WASHINGTON — He seemed the pure face of sibling rivalry on Super Bowl Sunday, but a day after Eli Manning achieved meme status, he says people are reading him wrong.
The New York Giants quarterback and brother of Super Bowl-winning QB Peyton Manning, of the Denver Broncos, set the Internet on fire with his reaction to Sunday’s game-sealing touchdown:
But TMZ caught up to the younger Manning in an airport and asked for his side of the story. He claimed he was “just focused on whether [Denver] was going for two. And the defense had to step up and make some stops.”
Seems plausible — after 12 years in the NFL himself, including a couple of epic Super Bowl comeback wins, he’s well aware that anything can happen. Still, the brothers’ dad, Archie, partially hidden on Manning’s right, played 14 years himself. And while he’s not exactly dabbing it up Cam Newton-style either, he manages not to look like he has just glimpsed into the abyss.
Manning was able to see the humor, though, chuckling and telling TMZ that he’d seen the discussion of his reaction, deeming it “all good stuff.”