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The great Archie Manning stopped by Steiner HQ last week to sign some collectibles before the latest Manning Bowl. Archie's a true southern gentleman and a devoted, thoughtful dad, as you'll learn from listening to our conversation. Here are some highlights:
On having two song who followed in his NFL QB footsteps:
Sometimes I show up somewhere and see an item with all three of our signatures, and it gives me a proud feeling. It really does.
On his family:
We’ve been blessed. We have a real close family. Olivia and I have been married 42 years. We have three beautiful daughter-in-laws and seven grandchildren now. So life is good.
People ask: “Who does what at Thanksgiving.” And I say: “We haven’t been together on Thanksgiving in almost 20 years. Because they’re playing football. Same thing at Christmas.”
On his secret to successful parenting:
I get asked that a lot. People say, “How are your kids so well-grounded? What’s did you do?” There’s a very simple solution there. It begins with a great mother.
On the good cop/bad cop side of parenting:
I think it’s pretty tough raising kids these days. Society throws a lot of temptations and decisions at children at earlier ages than when we had to face them. I played the tough guy, I had to be the tough guy. But Olivia – I called her the equalizer. Always calm, always patient. Didn’t get riled up when something went bad. You gotta have a little balance. If they wanted to stay out another hour, they called her. They didn’t call me. But you have to work together, and you have to have communication with your kids. The one thing we wanted to impress upon our children was that: you’re going to have some things that confront you. Take a deep breath, and just try to do what’s right. What do you think the right thing to do is here? It’s about priorities. We should all spend time with our children and establish with them what’s most important, whether it’s school, faith, family, football.
Why the NFL is more family-friendly for its players than other leagues:
I think the pro football life really does give you the opportunity to spend time with your family. You’re not traveling that much. You go to training camp for a couple of weeks, but otherwise, you leave on a Saturday, and come back on Sunday. It’s really a lot better than basketball or baseball, with all those road trips.
On oldest son Cooper having to give up sports after high school due to a spinal chord condition:
It killed Peyton. It just killed him. Peyton was two years younger, and they had a dream to play together. But Cooper’s spirit during that time, and his attitude - how he kept that fun-loving attitude up and didn’t get down or depressed – that was a great lesson to all of us. That’s when Peyton learned never to take anything for granted.
On not expecting Eli to be into sports:
I thought that because Cooper and Peyton played all these sports, that Eli – who was five years younger and always being dragged to his brothers’ Little League games –was not going to want to play sports, and wasn’t going to like sports. Because it had to be miserable having to watch all those games. But lo and behold, he followed the very same path.
On children being unique no matter what you do:
That’s the thing that amazes me as a parent. No one tells you that your children are going to be completely different from each other. You have your first one, and you think the next one will be the same, because you raised them the same. But it’s amazing that you end up with three totally different animals.
On playing at Ole Miss:
The greatest thing that ever happened to me: was when I was named the quarterback at Ole Miss. Love the school, love the area. That’s what I tell college players today – “Enjoy that journey.” Too many go to college and want to sprint through it. I still think four years of college are the best four years of your life.
On his career in an alternate universe:
I like to stay busy. My mother was a legal secretary for a little law firm in Drew, Mississippi and she wanted me to be a lawyer. I was always going to be a lawyer. And then baseball and football got in the way.
On the greatness of high school coaches:
I still think to this day that high school coaches are the people that build our men. They’re so underrated.
There's much more in the pod - download and hear for yourself!
And don’t forget: You can LISTEN TO MY OTHER PODCASTS, including Victor Cruz, Eli Manning, Magic Johnson, Joe Torre, Don Mattingly, JR Smith, Lou Holtz, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Robert Wuhl, Dave Winfield & Brian Cashman, by clicking >> HERE. <<