|The Mannings, a family with character|
|Wednesday, February 15, 2012|
By W.H. WATERS
As we observe happenings in our world, so often we see the values of good families making them evident to us.
Recently, the Super Bowl was played and Eli Manning and the New York Giants carried the day. Eli was voted the Most Valuable Player and I believe rightfully so. As I read his words after the win, the quality of Eli’s inner being made itself evident. How did he come to be such a man?
In days of yore, Eli’s father, Archie Manning, was the quarterback for the old New Orleans Saints pro team. Archie was considered one of the top quarterbacks of his era and yet he won few games. Just the same, he gave his all and never complained about his lot as a player. Somewhere along the line he married a lovely girl, Olivia. How do I know this? Look at the quality sons they have reared. Look at the quiet way she and Archie observe their two sons who live in the limelight of today’s professional players. With money and fame, why do some people stick to the high road and set such great examples?
You know Archie and Olivia have a third son, Cooper. He was hurt playing football and had to give up the game. Whenever you see him mentioned you see no evidence of jealousy of his brothers who are in the news daily.
Most of us know Peyton Manning and we know he is one of the greats of all times with Indianapolis Colts. We know that he was disabled this year with numerous neck operations. It was his leadership of this team that caused the great field house where the Super Bowl game was played to be built. Did you see Peyton at the game? I did not, but I bet somewhere in that structure he sat where he could not be seen. It was his brother’s day and he did not want to detract from his play in any way. You know some think Peyton will never play again. I hope he does, and I hope he plays well.
When did I learn of the quality of Peyton Manning? At the University of Tennessee he was a great college quarterback. He was runner-up for the Heisman Trophy. He graduated from college in three years but stayed and played his fourth year of eligibility. I wrote of him at that time, “Peyton Manning, if he never plays a down of professional football, will be a success at whatever he seeks to do.” With a level head, high IQ and the will to succeed, one has all the attributes but his home had taught him the virtues so needed in our society.
Eli is much quieter than is his older brother. Nevertheless, it is evident that he leads his team and they react to him much the same as Peyton’s team reacts to him. Eli was a great college quarterback at Ole Miss. With this ability and an IQ that has to be high, he is moving toward greater fame each year.
Our society seems to have to have a winner in every walk of life. Peyton is hurt and it seems some don’t want him to return to football. Some believe Eli is as great, or greater, than is his brother. I look at the reaction of two brothers and what do I see?
Archie says Peyton and Eli talk to each other most every day. They confide in one another. There is no evidence of animosity. Eli is quoted as being very unhappy with the comparisons being made at this time.
It appears that Archie and his wife raised boys who love one another. They pull for one another. They let each other have their day of glory with no jealousy.
How much better our world would be if we all reared our children to walk the high road of life as have the Mannings.Editor’s Note: Mr. W.H. Waters is a resident of Lebanon and a contributor to The Wilson Post’s Opinions page.