FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. —
That’s all true. Still, it can be somewhat disconcerting to realize that just about everybody in your hometown will be rooting against you on Sunday evening. Or is it?
“I certainly understand people in New Orleans are Saints fans. They have outstanding fans, always have. I certainly appreciate the people of New Orleans supporting me and (younger brother) Eli throughout our careers,” Manning said.
“That is our hometown. It is very important to us. Eli and I continue to support New Orleans (and the city’s rebuilding projects) through charitable endeavors. I understand (for) this game New Orleans people are Saints fans and I am fine with that.”
In that regard, the Colts’ signal-caller is appreciative — as a New Orleans native — for what the Saints, especially Brees, has brought to the city in the last couple of years.
“What Drew and really the entire Saints team have meant to that community has been extremely impressive. Being a fellow New Orleanian, I certainly appreciate it. Eli appreciates that. Eli and I both give back, charity-wise to New Orleans. The players that live there, guys that aren’t from there, Drew’s from Texas, other players from all over the United States, that they now play for the Saints have adopted that city as their hometown,” Manning said.
“Those guys do a lot of things for that city, a lot of community activities. (Saints head coach) Sean Payton is great that way. You certainly appreciate that, people kind of adopting a city as their hometown, putting their monies and efforts behind it. Drew has spearheaded that. (He) has been the leader of that team on the field and off the field, and I certainly appreciate that. And certainly the city of New Orleans appreciates it.”