Manning brothers square off in Pro Bowl

While they've faced off several times before, from the driveway basketball court to the so-called "Manning Bowl" in 2006, the Pro Bowl will be another page in the brothers' long-standing rivalry.


KAPOLEI, Hawaii (AP)—When Eli Manning was selected for his first Pro Bowl, big brother provided some pretty simple advice—have fun and dress appropriately.

"It's a pretty easy pack coming over here, a couple pairs of shorts and some Hawaiian shirts," Peyton Manning said.

He should know. The Indianapolis Colts' All-Pro quarterback is making his ninth appearance in 11 seasons and will start for the AFC on Sunday.

While sharing time together poolside at their hotel, the Mannings will be on opposite sidelines on game day. Eli earned his first trip to Hawaii in his fifth season. He was selected as an NFC reserve behind starter Kurt Warner, who led the Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl.

"One thing about Hawaii, you don't have to work too hard to have a good time," Peyton said. "I know he's excited. I remember my first time being over here. It's fun to be around these veteran players and pick their brains a little bit."

The Mannings are the eighth set of brothers selected to the Pro Bowl and the fourth set of siblings to play in the same all-star game, joining Bruce and Clay Matthews (1989-90), Shannon and Sterling Sharpe (1993-95), and Tiki and Ronde Barber (2005-07).
However, it's the first time that quarterback-playing brothers have been chosen for the same Pro Bowl. And they'll have plenty of family members cheering them on, including their father, Archie, who played in the 1978-79 Pro Bowls.

Peyton has invited Eli to Honolulu before, but younger brother insisted on making it on his own. Eli says it was worth the wait.

"I'm having fun," he said.

During practice, Eli threw a pass to Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith. Eli called it, "neat."

"I get to work with some guys, then hang out with them afterward and see them on a less competitive level," he said. "You don't always get these opportunities, so you have to take advantage of them."

Peyton was having fun at practice, too, flinging the ball all around the yard. The 32-year-old is coming off his third MVP season, throwing for 4,002 yards with 27 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

"If you can't hit Brandon Marshall and Andre Johnson on a post route, there's something wrong with you as a quarterback. Those guys cover 10 yards a stride," he said.

Peyton was busy studying the plays on offense, and defense, especially with the Baltimore Ravens' coaching staff leading the AFC. Because, "I'm on a mission to figure out the Baltimore Ravens' defense," he said.

He also plans to spend the week taking care of his AFC teammates, bribing some of the defensive linemen with food.

"I bought Mario Williams breakfast so he'll remember that twice next year. Maybe when he gets that free shot, he might not drive me into the ground," Peyton said. "Like I said, it's a fun week, but there's work to be done."

As far as life with the Colts, Manning will have to get used to being without coach Tony Dungy and hopes to see veteran receiver Marvin Harrison back next season. He said it's hard to think about playing without Harrison.

For Eli, he has one year remaining on his contract with the Giants.

"I don't know what's going to happen, whether they renew it or wait for next year. I'm not all that concerned," he said. "I'm just trying to get ready to play next year."

The brothers didn't have many activities planned, other than spending some time with their parents and each other. That's something the former Super Bowl MVPs rarely get to do with the long season and busy offseason workouts.

While they've faced off several times before, from the driveway basketball court to the so-called "Manning Bowl" in 2006, the Pro Bowl will be another page in the brothers' long-standing rivalry.

As close as the Mannings are, they do draw a line when it comes to the hotel.

"We've got our own rooms," Peyton said.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content

2023 Season Tickets On Sale Now!

2023 Season Tickets On Sale Now!

Our opponents are set! Secure the best seats & best benefits for next season, and be there live for exciting matchups against the Pittsburgh Steelers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and more of the NFL's best opponents. Request more info or view our 3D Seat Viewer below!