The tight bond between the Mannings and New Orleans has now seeped into a second generation of NFL players.
When Katrina struck, it was Peyton and Eli who shipped a plane full of relief supplies into the city. Peyton has used his charity, the Peyback Foundation, to help children in Indianapolis, Knoxville, Tenn., and New Orleans, and this summer, the brothers donated about 200 pairs of new Reebok shoes to eight inner-city schools.
Clearly, the Mannings still like the city and the fans, and they don’t begrudge people for celebrating. They just want fans to make it about the Saints, and not about Peyton.
“The first time he (Peyton) came back was for a golf tournament, after he had his neck operated on. He couldn’t play, but he came anyway so that people couldn’t say he didn’t come because of the Super Bowl,” Archie recalls. “And sure enough, we get through the tournament and someone smarts off about it. I just said ‘Let’s move on.’”
The solution was simple: Stay out of town for a while.
Archie and his wife, Olivia, spent more time than usual in Mississippi this summer, in part to avoid any unnecessary confrontations.
“We just kind of withdrew from that situation,” Archie said. “I don’t take it personal. People are celebrating, having a good time, and most of the time, it’s been fairly normal. We just didn’t anticipate having some of these people being nasty and rude.”
Peyton took a similar tack.
He didn’t want to see it, hear it or even be around it this summer.
Instead, it’s been business as usual so Manning can win in Dallas (host of the Super Bowl) and celebrate in Indy next February.
“All we know to do is to go back and work hard again,” Peyton said. “We are going to keep working very hard and hopefully we are going to take it one step further this year.”
Associated Press Sports Writer Brett Martel in New Orleans contributed to this report.
'Your papers, please' must never be heard in America
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
A mother of three and a passionate conservative, Shirley Husar changes the game.
Political satirist and Christian apologist Bob Siegel discusses religion and politics.
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall