INDIANAPOLIS – For the second time in his career, Eli Manning took part in a Super Bowl Media Day.
He did so after the 2007 season, and he will play on Sunday against New England. His second title appearance matches the total of older brother Peyton, who played in Super Bowls XLI and XLIV.
On Media Day in Lucas Oil Stadium, Manning fielded questions about the game and his brother.
"I'm excited about being here," said Manning. "My mindset is I'm here to play a game. This is just a Super Bowl venue. I'm not looking at the fact that this is where Peyton has played his career. I'm just trying to go out there and play my best football and try to get a championship for the New York Giants."
Roughly five years younger than Peyton and seven years younger than Cooper, Eli Manning was reared with sibling competition.
"I am five years younger than Peyton, but growing up we would always compete," said Manning. "When I got a little bit older, 15 or 16 years old, we could finally start being on the same level and compete in playing basketball, ping pong or pool. There is that competition. Competition is a great thing. It brings out the best in people. It does make you work harder to try to get to that level where you can compete with your older brother who plays at that same level. It is definitely helpful in bringing out all my skills."
Manning has seen his older brother put together an illustrious career. Knowing what the challenges are in NFL competition, Manning has a regard for Peyton has accomplished.
"Peyton has had an unbelievable career," said Manning. "Since I've been watching football, I haven't seen anybody play at a higher level than he has. It has always been my goal to get to his level of football, to get to his level of play. That is something that I've worked on. I've watched him in situations and I'm just amazed on some of the throws and plays he's made in his career. I try to ask as many questions and get as much help from him as I can. He's been great. He's been a great big brother and supporter of me. I know he'll me rooting hard for the Giants."
Sunday provides a chance for Manning to earn a second Super Bowl title. That, not a possible place in history, is his focus.
"As a player, I don't think you think about your legacy," said Manning. "You prepare to play games, to win games. We have an opportunity to win a championship. That is all I'm think about – what this will mean to the New York Giants organization and our fans. What it will mean for certain players – for a guy like Deon Grant who has played for 12 or 13 years and never won a championship. I watched Deon play at Tennessee with my brother – what it would mean for him to win a championship. What it would mean for Victor Cruz or Hakeem Nicks to win a championship. You put your teammates and coaches above yourself and what it would mean to them."
NFL SUPER BOWL NOTES
*Quarterback Earl Morrall (1968) is the only Colt to win the Associated Press MVP/Most Outstanding Player Award and the Super Bowl/NFL Championship in the same season. The feat has been accomplished 14 times, most recently by Kurt Warner (St. Louis) in 1999.
*NFC teams have won the last 14 coin tosses in Super Bowls. The last AFC winner was New England in Super Bowl XXXI.
*The use of Roman numerals to designate Super Bowls began with Super Bowl V, won by the Colts. Numerals I, II, III and IV were added after the first four Super Bowls.
SUPER BOWL – Quote/Unquote
"The Super Bowl is virtually immune to the altered TV landscape. It appears insulated from the vagaries of market size that afflict other sports whose championship series show up-and-down viewership patterns." – Sean McManus, CBS News/Sports President