me wrong. The Mannings are not perfect. There was some bad press about Archie not wanting San Diego to draft Eli. Even Eli and Peyton occasionally lose their tempers. But in these days of the likes of Terrell Owens, Ricky Williams, and Adam (Pacman) Jones, Peyton and Eli look pretty darn good to me.
And they sure make Sunday afternoons something to talk about.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Conversation in Mississippi has now turned from "the heat" to football.
Now I know a lot of people just don't understand the Southern obsession with SEC football. These folks sneer at our favorite Fall pastime and wonder why we are not more concerned with "the Problems of the World."
Well, Monday through Friday, we are concerned with the "Problems of the World." SEC football fans work a variety of jobs. We are counselors, booksellers, people who help administer programs to help provide shelter so that low income people can have decent homes, schoolteachers, and nurses. We provide for our families and take part in church and civic organizations.
But on Saturday, we deserve a chance to kick back and enjoy "our" teams. Rivalry is largely good natured. Football gives us something to talk about besides the "Problems of the World," most of which we can't solve anyway.
So I'll yell Geaux Tigers and wave my purple and gold pom-poms as long as I am able.
And long live the SEC!