Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Eli Thinks Sharing MetLife Stadium with Peyton Would be "Fun" and "Unique"

Who said New York City ain't big enough for two Mannings?  It could be if you believe Eli Manning, the younger brother of Peyton.

The New York Giants quarterback said if all the talk of Peyton joining same-stadium rivals the New York Jets came true it wouldn't bother him much at all.

"I'm not saying it's not going to happen, or I'd want it to happen, but having your brother that close to you and playing in New York would be very unique," Eli said in an interview with ESPN Radio this morning.

After standing in the shadow of Peyton for his whole career, Eli is finally stepping out from behind it and has become his own man.

Eli is one win from from leading his team to another Super Bowl and the second of the Giants quarterback's career after being the first half of "The Helmet Catch" in 2008.

Big brother Peyton is not far ahead with a Super Bowl win to go with one loss.

While Peyton's future is up in the air and will be the biggest NFL story of the off-season, Eli's future with the Giants is set in stone.

Peyton missed the entire 2011 season following neck surgery.  The Indianapolis Colts became a rudderless ship that went 2-14 on the season earning them the first pick in the NFL draft.

Odds are the Colts go with every one's pick— Stanford QB Andrew Luck.

If Indy decides to go with Luck, the Colts may consider trading Peyton or not picking up his $28 million option.  The team has until March 8 to decide.

The Jets meanwhile, are coming off a disappointing 8-8 season and unnamed teammates and organization members have put most of the the blame on the youthful shoulders of QB Mark Sanchez.

While this week, head coach Rex Ryan and GM Mike Tannenbaum said they fully support Sanchez,  it is no secret Ryan adores the Colts QB and has Peyton's former-offensive coordinator and mentor as a Jets consultant.

Peyton's dad, Archie, also said this week that his son wants to stay in Indianapolis and enjoys the life he has there.

"I don't know what's going to happen in that situation," Eli told ESPN Radio.  "I think it would be interesting to have your brother in the same city playing football together."

"Would it be fun?  I think, yeah," he said.

Eli has had to live up to Peyton his whole career and said he felt the pressure even more after being the Giants first draft pick in 2004.  He was labelled a brat for refusing to go to the San Diego Chargers.

The younger Manning was asked if the stigma of following Peyton affected his play.

"Maybe just a little bit because Peyton had a six year head start on me," he explained.  "In his second year he [Peyton] was  playing at a high level and they were playing great football, going to the playoffs... All of a sudden, people expect the little brother and the same things to happen, to have immediate success and he's going to be in the playoffs every year."

And it's not like there weren't more than a few times the comparisons and expectations had fans ready to run Eli out of town.  Even this summer— after he used the word "elite" to compare himself to Tom Brady— the laughs could be heard from Rockaway Beach to Rockaway N.J..

Now that Eli has become an NFL star in his own right, he said that both brothers sharing the biggest bedroom in the world (MetLife Stadium) could benefit each other.

"It'd be fun," he joked.  "We'd probably commute to work [together], maybe eat our lunch together... share notes on opponents, watch some film together..."

Sounds like he forgot building pillow forts in the living room.

Right now, Eli is the Manning in New York and two wins from surpassing his big brother in Super Bowl victories.

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