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Published: Monday, 2/4/2008

Peyton proud of his little brother

ASSOCIATED PRESS

GLENDALE, Ariz. - On the field, Peyton Manning is one of the NFL's cooler heads.

He was anything but calm as he watched kid brother Eli lead the New York Giants to a 17-14 victory over heavily favored New England in the Super Bowl last night.

As the amazing upset unfolded on the field below him, television cameras caught Peyton Manning pumping his fist and acting like a fan in a sports bar.

"You sort of play the game as you are up there watching, but you are pulling so hard for Eli," Peyton Manning said. "I was pumped, and I got a lot of messages telling me to calm down because I was excited and pumped after the big plays he was making."

One year ago in Miami, Peyton Manning was the MVP of Indianapolis' Super Bowl victory over Chicago. Twelve months later it was Eli's turn after he completed 19 of 34 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns, including the decisive 13-yarder to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds to play.

"Being in the league 10 years, you certainly don't take it for granted," Peyton Manning said. "I am really proud and happy for my brother.

"This has been Eli's year. I am proud to have been here tonight. I am proud to be his brother, and I love him very much."

FAMILY AFFAIR: New England defensive end Richard Seymour had a row of supporters filling a row in the family section wearing his No. 93 jersey.

Most wore the regulation jersey with the name "Seymour" written above the number. But one family member had a custom-made jersey with "Mama Seymour" on the back, while a little boy had "Seymour II" on his back.

The best jersey belonged to the little girl bouncing on more than one lap.

It read: "My Daddy."

TAYLOR HONORED: Miami defensive end Jason Taylor was honored as the Walter Payton Man of the Year in a pregame ceremony. Taylor received the award from Payton's widow, Connie, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.

Taylor, the Dolphins' career sack leader and six-time Pro Bowl player, established the Jason Taylor Foundation in 2004 with a mission to create programs that assist needy South Florida children. In 2007, the foundation started the "Jason Taylor Reading Room" in Miramar, Fla. to address illiteracy among inner-city youth.

MICKELSON'S GIFT: On the third tee of the FBR Open yesterday, Phil Mickelson gave two Super Bowl tickets to John Fockler and his young son, Drew.

"He was wearing a Callaway hat," Mickelson said, referring to one of his major sponsors. "I thought that it would be fun to give it to a father-son."

There was plenty of time for the two to make the game because the Super Bowl was being held 30 miles to the west in Glendale.

"I cherish the time I have with each one of my kids, and I just thought it would be a cool experience for them," Mickelson said. "I wasn't going to be able to use them because my family is in town, and we're all going to watch it together."

NO FUN IN THE SUN: With rain in the forecast, Goodell ordered University of Phoenix Stadium's retractable roof closed.

It's the 13th time the Super Bowl has been played indoors. Last year, Indianapolis and Chicago played in a downpour in South Florida's Dolphin Stadium.

SHOCKEY SHOWS: New York tight end Jeremy Shockey, who broke his leg on Dec. 16, appeared on crutches on the Giants' sideline. Shockey posed for pictures with a local police officer and chatted with inactive teammates Jerome Collins and Sinorice Moss during pregame warmups.

INSPIRING WORDS: Lt. Col. Greg Gadson, who lost both legs to a roadside bomb in Iraq and has been an inspirational figure for the team this season, addressed the Giants at their hotel in Chandler on Saturday night.

Gadson spoke of "pride, poise, team, and belief in each other," according to Pat Hanlon, a team spokesman. Gadson played football at Army, where he was a teammate of New York receivers coach Mike Sullivan.



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