Jim Henderson interviewed Archie Manning Monday – one day after the Super Bowl officially became a matchup between his city and former team and the team for which his son plays.
Henderson: I saw what you said about pulling for Peyton and I know that’s the way you’d have to feel as a parent, but explain to me the emotions you’ll feel a week from Sunday.
Archie: Well, I just feel real good for so many people. I just got back from Indianapolis and obviously their fans are excited. They went through this three years ago and it was a lot calmer Sunday night. I’m sure it was nothing compared to what went on here in New Orleans and I think the team was kind of the same way. I was down in the locker room and it was far different than three years ago and I guess that’s natural.
On the New Orleans end, I’ve lived here 39 years. I’ve played here in this organization and I’m so happy for the fans here, football team and this organization. I’m even happy for the radio announcers. It’s just a great story.
I think the other thing is for football fans around the country, it’ll be a heckuva football game. I think day in and day out the Saints have been the best football team in the NFC this year and I think the Colts have been the best in the AFC. It’s been a long time since the number one seeds have teed off in the Super Bowl so it should be a great day.
Henderson: Now, if Peyton and the Colts were to lose, would it sting any less because they’re losing to the Saints?
Archie: Probably so. I mean it’s not the Jets. I was pretty uptight last week. I don’t usually get nervous until Sunday, but I was nervous on Wednesday last week because I don’t care for the Jets and I didn’t want them to beat the Colts and I didn’t think they belonged in the Super Bowl, so yeah, I would say it would sting less.
Henderson: What do you think is the Colts’ comfort level going back to Miami where they won three years ago?
Archie: I think they hope it won’t rain. That was the craziest thing in the world, so I think they’d be happy to have a nice Florida day. I think there is a little something to knowing what it’s like. I think they spent a lot of time before and I think the Saints would do this, talking to some people who have been through the routine. I mean, the day-to-day routine, you aren’t doing it in the facility in New Orleans, you do it from a hotel room to the practice fields and you have the media days and so it’s kind of an adjustment but I don’t think it gives one team an advantage over the other because you’ve been there – you go out between the lines and you play.
Henderson: How special is this for you? You’ve gone through this twice now in the same place, as father of the MVP. Is this different coming after a 14-0 start?
Archie: It was a good year for the Colts. They won their first 14 games before they shut it down, but no one was saying this was the greatest team of all-time. This team really had to fight. They were behind seven times and then I think when they did shut it down that day, they caught so much criticism, people thought it was going to be the end of them. So I think they’ve shown a lot in the last two games against really good defensive teams in Baltimore and the Jets. They handled the Jets game so well. They kept their mouths shut and went out and played.
Henderson: Do you think (the Colts getting in the Super Bowl) will silence the criticism of sitting their starters?
Archie: I guess they didn’t anticipate, being at home, that the fans were going to react like that. Peyton’s one comment was, “Something’s not right about that when we’re 14-0 and getting booed at home.”
I think they were doing what they felt was best and it looks like in the long run, just like the Saints rested that last game, it was best. We don’t really know how deep a lot of the injuries are and how many people really need some time off. It looks like it served both of them well.