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Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. Rays fan guide to the TropHere are some insider tips to Tropicana Field and area information. Cooper Manning is the eldest son - and the least known - in the famed football family, and you can't help but wonder what might have been. NEW ORLEANS - He goes to work here on the 35th floor of a sleek marble office building downtown, surrounded by a stunning panorama of the French Quarter, the Garden District and the bustling tourist city below. The oldest of the Manning brothers, he had the talent to lead younger Peyton and Eli into the NFL, but his promising college football career was cut short by a serious neck condition called spinal stenosis. Cooper would have likely made a place in the NFL as a wide receiver, and he set records at his high school that stood until another phenom came along to break them — Odell Beckham Jr. Though his path to the NFL was blocked, Cooper Manning has found his way to the spotlight in recent years. Cooper Manning has been in the spotlight a number of times before, usually when one of his brothers reaches the Super Bowl. Archie Manning was originally supported to take the lead, but Cooper Manning ended up filling in when Archie couldn’t finish the project. The documentary included rare footage of Peyton, Eli, and Cooper Manning as children, including a scene where Peyton was whining at Cooper for what he thought was a dirty hit.
It also delved into the career-ending injury that ruined Cooper’s chance of playing in the NFL. Cooper Manning has been a bit of a mystery over the years, the only brother not playing in the NFL. The oldest of the three Manning siblings, Cooper has long been overshadowed by Petyon and Eli’s on-field accomplishments. New York NYC Crime Bronx Brooklyn Manhattan Queens Education Obituaries Sports Yankees Mets Giants Jets Knicks Nets Rangers Islanders Football Basketball Baseball Hockey Soccer College High School The Score News Crime U.S.
Peyton Manning misses the entire 2011 season with a neck injury, and Colts fan Rob Lowe (below) takes to Twitter Wednesday to annouce that the four-time MVP is calling it quits. The annual speculation about Brett Favrea€™s future is over, so now ita€™s time to start the guessing game on Peyton Manning. The first attempt came Wednesday from an unlikely source, actor Rob Lowe, who apparently is friends with Colts owner Jim Irsay.
When the Daily News contacted Cooper Manning, he said he spoke to Peyton for an hour Tuesday night and retirement was never mentioned. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are. He trades oil and gas stocks for energy research firm Howard Weil, Labouisse and Friedrichs Inc. He underwent major surgery and a grueling recovery, where he learned to walk again, then blazed a very successful career as an energy trader, with a net worth reportedly north of $10 million.
This year he took to television as host of The Manning Hour, a two-minute segment on Fox Sports Sunday Kickoff.
With the Denver Broncos back in the Super Bowl, many have their eyes on Cooper and have tried to see if they can pry any information out about Peyton’s possible retirement.
After all, when your young brothers are Super Bowl champions (and going for another this Sunday), it’s tough to break into your own spotlight. In fact, Cooper’s up-and-down road to football and away from it, is one of the most intriguing parts of the Manning family legacy.
There's Peyton, the seven-year star quarterback of the Indianapolis Colts in the midst of a career season. As much as people have followed the hype of this game, they've been easily seduced by speculation about what the Colts will do with a Pro Bowl-caliber player who missed the entire season.It seemed likely that Eli's game in his brother's backyard would lead to some predictable storylines.
And, with a brand-new show of his own on Fox Sports, Cooper is proving to the world that he’s also pretty darn hysterical as well.
1 draft pick of the New York Giants, currently riding the bench and biding his time until another Manning legacy unfolds. Then there's Cooper, pronounced the Southern way, with the "oo" sounding like it does in cook.
Peyton always has been the biggest star of the Manning brothers -- including oldest brother, Cooper, a star high school receiver in his own right. At 30, he is the Manning whose first name you probably don't know, the oldest son of a legend in this town, former New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie Manning.
Cooper was an all-state senior wide receiver who caught everything thrown his way by a sophomore sensation quarterback named Peyton, and soon caught the attention of Division I-A schools such as Texas, Virginia and ultimately his dad's alma mater, Ole Miss. Then, just like that, it all ended, not with an injury but with a medical diagnosis in 1992 that left him more numb than the feeling in his hand.
And Cooper, who had only begun to embrace the world of opportunities before him, had no choice but to start over without the game he loved. He would need to redefine himself. We just don't know much else beyond that, largely because he doesn't allow others to see him as easily as Peyton does.It's not a knock on Eli. And he certainly would have had a chance to catch more passes from Peyton, who had planned to follow his big brother to Ole Miss and pick up where they'd left off in high school. It's no stretch picturing Cooper a success in the pros, either. But he laughs off such speculation sitting in the company board room last month, his boyish good looks and wavy brown hair resembling his dad as a younger man and a bit of Peyton, too. "I think it would be silly of me to say I was going to the NFL," he says.
