SEATTLE - Former Giants wide receiver Steve Smith is coming to New York for Super Bowl XLVIII, and like most fans, he's a little leery of what the weather will be like. He said that he may have to call his old quarterback, Eli Manning, to see if he can squeeze into his suite at MetLife Stadium in order to stay warm.
But then Smith quickly realized that wherever the Mannings are stationed will be Broncos territory.
"Dang," he said. "That's going to be a conflict, actually."
Smith is rooting hard for the Seahawks, and for the same reason Eli and his clan are rooting for the Broncos. It's a brother thing. The Manning siblings are certainly the most obvious and high-profile family link between the Giants and the contenders for this year's Lombardi Trophy, but Smith's younger brother Malcolm is a starting linebacker for the Seahawks. It was Smith who wound up catching the interception after Richard Sherman batted the ball away from Michael Crabtree in Sunday's NFC title game, sending Seattle to the Super Bowl (and setting off fireworks in the media).
"He's got those hands, too," Steve Smith said of his brother. "He just plays on the other side of the ball."
Smith isn't the only former Giant with family ties to the Seahawks. Former tight end Martellus Bennett's brother Michael is a starting defensive end for the team. Martellus played for the Giants in 2012 and currently plays for the Bears. He said he's excited about the possibility of his brother sacking Eli's brother, although he hasn't spoken to his former quarterback about that yet.
"I'm sure I'll see him when I get there and we'll cross paths," Bennett said. "We'll probably chop it up."
Bennett was in Seattle for the NFC Championship Game.
"I went to both playoff games," Martellus said. "That was my first two times being in the stands being able to watch my brother play. We've always been on the same team or playing at the same time. It was exciting to watch him play and root for him."
Like Malcolm Smith, Michael Bennett had a rare chance to have the ball in his grip Sunday. Bennett scooped up Colin Kaepernick's fumble in the fourth quarter and returned it to the 49ers' 6-yard line.
"I thought I was going to the house, but man it was a great play," Michael Bennett said.
Said Martellus Bennett: "He should have thrown a stiff-arm, but that's why he plays defense."
Martellus Bennett has never been to the Super Bowl as a player, but said he feels like he's a part of Michael's success.
"Everything that we do in life, not just football, we're a part of it because we spend so much time together. For him to win it, that would be something special because I've seen all the hard work he's put into it."
Steve Smith, who is now retired, played a big role in the Giants' Super Bowl XLII victory over the Patriots, though it is largely overlooked. Sandwiched between the miraculous David Tyree grab and the winning touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress, Eli Manning hit Steve Smith for a key first down to keep that final drive alive.
Smith has been feeding advice to his younger brother throughout the year but has yet to deliver his Super Bowl speech. When he does, though, it will be simple.
"I'll just tell him to relax and keep doing what he's been doing," Steve Smith said.
Smith will also feed his brother some restaurant suggestions in the city and in New Jersey. Bennett said the same thing. He and Michael plan on taking in a Knicks game together early next week.
One thing Smith won't talk to Malcolm about is the emotion of winning a Super Bowl.
"I think I'm going to just let him feel that himself," Smith said. "I'm so far removed from that Super Bowl. It's fun to think about it, but this is his time. He has to go through it. If he needs any advice, I'll give it to him, but I think they're doing pretty good for themselves."