It wasn't so long ago that some believed this family would never win.
But in back-to-back Super Bowls played before a combined audience of more than 180 million people, a family that lives a very public life was able to share a profound and private joy. One year after Peyton stood at midfield in Miami and raised the
How many people could truly comprehend the emotions Peyton was going through?
What was it like for
For awhile, it looked as though Eli might never be a part of the conversation. He would live out his playing days as Robin to Peyton's Batman, and who really needs Robin around anyway?
In the win-now-or-else world of professional sports, it was easy to forget that Eli just completed his fourth year in the National Football League, a time frame that still calls for learning the game's nuances even as he was throwing all those picks. Who knew that behind all the errors, he was still getting better? Who knew that despite all of Eli's boring postgame press conferences, there was a passion burning somewhere deep in his belly, just not on his sleeves as New Yorkers prefer?
Each step in the postseason seemed to prepare Eli for the next one. In the wild-card round he outplayed the gritty
Through it all, the Manning clan hopscotched the country and followed the Giants' chase, older brother
While Super Bowl XLII will be remembered as the end of the Patriots' chase for perfection (and, to some, a bitter karmic comeuppance for their head coach), it will also be recalled for Eli's arrival. His final drive, which included shaking off a scrum of Patriots defenders and heaving a 32-yard strike to
But Super Bowl XLII also did one more thing. It set in motion the countdown to the day when Eli and Peyton square off in a Super Bowl of their own.