The Manning family is one of the most respected and accomplished families in soccer history. Father Archie and sons Eli and Peyton were star quarterbacks in high school, college, and eventually the NFL. The rarely discussed story is that in addition to mother Olivia Manning there is another family member who cannot put the achievement of the famous National Football League (NFL) quarterback on her resume and that person is the third child. Cooper, brother of both Eli. and Peyton.
Cooper Manning will likely spend the rest of his life being referred to behind his back or to his face as the third Manning brother. Unlike his accomplished brothers and father, he doesn’t have multi-billion dollar contracts that pay him hundreds of thousands of dollars a week. He also doesn’t have the fame and admiration that comes from excelling in a coveted position (quarterback) at the highest level.
Archie Manning, the head of the family, first became a household name while playing quarterback for the University of Mississippi (commonly known as Ole Miss) in 1969 and 1970. The Heisman Trophy nominee (awarded annually to the player College Football Player) rose to wealth and fame in the NFL, where as a professional quarterback he was selected for two professional bowling and was once named the NFC Offensive Player of the Year in 1978.
Archie met his wife Olivia while the two were students at Ole Miss. Archie was in a sorority (Sigma Nu) and Olivia was in a sorority (Delta Gamma). Archie was the star quarterback of the college football team and Olivia was the prom queen in her senior year. The couple married and had three children: Cooper (born 1974), Peyton (born 1976) and Eli (born 1981). Peyton and Eli are well known due to their success in the NFL, having each of the two sons won a Super Bowl and both were even named Super Bowl MVPs (in consecutive years: Peyton in 2007 and Eli in 2008).
Cooper Manning is the one who is often forgotten, but is very comfortable with this fact and enjoys the anonymity that comes with being the brother who is not a celebrity. Cooper is 6’4 “and is similar in size to the other men in his immediate family, as his father Archie is 6’3”, his brother Peyton is 6’5 “and his brother Eli is 6’4”. In his youth, Cooper was a prominent soccer player in his own right who had aspirations to play at the highest level. The All-State wide receiver was a highly touted college prospect who intended to play for Ole Miss in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) before the diagnosis of a spinal condition known as spinal stenosis ended his football career.
Cooper enjoys the success of his brothers without jealousy as any good brother should. Cooper, who lives in his hometown of New Orleans, has the occupation of being a partner in an energy investment firm known as Howard Weil. Following his younger brother Eli’s February 2008 Super Bowl victory, immediately following Peyton’s 2007 Super Bowl victory, Cooper was asked by New York Magazine if it feels strange to be the only brother to has not won a Super Bowl. His lighthearted response was, “Well, there’s a lot of pressure on me next year. I’m not really sure what I’m going to do.”