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Big bro has best seat for Manning Bowl II

Michael Silver
Yahoo Sports

As the sole person who can accurately say "Whassup little bro?" to two Super Bowl-winning NFL quarterbacks, Cooper Manning is acutely interested in Sunday night's showdown between the New York Giants and Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

In terms of a rooting interest, however, the eldest of the three Manning boys is in a bit of a bind.

Does he pull for kid brother Peyton, whose defending AFC champion Colts are coming off a season-opening setback to the division rival Houston Texans?

Does he pull for even younger brother Eli, whose 1-0 Giants are coming off a disappointing season and could be staring at a severe overhaul without a strong effort in 2010?

Does he root for a shootout? A scoreless fifth quarter – and, with apologies to Donovan McNabb(notes), the NFL's third tie this century?

"I'm rooting for Week 3," Manning says.

Manning, a partner in the energy investment firm Howard Weil, attended Manning Bowl I in East Rutherford, N.J. in 2006 and didn't find it to be a pleasurable experience. The game was relatively entertaining, with Peyton (25-of-41, 276 yards, one touchdown, one interception) and the Colts getting the best of Eli (20-of-34, 247 yards, two TDs, one interception and a costly late fumble) and the Giants by a 26-21 score.

[Photos: See brothers Peyton and Eli in action.]

Cooper got a kick out of the hype preceding the NFL's first meeting between sibling starting quarterbacks and had some fun on the field before the game. Then he settled into a luxury suite with parents Archie and Olivia (Peyton's wife Ashley and Eli's future wife Abby also attended) and started feeling like he'd rather be anywhere else.

"It didn't take long after kickoff to determine, 'This is not what I'm used to, and not what I want to get used to,' " Manning recalls.

So Cooper's sitting out Manning Bowl II, opting to watch the proceedings from the comfort of his New Orleans home. He'll help counsel daughter May, 7, and sons Arch, 6, and Heid, 4, as they attempt to process the battle between "Uncle Pey" and "Uncle E," and he'll spare himself the awkwardness of, say, celebrating a touchdown pass in front of one sister-in-law while trying not to offend the other.

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Eli and Peyton after their previous meeting.
(Travis Lindquist/Getty Images)

I've only got one sibling (she doesn't have much of an arm but is exceptional at picking up the blitz), but I do have two sons, and the thought of watching one of them compete against the other in a high-stakes matchup on national TV seems brutal. On the other hand, I'd rather have them squaring off in football than, say, tennis, Venus and Serena style, with no teammates to buffer them from the starkness of the showdown.

"It could be worse," Cooper says. "It's not a boxing match. It's a football game. I'm glad it's early in the season, and not a pivotal Week 14 matchup. I'm glad they're not in the same division. I'm so proud of both of them, and it's pretty neat that they're onstage for all to see. If I have to deal with three awkward hours every four years, so be it."

Those three hours should be mighty intriguing for us non-Mannings, and we'll have plenty in the way of potential excitement on the undercard, including: A decidedly unsubtle smackdown in Nashville between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans, two of the NFL's most physical teams; an interesting and incestuous coaching clash between Mike Shanahan's Washington Redskins and Gary Kubiak's visiting Houston Texans; and the AFC East blood feud featuring New York Jets coach Rex Ryan, who loves him some him (I say that in a good way), and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady(notes), who hates him some Jets.

TAKE IT TO THE ATM

The Ravens will get their offense untracked in a road triumph over the Bengals that establishes Baltimore as the team to beat in the AFC North. … The Raiders will pull out a sloppy victory over the Rams, at which point coach Tom Cable will announce – for the 10th time – that the team is on the verge of "turning the corner." … Randy Moss(notes) will have another rough visit to Revis Island, and the desperate Jets will find a way to beat the Patriots.

PLEASE, BOSS, SEND ME TO …

The Meadowlands, where things will be cacophonous, chaotic and charged – just the way I like 'em.

LIES, LIES, LIES

1. There are no second acts in American life.

2. After heckling a Florida high school official by calling him "Forrest Gump," Carrollwood Day assistant coach Jon Gruden was surprised when the zebra shot back, "You and Jaws goes together like peas and carrots."

3. After reacting angrily to Jason Cole's report about coaching miscommunication by saying, "Whoever Yahoo! is, maybe he should come call the plays," 49ers offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye added, "And tell that iPod guy to get the hell off my radio."

