Come Sunday, a Manning will step out onto the field at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., in an attempt to win another Super Bowl ring – but it won’t be Eli.
Instead, the New York Giants quarterback’s older brother, Peyton, will be vying for his second Super Bowl championship at the home stadium of his brother’s team, and that’s just the way Eli likes it.
“If I’m not going to be able to play in a Super Bowl in my own stadium, there’s no one else I’d rather than Peyton to play in it,” Eli told PEOPLE on Wednesday while appearing at a promotional event for Purina Pro Plan. “I’m excited for him.”
Himself a two-time Super Bowl champion, Eli added that there’s no rivalry between he and Peyton, and he roots for his brother to match his number of Vince Lombardi trophies.
“We support each other,” said Eli. “There’s no bragging rights, and he would have all the bragging rights to have anyway.”
Furthermore, Peyton’s success means more family time for the entire Manning clan, who will all be coming together to cheer on the Denver Broncos against the Seattle Seahawaks.
“I get to see my parents, my oldest brother Cooper and a lot of friends and family members will be around New York,” said Eli. “It’ll be fun to be with them.”
Friends and family are at the heart of Eli’s own Super Bowl memories, which include a special private party following his 2008 defeat of the New England Patriots.
“I walked in and about 15 of my best high school and college buddies who I played football with were the first to greet me and give me hugs and high-fives,” he said. “It was almost like they had won a championship. And a lot of them obviously didn’t get to play in the NFL and I know they celebrated harder than I did that night.”