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Eli Manning, mama's boy

There is a nice article in the New York Times about the bond Giants quarterback Eli Manning has with him mom, Olivia. While dad Archie was off watching his older sons Cooper and Peyton play sports, young Eli developed a taste for ... antiques!

Manning was dragged to so many of his brothers’ athletic events as a child that Archie thought it might turn him off from sports. Some weekends, Archie would take the older boys to their games and Manning said he would ask if he could stay home with a baby sitter. When that was not possible, he would go shopping with his mom for antiques — anything to avoid sitting through four or five basketball games in a day.

“The first couple of times it wasn’t because I wanted to,” Manning said. “It was just because she wanted to go shopping and there was nobody to watch me, so I had to tag along. But after I went a couple of times, I started to enjoy it.”

Over the years, the antique shops on Magazine Street in New Orleans became as familiar to Manning as his childhood home. He returned to them for pieces to decorate his college apartment at Ole Miss, as well as the apartment in Hoboken, N.J., where he lives during the football season. It is a hobby he has passed on to his fiancée, Abby McGrew, who now joins him when he browses for antiques during the off-season. “Some of Eli’s interests favor Olivia’s more than others,” Archie said, adding, “I’ve always felt my wife had class and a lot more culture than I do, and I’ve seen that rub off on Eli.”

What a quarterback contrast we have in the Super Bowl. On the one side we have Tom Brady, who impregnates his actress girlfriend, becomes a dad out of wedlock, then takes up with a supermodel. On the other side we have a shy guy who is marrying his college sweetheart, whom he takes antique shopping. It's Hugh Hefner vs. Opie. I'm rooting for Mayberry but betting on Broadway. --Jim Buzinski