Super Bowl: Eli says Peyton doesn’t have to win to secure legacy
Younger Manning says Super Bowl outcome shouldn’t affect how his brother is viewed by others.
Published: January 23, 2014 06:34PM
Updated: January 24, 2014 12:05AM

East Rutherford, N.J. • They are two of the NFL’s most well-known quarterbacks.

They telephone each other at least once a week to talk shop, work together on an offseason passing camp, and have appeared in a number of television commercials. Each had a chance to host “Saturday Night Live.”

Each is a Super Bowl MVP.

There is something else about Peyton and Eli Manning. First and foremost, they’re brothers.

They know each other inside out. They root for each other. They bleed for each other. They’re family.

So when little brother Eli says Peyton doesn’t need to beat the Seattle Seahawks and win a second Super Bowl to secure his legacy as one of the NFL’s greatest quarterbacks, believe him.

“I think Peyton’s already created his own legacy,” Eli said Thursday during a conference call 10 days before Peyton and Broncos meet the Seahawks in the Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium. “He’s played at a very high level for a long period of time and he’s overcome injuries and obviously set numerous records and been on a lot of playoff teams, playing in his third Super Bowl. I don’t think that’s something that he’s worried about.

“There will always be arguments about, ‘Who is the greatest?’ Or who is the best,” Eli said. “I think if you’re in that argument, if you’re one of the names thrown around in there, I think you’ve already created a pretty good legacy.”

Peyton’s résumé is impressive: four-time MVP, 13-time Pro Bowler, seven-time All Pro.

Sure, there is only one title. Two would be the icing, and put him on par with Eli.

For the past few days, Eli Manning said his big job has been to get his brother extra tickets for the first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold-weather city. Barring late add-ons, he’s already hit the request number.

“Obviously, I know what it’s like with the Super Bowl and a lot of people are trying to figure out if they’re coming to the games, so I’m trying to take some of that stress off of him and help manage some of those things,” Eli said. “That way, he can focus on work and getting the game plan.”

While the two have exchanged some text messages, the brothers have not seen each other since Denver’s win over New England in the AFC title game on Sunday. They hope to get together early next week in the New York for a few hours, when Eli will give Peyton the secrets about playing in MetLife Stadium and his insight into playing Seattle, which the Giants did on here on Dec. 15.

The way the Seahawks’ defense dominated New York that day in a 23-0 win, Peyton might well ignore the advice.

After that, Peyton will take center stage during the weeklong media frenzy and Eli will get ready to watch only his second game at the Meadowlands. The first was in 2003 when the Jets crushed Peyton and the Colts in an AFC playoff game at Giants Stadium. Eli was still at Ole Miss.

There is some coincidence about this game. When Eli won his second Super Bowl in 2012, it was in Peyton’s stadium in Indianapolis.

Super Bowl

O Denver vs. Seattle

East Rutherford, N.J.

Feb. 2, 4:30 p.m.

TV • Ch. 13