I'm a non-sport Eli Manning fan

All the shouting is over. Well, almost over. The Giants, led by Quarterback Eli Manning, won the Super Bowl yesterday. I watched ever thrilling moment.

Now, as you may know, I'm a weird kind of fan. I'm an avid golf fan who doesn't play golf. When it comes to football, for the most part, I can take it or leave it.

However, my interest in football underwent a rebirth when the Manning boys started playing. You see, I grew up with the New Orleans Saints, our beloved Louisiana pro-football team that never went the distance.

Archie Manning was quarterback, and he was from a part of Mississippi that has a fair amount of "my people" as my mom says.

The Saints died every Sunday, but that never kept me from rooting for Archie. My sister-in-law had a world-class crush on the man. When her husband, my younger brother, met Archie and had his picture made with the him, he scored major points with his wife. And the snapshot is framed on their mantle, even today.

So when Archie's boys stepped into pro football, I felt morally obligated to cheer them on. And I have. Cheering for Peyton when he got that big honking ring last year. Then yesterday rooting for Eli who now gets a big honker too.

Something funny happened as I watched the Giants last night. I found my admiration for Eli strengthening. With only two minutes left, when many had read them the last rites, Eli kept going like an Energizer Bunny.

He never quit! He kept going as if he had all the time in the world to win the game. And that made me recall the great Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach whose autobiography was entitled TIME ENOUGH TO WIN.

Staubach's philosophy was that as long as the clock was still ticking, he had time enough to win the game. Obviously, Eli Manning has this same never-give-up, time-enough-to-win persistence.

That's what great people have, whether they're the Staubachs and Mannings of the sports world or the captains of industry or the leaders of countries. Belief in oneself and the will to persist.

You can always be a winner, regardless of what the scoreboard specific to you may say if you believe you can do something and you put action behind that belief.

That's why I really admire Eli Manning today. Not because he won the big game, but because he never quit trying. He just kept on believing and acting based on that belief.

Believe. Act. Persist. Never give up.

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