The Washington Post

Eli Manning talks Peyton, elite status with David Letterman

Eli Manning did not say “I’m this much better than my brother” when he talked Super Bowl with David Letterman on Monday night. (John P. Filo / AP)

Eli Manning’s second stop Monday, after the traditional Super Bowl MVP visit to Mouse World in Orlando, was New York City and David Letterman’s comfy “Late Show” chair.

Early in the day, Eli had professed that winning his second Super Bowl and topping his brother Peyton’s single victory really wasn’t important. “This isn’t about bragging rights,” Manning said. “This is a lot bigger.”

But Peyton Manning — and his uncertain future in football and in Indianapolis — was a prime topic of conversation with Letterman. Manning was prepared and joked about hitting the sack early after beating the Patriots on Sunday night. At least, we don’t think he was serious. You never know. He seems like an old soul.

Eli Manning’s first stop Monday? Mouseville. (Getty Imagest)

“After “10:30, yeah, I had a big morning,” Manning said. “I had to get ready for this, so I had to get my full sleep. I’ve been preparing and practicing for this. Peyton was playing you.”


Manning tried to sidestep the indelicate question of what Peyton’s future holds, then responded under pressure.

Eli Manning arrives at the Ed Sullivan theater to face Letterman. (Louis Lanzano / AP)

“He’s doing well. He’s rehabbing. He was in good spirits all weekend, got to be with him a little bit, and, you know, he’s just trying to get 100 percent. He wants to play football – and I think he will.”

(Peyton Manning, for the record, spoke about his bro’s success, telling the Indianapolis Star: “Couldn’t be happier for him. Couldn’t be prouder. It was a special night.”)

Eli Manning addressed that whole elite thing with Letterman, putting it to rest. Again. “Um, it’s like someone asking you, ‘Are you an elite talk-show host?’ What would you say? I’m sure you think you’re pretty good at this.”

Nicely done.

Letterman passed up a request to ask about those Redskins losses, but the interview was still a success, given that he managed to elicit a slight outbreak of “Manning face” during the Peyton inquisition.

All in all, Eli was pretty funny and he’s one-up on his brother in the Super Bowl Ring Dept. But is he an elite comedian, like his brother?:

H/T Justin Stangel, Eric Stangel (Justin’s the one with the magnificent hair.)

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.


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