Archie, it's good to talk to you. I don't think I've really talked to you since training camp and that seems much warmer and much farther away than our visit here in January.
Well, it has been and as always during football season, a lot of water under the bridge. Another year is about to close out so it's been a good one for us.
Congratulations on a great season for Peyton (Manning) and a remarkable one thinking about probably some ups and downs there. Can you get your arms around what's happened now, this football season?
Well, its football, that's all. My dad used to talk about an odd ball bounces funny. It's bounced funny for a lot of people, a lot of teams. I guess that's what makes it a great game. It's certainly been kind of different and unique for our family and different and unique for the Broncos. They are in a good place, down to the final two, so we'll see what happens.
What was watching that game like on Sunday? I know you've seen your sons now and yourself have participated in so many different scenarios. Was there anything truly unique about this past Sunday's game against New England?
Well, it was a great football game. The storyline, the Broncos defense really got after the Patriots, got after Tom Brady. Tom showed what a pro and great player he is, how he stood in there and took a lot of licks and came back and gave his team a chance to win. Great effort by the Bronco defense. You know, offensively the Broncos aren't as good as they've been in years past, but still they're trying to play off their defense and get some things going. They led in the football game most of the way and didn't give the Patriots anything except one controversial call on a challenge. It was really a great football game, two great teams.
How hard is it to be objective Archie Manning at this point when you're watching a game that involves one of your sons?
Well, I'm just honest. I'm full blast for my son, I pull as hard as anyone. I've been around football a long time. I know good football when I see it, I know good coaching, and I know good players. It's not hard.
How badly did your phone blow up on Sunday after Peyton qualified for another Super Bowl?
All-time record, 173 texts. I text a lot. I feel blessed to have a lot of friends. Peyton has a lot of friends. Peyton had a big following in that game. I think a lot of people like the story that's going on there after the type of season he's had. I got a lot of response from friends.
Did Peyton have any idea that this is where he might stand in late January based upon the injury back during the regular season and the way the season was progressing?
Well you know, every player during the season said 'oh, Peyton's been fortunate enough this is his fourth time to be there,' but certainly this season is different than any other. When he was hurt, no he didn't know if he'd play again and he didn't know just how things would unfold for the football team and for him. He's certainly had the good Lord on his side and been fortunate. He did a good job trying to get himself well and being ready to play when he had a chance.
Archie, this getting ready for a Super Bowl involving one of your sons is probably old hat, huh?
I didn't realize it until this morning, Ted Lewis told me that out of the last 10 super bowls, that I've had a son in six of them. It's always fun. There are some chores to do on kind of the second day of, I call it ticket scrambling, trying to do that for friends and family. I always tell everybody (to) enjoy the journey, I've got to get through all these tickets before I can really enjoy the journey.
When's that done, then how do you go about doing it? What have you learned as far as the best way to enjoy the experience?
We have a good time. We try to be able to share this with family and friends. We have a lot of friends going out to San Francisco. Cooper (Manning) and his family will be there. Eli (Manning) is in the Pro Bowl, (but) he's coming back to San Francisco. He and I have some corporate things to do together. We'll have some fun times together with family and friends. We're going to try to enjoy it and hopefully it will be a great game.
Any thought on what you think the game might look like one week from Sunday?
Carolina's really good. They're real good (on) both sides of the ball. They're playing good, lot of momentum there. What a great season they've had. Just an unbelievable season. Their championship game was a blowout. The Broncos, who are coming off a huge win, but they'll quickly realize what a tough chore they have. They're good coaches, Coach Kubiak is good, Wade Wilson, they'll get (them) ready to play. So we'll see what happens.
You mentioned Eli, of course at the Pro Bowl, and Archie, of course he's also a finalist for the NFL Man of the Year Award. I don't want to have you on and not ask you about your other son's accomplishment, as far as how that award might affect your family.
Well, that's a special thing. You know Peyton won that award and as a parent, it's something you're very proud of. I like the way the NFL does that. There will be one winner, but actually all three people are recognized through the Super Bowl week, and there are some functions there that we'll be able to attend with Eli. Eli's worked really hard in Mississippi and up in the New York-New Jersey area, and here in New Orleans trying to give back. We're really proud that he's being recognized for that.
I'm curious how the rest of 2016 would go, Archie, if Ole Miss wins the Sugar Bowl, which they did, and Eli wins Man of the Year, and Peyton goes on to win the Super Bowl. What else is to be done in the next ten and a half months?
Well, we will just try to be grateful. If all those things were to happen, that would be the ultimate hat trick for the Manning family. We'll handle it no matter what happens.