NFL players share bonds in a unique fraternity. Brothers share an even tighter one. Eli is five years younger than Peyton, and they have an NFL lineage that includes father, Archie. When asked about having bragging rights on his older brother who won the MVP award when Indianapolis topped Chicago in Super Bowl XLI, the two-time Giants MVP stressed team accomplishments are more important than a sibling connection.Commissioner Roger Goodell praised Indianapolis.
“This isn’t about bragging rights. This is a lot bigger,” said Manning. “This is about a team, an organization being named world champions, and that was the ultimate goal. That’s the only thing that’s important, is the team finding a way to get a victory. That’s the only thing I care about and Peyton and I both know that’s what the goal is every year. It’s not about anything else.”
The victory was gained in dramatic fashion on the late-game march. The drive started with a 38-yard connection from Manning to wide receiver Mario Manningham, a play that will be remembered as one of the most noteworthy in Super Bowl history. On Monday, Manning relived that moment and the drive.
At the final Super Bowl press conference on Monday that honored Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin and MVP Eli Manning, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell spoke again of the outstanding efforts by so many local individuals and entities.Even Cris Collinsworth is satisfied with Lucas Oil Stadium.
“Let me start by thanking the people of Indianapolis, starting with Jim Irsay and the Colts organization for pursuing the Super Bowl here in Indianapolis and their great leadership,” said Goodell. “The people did a fantastic job here, from the Super Bowl Host Committee to all the volunteers, to the leadership starting with Governor (Mitch) Daniels, Mayor (Greg) Ballard.
“We can’t say enough about the tremendous work that everybody did. I see (Host Committee Chairman) Mark (Miles) over here with the Super Bowl Host Committee. It was just an extraordinary effort and a great event, so we thank you all for a great week and a tremendous Super Bowl.”
“I’m thrilled it’s in Indianapolis,” said Collinsworth. “It was a two-hour drive for me. I don’t have to battle the airport on Monday morning. Even if you’re in Los Angeles or Miami, it’s an absolute zoo the day after the Super Bowl. I will get in the car and drive home.
“We’ve talked that Indianapolis (leaders) really intelligently designed this place to host big events. I came here for the Final Four when Butler lost to Duke on the last-second miss. It’s probably a good thing (the ball didn’t go in). That probably would have torn down the new stadium (Lucas Oil Stadium) if the ball had gone in from mid-court. Now, coming back for the Super Bowl, the city does a great job with big events. I love seeing a Midwestern city getting the chance to host a Super Bowl. I’m sure they will do an outstanding job.”
Collinsworth is enamored of the atmosphere Indianapolis provides, as well as for the amenities that has made this the 14th different site to hold a Super Bowl.
“The compact nature will add to the atmosphere,” said Collinsworth. “I know the Patriots are (practicing) at the Colts’ facility. The Giants are (somewhere else). It’s pretty amazing the city has so many world-class venues for these teams to practice within such a small area.