But digging deeper into his life reveals some qualities that have gone unnoticed in a city that scrutinizes its celebrities like no other.


Now here are 10 things you didn't know about Eli:HE HAS A GIFT FOR KARAOKEThere was a time when Peyton was known to show up in Nashville nightclubs to sing a number or two onstage with notable country music stars. Cooper would tell off-color jokes at his parents' parties and once even donned a paper bag - coaxing Peyton to do the same - at a Saints game in which their father was playing. Their parents were not amused. "My personality probably stood out a little bit more because my dad's kind of a bashful, yes sir, no sir type of guy, so the fact that he produced kind of a character was funny," he says.
Manning is low-key when he's standing in front of a podium at a news conference, but when he's holding a microphone and the music starts blaring from a computerized sound machine, he's an entirely different animal.The man also apparently has no limits to his versatility.
And I guess when you're young, you kind of get labeled, so it was like, "Here's Cooper, he's a nut.
One night he found himself doing a surprisingly impressive rendition of a Johnny Cash song, a performance that was even more eye-opening because -- as with other tunes -- Eli didn't need to follow the words on the video screen. But the thing that is really wild about Eli is that he's actually a good singer."HE'S ALWAYS MADE THOSE AROUND HIM BETTERFormer Giants general manager Ernie Accorsi once told a story about scouting Manning during Manning's senior season at Ole Miss.
But we kind of had a hard time doing that, as opposed to Eli, who was clearly my younger brother and there was no competition." Cooper wouldn't allow other kids to pick on Peyton.
What Accorsi remembered most about the Rebels' 24-20 win at Auburn that day wasn't Manning's overall numbers, although he threw for 218 yards and two touchdowns. At their dad's urging, Cooper let Peyton win a few of their one-on-one basketball games to keep him from getting demoralized. In time, the brothers would forge a strong bond on the football field. Cooper started off trying to follow his father's footsteps as a quarterback. This season, Manning's presence has certainly helped the development of Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz.
So he worked relentlessly to become a wide receiver, spending hours with his father working on drills, including an unforgiving one called "Ten Balls." Archie would gun all kinds of passes at him from 10 yards away and Cooper would have to catch 10 in a row. To hear Cruz tell it, he learned plenty from Manning in offseason workouts the quarterback organized during the lockout, and he's gleaned just as much during Manning's receivers meetings at the end of every practice week. Then came his senior season, when he and new varsity quarterback Peyton led the team to the state semifinals. Then all of a sudden, it was taken away." Cooper had started noticing his right pinky and ring finger going numb.
Late in the season, Cooper dropped some passes uncharacteristically. He kept the problem to himself.
He worked on dribbling and shooting left-handed and still averaged a dozen points on a team that won the state 2A championship. He remained mum about the problem, not wanting opponents to target him, but did confide in his father. After the season, Archie took Cooper to a New Orleans surgeon, whose diagnosis was an injured ulnar nerve, a common ailment for football players that can cause numbness in the fingers and hand. Surgery was performed and Cooper worked through the pain after the cast was removed, excelling in a summer all-star football game. Cooper suffered from a congenital condition called spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spinal canal. Furthermore, the doctor said, he was fortunate not to have been paralyzed in the years he played, due to all the hits to his upper body. "It changes your whole world," he says.
And here I was at school, making friends, living in an athletic dorm, and all of a sudden, they tell you you can't do that anymore. What was less documented before this week is how nervous the Giants had been about making the deal that brought him to New York. The Chargers eventually drafted Manning and dealt him to the Giants in exchange for quarterback Philip Rivers and two draft picks. He fell frequently, yet slowly regained his balance with a walker and cane. Back at school in early 1993, he hung around the football team, watching practices and mingling with ex-teammates in the locker room.
Our backup plan was Ben Roethlisberger, so either way we felt like we were in good shape, but we had our hearts set on Eli at the time."When that deal was sealed, Archie Manning spoke briefly with Hall of Fame tight end Kellen Winslow, whose own son, Kellen Winslow, was the sixth overall pick in that year's draft. But one day, a player asked him why he was still there. "He was being nice, but I said, "What do you mean?' " Cooper recalls. It was a matter of me accepting that things had changed and realizing there were other things out there for me to do." * * * Cooper's life took a sharp turn for the better five years ago when he married Ellen Heidingsfelder, an attractive New Orleans attorney. Manning became involved in the event because of his relationship with Patrick Browne Jr., a longtime family friend.
They had known each other as friends when they were younger, but now there was chemistry. Today, they live in a picturesque Uptown section of town in a majestic old three-story home, with a basketball hoop in the drive next to a pair of SUVs.
