Combined, it's Mannings' 5th Super Bowl
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 12:00 AM
Giants-Jets stadium in New Jersey may be thousands of miles away from Philadelphia, Neshoba County and the Williams Brothers store, but when the Super Bowl kicks off there, many of the people who work and have shopped at the store over the years seem to feel they have a personal stake in the game when Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos take on the Seattle Seahawks.
"A lot of people remember when Peyton was growing up and used to work at the store during the summer," co-owner Sid Williams said of his nephew. "To them, he's like family and they are very proud of him.
"One of our customers is an older lady who watches Peyton's games closer than any man. She said, 'I'm glad they beat that pretty boy Tom Brady.' That's just the way people feel about Peyton."
Peyton is the son of Sid's sister, the former Olivia Williams and Archie Manning. Combined, this will be the fifth Super Bowl that he and his younger brother, Eli, have played in. Eli Manning and the Giants bested the New England Patriots twice. As a member of the Indianapolis Colts, Peyton Manning led his team to a win over the Chicago Bears. Later, they lost to the Saints.
Williams said having a relative in the Super Bowl doesn't get old; adding that this year was extra special. A couple of years ago, Manning suffered a serious neck injury that required four operations to correct. And until he played again, there was no guarantee he would make it all the way back.
After the Colts decided to part ways with Manning, he signed with the Broncos and the rest is history. Williams said he felt especially proud for his nephew after the Broncos defeated the Patriots to win the AFC championship.
"He came so far," Williams said. "You could tell he seemed to be savoring the moment and taking everything in."
Williams said he won't be going to the Super Bowl but will enjoy it while sitting in the best seat in his house. In the past four Manning Super Bowls, his habit has been to go to church Sunday night and tape the first half. Then family and friends come back to watch the second half. Williams said his wife makes the best popcorn - much better than what is sold at the game for $8 to $10.
There may be some change in that tradition. There has been some talk of moving the game to another day because of a pending winter storm that may hit the New York-New Jersey area around game time.
"The latest weather forecast I have seen said it will be 25 degrees with a seven mph winds," Williams said. "I won't be out in it. I don't like crowds but I don't guess that will be too bad. They play in worse than that."
There has been some speculation that this could be Manning's final game, especially if the Broncos win, Manning has said he wants to continue to play and Williams thinks he will.
"I think he wants to continue to play as long as he can," Williams said.
"This has been a special year and right now, this is what he's thinking about."