ESPN Films' SEC Storied series will launch its third season tonight with the premiere of The Book of Manning at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN. The film will explore the personal and professional life of former NFL and Ole Miss quarterback Archie Manning and how the sudden loss of his father impacted his life and the way he and his wife Olivia raised their three sons – Eli, Peyton, and Cooper.
Narrated by actor John Goodman, *The Book of Manning *features revealing interviews with the family, friends, former teammates and coaches, as well as never-before-seen photos and home movies of Archie and his sons. Through it all, director Rory Karpf explores how a tragedy shaped the course of not only Archie's life, but his family's as well.
Quotes from The Book of Manning:
Eli Manning on growing up a Manning:
"We [Eli, Peyton and Cooper] loved sports; that's what we loved to do. We loved being outside, we loved running around. So whatever sport was in season, I wanted to play it. All my flag football games growing up, he [Archie] always had a video camera. You know, whatever we chose, he wanted us to go all-out."
Archie Manning on the football success of sons Peyton and Eli:
"I mean for them to be number one picks in the draft? Win Super Bowls, MVP? Yeah, we pinch ourselves. We [Olivia and Archie] just tried to raise kids. We tried to raise good kids and have a good family. I don't like the perception that it was a plan. You know that I was an NFL quarterback for a while and then I've got these boys and I'm going to mold them into being NFL quarterbacks. Not so. You might can do that and they might can be an NFL quarterback, I'm not sure you're going to have a great father-son relationship. That's what I wanted."
Robert Khayat (former Ole Miss Chancellor) on Archie as a star QB at Ole Miss:
"Archie…he put on a show. He just did. He ran everywhere, he threw everywhere. When a fella starts out to the right and gets boxed and turns back to the left and then throws it back to the right, that gets your attention."
Archie Manning on his remarkable junior season at Ole Miss following the sudden loss of his father that August:
"You know I thought about him a lot. How much he would have enjoyed that. We had some huge wins, some exciting games, and probably the best year I ever had in football – the fall of 1969. You know I wish he could have seen that…missing my dad, that was pretty tough."
Peyton Manning on not following his father and older brother Cooper to Ole Miss:
(If Cooper didn't have to quit football due to a spinal condition) "I probably would have gone to Ole Miss, just to have the opportunity to play with him again, especially at my parents' alma mater…Had my dad told me to go to Ole Miss, I would have gone to Ole Miss. I'm thankful that my dad let me make my own decision."