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4.6 41
by Peyton Manning

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The inspiring personal story of a family, an athletic tradition, and fifty years of a great all-American game.


The inspiring personal story of a family, an athletic tradition, and fifty years of a great all-American game.

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When University of Tennessee graduate Peyton Manning signed his first N.F.L. contract, he received $11.6 million. Not for his first year of playing; for signing. The entire package earned him an indelible nickname: "The Fifty Million Dollar Quarterback." that only a few decades ago, Joe Namath was called "The $400,000 Quarterback" lends some sense of how times have changed. But unlike the Jets' legendary Broadway Joe, Peyton Manning seems intent on remaining out of tabloid spreads. His seriousness is understandable: He is part of a football-tossing dynasty. His father, Archie Manning, was an All American, an All Pro quarterback, a N.F.L. M.V.P. and the most popular New Orleans Saint in history. This family self-portrait provides up close and personal evidence of the changes and the continuities in football. (P.S. Peyton's younger brother, Eli, is preparing for his final high school gridiron season. Guess what position he plays?)
With this tandem memoir, father-and-son football legends Archie and Peyton Manning deliver a towering touchdown pass.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The Manning family--Archie (All-American star quarterback who played for Ole Miss and later for the New Orleans Saints); his wife, Olivia (Archie's college sweetheart and homecoming queen); their sons Cooper (whose career ended with a diagnosis of spinal stenosis), Peyton (a former star quarterback for Tennessee whose determination has led the Indianapolis Colts to an incredible turnaround) and Eli (the even-tempered starting quarterback at Ole Miss)--has enjoyed a life of success and love based on faith, family and football. Archie and Olivia Manning raised their sons with the philosophy that "it's the right thing to do, so do the right thing." The result, which Archie and Peyton capture so clearly, is a tribute to the values Americans hold in high regard: work hard, stand up for what you believe in, treat each person with respect and be grateful for what you have and for what you have achieved. With the assistance of Underwood (Death of an American Game), the narrative seamlessly flows from Archie's voice to Peyton's as they discuss everything from the meaning of football and Archie's career ups and downs to raising three sons and the game they all play. Besides the celebrations, the Mannings also comment on life in the South ("The stereotyping is repulsive... both ways. All black men aren't noble, all white men aren't swine") and the flip side of fans' fervent partisanship (for example, the slew of hateful letters and calls Archie received when Peyton turned down Ole Miss). Whether or not one is a fan of the gridiron game, the Mannings' book makes for a terrific read about an all-American family. (Sept.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Library Journal
This is an honest, insightful autobiography of a father and son who both reached the pinnacle of professional football. Peyton is currently the quarterback of the National Football League's (NFL) Indianapolis Colts, while Archie is a retired NFL pivot. This candid, no-holds-barred book begins in Drew, MI, during the 1950s where football was simply a game boys played to have fun, not a means to an end. The story chronicles two generations of a highly motivated football family through the good times and bad. Written with the assistance of sportswriter Underwood, this book will entertain gridiron fans. Buy where demand warrants.--Larry R. Little, Penticton P.L., BC Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.98(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

If you were to ask Archie Manning what there was about football that made it so defining, so important to him early on, he would tell you that it wasn't. Not then. For a boy growing up in Drew, Mississippi, football was one of the games you played, that's all; one of the fun things you did, no goals intended....

From as early as I can remember, I played every sport available to me in school and on the playgrounds, which in Drew meant four: football, basketball, baseball, and track. Sports dominated your thinking if you were the least bit athletic, and more than a few of us went from one to another, season to season, like migrants. We were the embodiment of what used to be called (with great pride) the "Four-Letterman," the high school or college athlete who won letters in all four. You never hear that term anymore, except as it relates to a dubious vocabulary, because even at the lowest levels the seasons intrude or overlap and force you to make choices. If a kid plays two "organized" team sports now it's a lot.

But in Drew, and I daresay in most small towns in America in the '50s and '60s, there wasn't anything else. Only the big four. No soccer, no lacrosse, no field hockey. No swimming. Swimming was something you did in a lake or a pond in the summertime. Wrestling was something you watched on television. Forget about golf. Drew had no golf courses. No tennis either, to speak of. In the whole town there was only one tennis court, snugged in behind the Little League baseball field, mostly just taking up space. The net was always torn or down.

Drew is a farming town, founded in 1898 by officials ofthe Illinois Central Railroad. It squats in the middle of what maps call the "Delta" in northwest Mississippi. The Sunflower River meanders by to the west and the Tallahatchie to the cast, and the in-between is as flat as an ironing board. Cotton country, and soybeans and rice when the growing was good. Memphis qualifies as the nearest city -- 120 miles north into Tennessee. The Drew population stagnated a long time ago at just over 2,000, a figure that still includes my eighty-one-year-old mother, who wouldn't live anywhere else. Asking Sis Manning to live in New Orleans would be like asking her to live on Mars. In Drew, you can count the stoplights on the fingers of one hand and still have a finger left over to point out that one of the lights didn't have a yellow caution in the middle until recently.

Our house was right across the street from the high school, and within walking distance of Main Street. Every house was within walking distance of Main Street. It was a walk-everywhere kind of town, surviving pretty well when I was a kid, but now on the ropes with the farming so bad. They had a fire downtown a couple years ago that took out five stores, and the stores never got rebuilt. But Drew has always been a safe, easy place to grow up, terrific for kids like me who loved the freedom of being outdoors at any and all hours. Its only notoriety, if you can call it that, is that the state penitentiary is eight miles up the road at Parchman. Most of the kids whose parents worked there as guards and administrators went to school in Drew. My sister Pam's husband, Vernon Shelton, an Ole Miss history major, teaches the prisoners there now. (Pam won't live anywhere else but Drew, either. Must be in the genes.)

