Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, left, and his brother, Giants quarterback...

Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, left, and his brother, Giants quarterback Eli Manning shake hands during warmups before a game in Indianapolis. (Sept. 19, 2010) Credit: AP

Eli Manning won't visit with his older brother this week, but Peyton was very much on Eli’s mind today after the Giants arrived in Indianapolis for a week of preparation for Sunday’s game. He thanked Peyton for all his support over the years. And he even brought us back into their childhood in New Orleans when Peyton would occasionally beat up on his younger brother.

“He’d pin me down and take his knuckles and knock on my chest and make me name the 12 schools in the SEC,” Eli said. “I was six or seven at the time, and I didn’t know them, so I quickly learned them. It was a great learning technique, but I don’t suggest anyone duplicate that or try that out.” 

There was more. 

“Once I figured those [SEC schools] out, we moved on to all 28 NFL teams, so I had to get my studying done for that,” he said. “The one I never got was naming 10 brands of cigarettes. When he really wanted to torture me and I knew I  had no shot of getting it, that’s when I started screaming for my mom or dad to save me.” 

Welcome to the Manning household, where Saints quarterback Archie Manning brought up sons Cooper, Peyton and Eli, a combined three Super Bowl appearances among them. Tremendous stuff there from Eli, who rarely offers that kind of window into his childhood, but who invoked those memories while paying tribute to the wonderful contributions Peyton has made to him as a quarterback.

“Peyton has been a great big brother to me, and has been very helpful in my progression as a quarterback, whether through college or the NFL, supporting me, giving me any tips he could think of,” said Eli. “he even bought me a computer that would store all our software to watch film at home. He’s been the guy I’ve looked up to.” 

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