Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning has revealed that he is in a somewhat reflective mood ahead of this weekend’s Super Bowl showdown with the Seattle Seahawks.
Far from being riddled with nerves or edgy at the prospect of failing with his attempt to claim his second Super Bowl win, the 37-year-old is using his time to cast an eye over what might have been.
And it’s his brother, Cooper, who takes up the largest portion of his thoughts ahead of what could be a career-defining fixture in New Jersey on Sunday.
The eldest Manning brother was all set for a promising career in the NFL before being diagnosed with a spinal problem that cut short his ambitions. His brothers,
Peyton and Eli, have both forged massively successful careers as quarterbacks, but as Peyton explains, it hardly means Cooper is forgotten.
"In a week like this, I do get reflective at times," Manning said.
"I had a chance to be with Eli last night. Cooper came to both playoff games. He wouldn't miss those for the world. He gets in town tomorrow. And I'm sure New York will know it.
"I do think about Cooper. He's been to all these Super Bowls that I and Eli have played in. Nobody pulls harder for me or Eli than Cooper."
It’s also no coincidence that the Broncos star wears the No.18 jersey with his current franchise, which was the number Cooper wore in high school.
"I've always felt I was playing football for Cooper and kind of let him play some of his football through me," Manning explained.
"Ever since he was injured a long time ago, I've always kind of carried that with me."