Occasionally as a boy I'd go up to Parchman myself to spend the night with a friend, and it always gave me an eerie feeling. They put hardened criminals in the penitentiary there, and every two or three weeks somebody would escape (the security was less than maximum), and when that happened, they'd make scary announcements on the radio: "A convict's out! Lock your doors!" But my daddy always said it wasn't something to lose sleep over because "if they break out of Parchman, they sure as heck aren't gonna stop in Drew." Most Drew people practiced what Daddy preached by never locking their doors. I'm not sure many of them even had locks.

Baseball, not football, was my first love, as it was with most kids I ran with in those days. It's the all-American game, where you don't have to weigh 250 pounds or be seven feet tall or run a ten-flat hundred to compete. An advantage baseball has over football when it comes to full-fledged team involvement (as opposed to backyard pickup games) is that no matter what position you play, you still get to do all the fun things: you get to hit, you get to field, you get to throw, you get to run the bases. And if you're a pitcher-the closest thing to quarterback-you get to pitch, too. But in football, if you're a guard or a tackle on either side of the line of scrimmage, you could go through life without ever touching the ball. In all but a handful of positions in football, you never do what most people (me included) would think of as the fun things: run the ball, pass it, catch it. Blocking and tackling are every bit as crucial, but you shouldn't have to do those things exclusively until you've at least had a taste of the others.

I mean, we played and played and played baseball, not just in its time slot on the school calendar, but all summer, too. At one point growing up, we actually made our own field, laid it out, and grassed it in, just like Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams...

Manning. Copyright © by Peyton Manning. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Peyton Manning divides his time between New Orleans, Indianapolis, and East Tennessee.

Archie Manning is currently a spokesman and consultant for a number of major companies. He lives with his wife, Olivia, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

John Underwood has written eight books, including The Death of an American Game and Spoiled Sport. Two were bestsellers: My Turn At Bat, with Ted Williams, and Bear, with Bear Bryant. Underwood has been an award-winning staffer at the Miami Herald and Sports Illustrated, and has written for Life, Reader's Digest, and The New York Times. The father of six, Underwood makes his home in Miami, Florida, with his wife, Donna, and two of their children.

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Manning 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book captures the whole story of a true american hero. Archie was one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game. A quarterback of his talent in todays market of free agency, would be running to the highest bidder. There is one exception, Peyton is an exact mold of his dad. Peyton is a throwback to the old school way of things. He is loyal and will not allow today's money hungry tactics to steer him away from what he knows is right. This family is the example of what all great athletes should be judged upon! This book is a breath of fresh air in a sport becoming more corrupt and money driven each year. Hats off to The Manning's!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is not just about football. Its about life, making coices, understanding people, setting goals and priorities and living up to them. It's about faith, family, education, and football.
Indy-girl More than 1 year ago
This book is very enlightening. It tells of a football family deeply seated in faith, familiar relations and, of course, great football tradition. The most amazing part is the formation of the PeyBack Foundation, started by Peyton Manning upon his NFL draft to the Indy Colts. It aids the disadvantaged and at risk children and gives them a leg up to cement a more solid future. Thanks for showing me the true Southern Gentleman in you, Peyton!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If u are a football freek it is the book for u.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is the epitome of: you reap what you sew. Great family values that connect to all the succeses that are important in life, great wife and mother, good children, good friends, and all the charisma related to just being a good person. This book is very insperational. I'am a New Orleanian and have been inspired by Archie for years and would not have expected a story any less inspiring from a man that reaps character. I always knew the backbone of his success was driven by a very strong woman such as his wife, and the book just proves my thoughts. Thanks for the book Archie.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kiss your hand 3times post this 3 times and look under your pillow
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had the privilege of watching both Archie Manning and Peyton Manning play football. I attended all of Peyton's games when he played for Tennessee. I continue to watch him in the pros. I am from Knoxville but have lived in North Carolina since 1967. Peyton will always be number one to me. I was the only one to pull for The Broncos in the Super Bowl of 2016. As you might guess, everyone else was pulling for The Panthers. This book was an awesome read. The Manning family is a special family to me. I don't know them, but this book reaffirms my opinion of them. I would recommend this book to anyone. I will miss Peyton when he retires.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am so glad the broncos won the super bowl
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
THE BRONCOS WON THE SUPERBULL! Yes I know im a little late.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GO BRONCOS!!!!!!!!SMASH THE SEAHAWKS!!!!!!!!!!! WE ARE THE 18!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Learned about the good and bad of a football career. Story of a great family.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cooper manning should have the best story to tell out of all of em. Before he was diagnosed with an illness. He had lots of nfl scouts looking at him. Eli has said before he was a better quarterback then him. Dont know why he isnt in here
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bleacherbum99 More than 1 year ago
The book is written just prior to Eli winning his first Super Bowl. It's still a very in-depth look of all the Mannings, especially Archie. Most of the book is looked at from Archie's point of view. But there's plenty of Peyton and a little of Eli. Excellent look at the Mannning family.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
calady More than 1 year ago
The book is very well written. You want to continue reading to find out what is going to happen next. What a great family .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a phenomenal book. Very inspiring. Well written. Very interesting.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a very good book.
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Thomas LeFebvre More than 1 year ago
it is good but could be more interesting otherwise great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago