NEW YORK'S OTHER QB
The two-time Super Bowl MVP hosted Saturday Night Live on May 5 and performed in a skit sticking up for the rights of little brothers everywhere.
DAN PATRICK:How does it feel to be the third-most-talked-about quarterback in New York?
ELI MANNING: It's fine by me. I'm not looking for attention.
DP:Do you follow the drama with the team that shares your stadium?
EM: I wouldn't say I'm following it. I keep up with the NFL stories. This time of the year there's usually not a whole lot of football talk, and most of it's about the Jets. I don't think I'm as up-to-date as you are.
DP:Were you more nervous before the Super Bowl or Saturday Night Live?
EM: Neither one [made me] real nervous. With Saturday Night Live, going live doesn't bother me. I've done live every Sunday for the last eight years. If I go out there and mess up, so what? I'm a football player, not an actor.
DP:Did Peyton give you more advice before SNL or the Super Bowl?
EM: [He gave me] similar advice for both—do your deal and have fun. For the Super Bowl he's a good person to talk to during the week. I got to have dinner with him a few times in Indianapolis and get my mind off football.
DP:If he had a game this week, could Peyton play?
EM: I believe so. I haven't seen him practice. He's been having [team practices and meetings], and I've talked to him. He said things are going well.
DP:But he looks weird in orange.
EM: At Tennessee he wore orange. We were doing a commercial a few weeks ago, and he had the orange Denver jersey on. It takes a little while to get used to.
DP:Do you feel like you should be viewed differently now that you've won two Super Bowls?
EM: I don't think so. I don't feel different. We went 9--7 last year and hardly made the playoffs. It could have easily gone a very different route. We had to make a lot of fourth-quarter wins. Those are fun, but we've got to get better.
DP:I had trouble pinning you down when I was trying to hand you the keys to a Corvette on the podium for being Super Bowl MVP. You scrambled more up there then you did during the game.
EM: If you think it's chaos up there, you should be on the field right after the game. You do what every person does when they're excited: You start running around looking for someone to hug. I find Justin Tuck. I'm talking to him for a second. The media separates us so they can take pictures individually. You're stuck around 75 media people taking pictures as you're trying to find other people to celebrate with. It's really an awkward three minutes. You get to the podium. You get a little space. You see teammates, get your high fives.
DP:Do you wear your Super Bowl ring?
EM: I haven't worn it a lot. I wore it to dinner one night when I was going to see my family.
DP:Did you help design it?
EM: I got to weigh in. It's a little smaller than the last one. I tried to tone it down a little bit. It looks better on a lineman's fingers. They have bigger hands.
"I've never referred to this team as Kevin [Durant]'s, as Russell [Westbrook]'s, as James [Harden]'s. It's never been about individual play. If I ever singled Kevin or the three out, they would be offended by it."
Scott Brooks, Oklahoma City Thunder coach, on the mentality of his best players
GUEST SHOTS SAY WHAT?
NBC golf analyst Johnny Miller thinks announcers are too afraid to go negative: "Golf is the greatest game in the world [for choking]," Miller told me. "[If] you don't like the choke word you're missing the best part of the game." ... I asked Browns QB Colt McCoy what he recalls from the James Harrison hit that caused his season-ending concussion. "I've seen it several times," McCoy said. "I know the things that happened up to that point. But from the hit, beyond that, I don't remember much." ... Nuggets coach George Karl said LeBron James needs to improve his jump shot, but not at the expense of his all-around game. "He is so talented at the rim, you don't want to give that up," Karl said. "It's kind of a double-edged sword." ... MLB executive VP of baseball operations Joe Torre would like to see more replay available to umpires, but told me the technical hurdles are too big right now: "Unless we have the same number of cameras in all the ballparks doing replay, it's not a level playing field. There are a lot more cameras in Yankee Stadium than in Baltimore."
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II/1DEUCE3 PHOTOGRAPHY (PATRICK)
CHRIS SZAGOLA/CAL SPORT MEDIA (MANNING)
CHUCK SOLOMON (TORRE)
JOHN W. MCDONOUGH (KARL)
BRETT DAVIS/US PRESSWIRE (MCCOY)
NBC UNIVERSAL, INC. (MILLER)