With the Super Bowl matchup set, Rich Cimini offers this breakdown of the local storylines for ESPNNewYork.com. The most interesting link from a New York Giants standpoint is the curiosity about Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning trying to win his second Super Bowl title in the stadium in which his younger brother, Eli Manning, plays his home games. It's a curiosity because, two years ago, Eli Manning won his second Super Bowl title at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, where Peyton used to play his home games. At the time, it had become clear that Peyton had already played his final game as a Colt more than a year earlier, but it was still an historical oddity worthy of at least passing attention.
Eli Manning said on the day after the Giants' 7-9 season ended that the only way he'd go to the Super Bowl was if the Broncos and his big brother were playing in it, so he'll surely be around next week and at the game on Feb. 2. And he'll surely be rooting for Peyton Manning and the Broncos to win, no matter that it would happen in his own home stadium. It's clear by now that these brothers want the best for each other and that there isn't any jealousy or envy that goes along with their relationship. As Rich writes, this will be the fifth Super Bowl out of the last eight to feature one of the Manning brothers, and the family remains unfailingly appreciative of its own remarkable success.
The Manning family is also appreciative of the journey Peyton has made in the past two years from four neck surgeries that threatened his career to a slew of single-season passing records and a third Super Bowl appearance. Peyton and his family wondered if he'd ever play again, and to return to play at this particular level is an accomplishment worthy of more attention than it's receiving. Eli told The Star-Ledger's Steve Politi on Sunday that, "With Peyton, not much amazes me anymore."