Mannings soak up atmosphere

  • Follow NFL

KAPOLEI, Hawaii --- When Eli Manning was selected for his first Pro Bowl, big brother provided some pretty simple advice -- have fun and dress appropriately.

"It's a pretty easy pack coming over here, a couple pairs of shorts and some Hawaiian shirts," Peyton Manning said.

He should know. The Indianapolis Colts' All-Pro quarterback is making his ninth appearance in 11 seasons and will start for the AFC on Sunday.

While sharing time together poolside at their hotel, the Mannings will be on opposite sidelines on game day. Eli earned his first trip to Hawaii in his fifth season. He was selected as an NFC reserve behind starter Kurt Warner, who led the Arizona Cardinals to the Super Bowl.

"One thing about Hawaii, you don't have to work too hard to have a good time," Peyton said. "I know he's excited. I remember my first time being over here. It's fun to be around these veteran players and pick their brains a little bit."

The Mannings are the eighth set of brothers selected to the Pro Bowl and the fourth set of siblings to play in the same all-star game, joining Bruce and Clay Matthews (1989-90), Shannon and Sterling Sharpe (1993-95), and Tiki and Ronde Barber (2005-07).

However, it's the first time that quarterback-playing brothers have been chosen for the same Pro Bowl. And they'll have plenty of family members cheering them on, including their father, Archie, who played in the 1978-79 Pro Bowls.

Peyton has invited Eli to Honolulu before, but younger brother insisted on making it on his own. It was worth the wait.

"I'm having fun," Eli said. "I get to work with some guys, then hang out with them afterward and see them on a less competitive level," he said. "You don't always get these opportunities, so you have to take advantage of them."

Peyton was having fun at practice, too, flinging the ball all around the yard. The 32-year-old is coming off his third MVP season, throwing for 4,002 yards with 27 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.

The brothers didn't have many activities planned, other than spending some time with their parents and each other. That's something the former Super Bowl MVPs rarely get to do with the long season and busy off-season workouts.

While they've faced off several times before, from the driveway basketball court to the so-called "Manning Bowl" in 2006, the Pro Bowl will be another page in the brothers' long-standing rivalry.

As close as the Mannings are, they do draw a line when it comes to the hotel.

"We've got our own rooms," Peyton said.


Search Augusta jobs