On a recent evening, the household was filled with the familiar chatter of the couple's two young children, a 22-month-old daughter named May and a 6-month-old son, Arch - just a few minutes away from doting grandpa and grandma Manning. Things are good for Cooper these days. Browne lost his sight nearly 50 years ago, so he plays without the benefit of sight.Browne remains a proficient golfer -- he has won the Guiding Eyes tournament 21 times -- despite the loss of his vision. He underwent another surgery, a cervical fusion, and his only restrictions are avoiding serious jolts. Manning, even as a young man, admired Browne as an athlete and did not view him as limited. When Manning has hosted the golf tournament, he has played with a blindfold and used the same golf coaches as Browne and his fellow blind players. During his time with the tournament, Manning also has helped raise awareness for the organization.The tournament enjoyed its biggest audience in 2007, when Manning succeeded Ken Venturi as the host.


All that lingers from his past problem: He can't shake hands quite as firmly as his dad taught him as a youngster.
It's his official dining pass from Ole Miss, showing Cooper as a head-shaven freshman with a well-muscled neck, looking ready for his first collegiate season. He's been in the NFL and New York long enough to remember some of the less flattering comments. It wasn't that long ago that many critics questioned whether Manning was tough enough and talented enough to succeed in such a hard-edged city. I always thought it was funny." Through it all, Cooper has retained his positive outlook. When a prominent NFL reporter approached Manning after that game and congratulated him, the writer also mentioned that Manning had taken ample criticism. He says he's not wired with a "why me?" personality and thinks maybe he was better equipped to deal with the setback than Peyton or Eli. "Maybe the bad thing happened to the right guy," he says. Duke offensive coordinator Kurt Roper coached him at Ole Miss and swears Manning could see things that few quarterbacks that age could comprehend."He has functional intelligence," Roper said. Coaches like to get into the habit of running tape over and over so players understand what you're trying to do.
You've got to grow up a little bit when that happens." "What happened to Cooper was a tough, tough deal," says his father. He's what you call a fast-twitch thinker."As proof, Roper points to Manning's final college game, a 31-28 win over Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl. Roper let Manning run what is known as "freeze" plays, meaning Manning had the opportunity to call whatever he wanted once he reached the line of scrimmage. And then there was the hard surgery, and I can't tell you what a warrior he was during that. Manning wound up scorching the Cowboys' defense, completing 22 of 31 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns.The Giants see that same brilliance these days.
The whole thing was hard on his mother and me, but Cooper's attitude and the way he shifted gears in college, we just felt so blessed." Meanwhile, Cooper became the No. 1 cheerleader of Peyton and Eli, always offering encouragement and advice, and to this day speaking to them by phone several times a week. "He's still my best friend," Peyton says.
Not many quarterbacks pay attention."HIS WAY WORKS, TOOManning has been skewered for being too passive, too unemotional and too willing to let bad body language after critical mistakes define him.
He may not be as fiery as Peyton -- or even Tom Brady -- but his teammates have grown to embrace his dialed-down approach.
Gone are the days when former Giants like Tiki Barber would chuckle at Manning's inability to inspire with his locker room speeches. I miss the chances to just hang out when we were kids." They do get to spend time together each summer in Louisiana at the Manning Passing Academy, where father and sons instruct nearly 1,000 top high school quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends from around the country.
Today's Giants see a quarterback who is cool under pressure and consistently gives them what they need."Instead of jumping on receivers when they make mistakes, Eli is more likely to pull them aside on the sideline, explain what they had discussed in practice and tell them what he's expecting from them," said former Giants quarterback and current ESPN analyst Tim Hasselbeck. But Peyton and Eli feel their older brother's presence even from a distance. "What I've always admired the most about Cooper is just his attitude on life," says the Colts quarterback. One of the reasons he and Kevin Gilbride get along so well is because Eli is the way he is. We've had this kind of deal - Cooper helps loosen me up, and I help him be more serious at times.
As his high school coach Gendusa said, "They've always had the same physical characteristics -- tall, good build, good arm -- but their personalities have always been different.
Peyton has always been outspoken, the rah-rah guy who would get on people in the locker room.
I tell you, there may be some dads out there whose sons didn't accomplish what they kind of wanted them to in sports.
But the bottom line is that they both got results."Gendusa said Eli's competitive nature was most apparent in the little things he did away from the field. To me, Cooper's just as successful in what he's doing as a businessman as Peyton and Eli are in football." He still gets the predictable questions from people in public.
When practice ended, Eli was always the one willing to gather up his receivers for at least 30 minutes of extra throwing.
When they were lifting weights together, Eli was more than willing to do his required work instead of, as Gendusa put it, "standing in the corner and acting like a quarterback didn't need to do those things." Gendusa also said that Eli's ability to shake off adversity and focus on the task at hand set him apart from most players.
He'd love to be in that conversation with Peyton and Brady, but he also has never let that drive consume him. And I'll say, well, my eligibility ran out." Occasionally, Cooper has received requests to speak about his story.
But he hasn't done so yet. "I guess I've always had this desire just to be normal," he says.



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