Many of you may not know this, but there are actually three Manning brothers. Peyton and Eli have an older brother named Cooper, who was a standout wide receiver in high school and had planned to follow in his father Archie’s footsteps by playing college ball at Ole Miss. Instead, he was diagnosed with a spinal condition that ended his playing career.
Peter King spoke with Lil Wayne for this week’s edition of Monday Morning Quarterback, and the rapper shared an interesting story he heard about the Manning brothers in their younger years. At one point, he says, Cooper was the “prodigy.”
“I have a story about Peyton,” Lil Wayne said. “A guy who has been on the road with us, he was like an uncle to us, he told us this story. When he was in jail, about to come home, he was put on one of those work-release things in New Orleans. Every morning, real early, he would clean the schoolyard of the (Isidore) Newman School (where the Manning kids attended). Because he was a prisoner, he would have to clean the schoolyard at 4 or 5 in the morning.
“There was not one morning, 4:30, 5 in the morning, he wouldn’t see Archie, Peyton, Cooper, or Eli out on the field. He’d see Archie throwing passes to Cooper, or Peyton throwing routes to Cooper. I don’t know if people know this, but it was Cooper who was the prodigy. He [the roadie] would tell us the story, you know, like it was destined.”
Most people assume Peyton was always the most talented Manning brother because of the way things have turned out, but that is revisionist history. I can even remember when Eli was at Ole Miss and there was buzz about him being better than Peyton. Well, I guess he does have one more Super Bowl ring than his older bro. Peyton is hoping to change that on Sunday.