Manning 'honored' to play on 9/11

September, 11, 2011
9/11/11
8:00
AM ET
Eli Manning may be one of the most famous athletes in the New York.

But when it comes the terrorist attacks of September 11th, he's just like any other New Yorker.

When asked earlier this week about the 10th anniversary of the attacks, Manning said, "We'll never forget and that's how it should be."

The Giants will take several steps to honor the September 11th attacks before and during their season-opener Sunday in Washington.

As they have every time they play on Sept. 11, the players will wear hats featuring the initials of the police department, port authority and fire department.

All NFL players Sunday will have a patch on their jerseys featuring a ribbon with stars and stripes along with the dates "9/11/01" and "9/11/11." Coaches, personnel and staff will have pins featuring a similar ribbon.

The Giants will also bring a number of people directly affected by the terrorist attacks with them to Washington.

The Redskins are also expected to have a pre-game ceremony recognizing the anniversary.

Manning will be honored to be apart of all of it.

"It's a big deal, especially for the people here in New York and the people in Washington," Manning said. "So it's [a] time people all remember. We'll never forget and it should be that way. So it's an honor to play on this day and honor people who we lost on that significant day."

He also understands that some players may get emotional on Sunday.

"It's one of these things that's hard to prepare for," Manning said. "We don't know exactly what's going to happen.... Whatever emotions are flying you've got to be true to yourself and let them go. But hopefully, once the whistle blows [and] that first kickoff goes, guys will play with a lot of emotion but get [their] concentration back on football."

Ian Begley

ESPN New York Writer

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