WORLD'S SIMPLEST POOL

After a stress-free Week 1 – the Titans rolled to a 38-13 victory over the Raiders, who apparently were (get this) overconfident – I'm trying very, very hard to stay humble. Also, I'd like to stay alive another week, which is the name of the game. Rather than play my Packers chip (at home vs. Buffalo) or prevent a future use of the defending champion Saints (at 49ers), I'm going to rely on the Falcons, after a season-opening defeat to the Steelers, to rebound with a resounding victory over the Cardinals at home. (Note to Falcons: I'll take any victory. Thank you.)

FANTASY ANNOYANCE OF THE WEEK

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Lynch would probably have more Fantasy value after a real-life trade.
(Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

If you assumed my column on Wednesday exhorting the Packers to trade for Bills halfback Marshawn Lynch(notes) in the wake of halfback Ryan Grant's(notes) season-ending injury was a shameless plug for an ex-Cal star (whose former college QB supports the idea), or an attempt to boost the chances of my preseason Super Bowl pick will coming to fruition, think again. The real motivation for pushing such a trade was to hook up my two fantasy-playing friends, UCSB women's hoops coach Lindsay Gottlieb and Malibu, each of whom I successfully advised to select Lynch very late in their respective drafts. The difference is that Gottlieb, whose The VIP Room rolled to victory last week behind the middle Manning brother, isn't hurting at running back; Malibu, coming off a nine-point defeat in his season-opener, is in deep doo because Grant was one of the key backs for his team, Sabbath Bloody Sabbath. So while I didn't really write that column with his fantasy team in mind, I do feel his pain – especially since he missed out on a chance to snag Grant's replacement, Brandon Jackson(notes), off the waiver wire. "I blew it," Malibu told me. "I thought it was first-come, first-served, but once you make a waiver claim you go to the back of the line. And I had put in claims for Anthony Gonzalez(notes) and Darrius Heyward-Bey(notes)." Ouch. In an attempt at a short-term fix, I advised Malibu to pick up Cardinals back LaRod Stephens-Howling(notes) (Beanie Wells(notes) is still banged up, and Tim Hightower(notes) fumbled twice last week) and to start him alongside Matt Forte(notes) and Ryan Matthews, and ahead of flex options Legedu Nanee and Josh Cribbs.

For more non-statistically sound advice, and some from a guy who actually breaks this stuff down, watch me go head-to-shiny-head with Y! Sports fantasy guru Brad Evans each week on "Fantasy and Reality" – and be sure to send us your questions at fantasyreality@yahoo.com.

THIS WEEK'S PROOF THAT CAL IS THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE

For the second consecutive week, Jeff Tedford's Golden Bears played "52 Pickup," at Memorial Stadium thrashing future Pac-10 foe Colorado last Saturday to improve to 2-0 and enter the coach's poll at No. 24. Now Cal has a Friday night date in the biggest little city in the world against Nevada, where a bunch of my friends will be beginning a weekend-long Toga Party. (It's not what you think. My buddy John Togasaki is getting married, and this is his bachelor party, and my college friends are no animals. They might be worse.) Speaking of exceptional endurance, congratulations to the Cal women's cross country team, which opened its season with a pair of victories, paced by indefatigable junior Chelsea Reilly (who won the USF Invitational in a course-record-tying 17:20 over 5,000 meters) and sophomore Laurynne Chetelat (second at the Hornet Jamboree in 17:52). Chetelat chose to transfer to Cal after having spent her freshman season at Stanford, making her one of my favorite college athletes of all time. (Another of those, former Cal water polo star and current coach Kirk Everist, sends his No. 1-ranked Bears into the Spieker Pool this weekend to host the NorCal Invitational.) Finally, with a campuswide budget crisis triggering the potential elimination of several sports teams later this month, I'd like to send a special shout-out to Cal rugby, winners of 25 national championships and perpetual example of university-wide excellence. I can't imagine the campus without this program operating as a recognized varsity sport, and I truly hope we never have to confront that distasteful reality.

YAHOO! SEARCH WORDS OF THE WEEK

bringing it big Ryan

ROLLIN' WITH THE ROYALS

Though I'm no longer providing weekly updates on the fate of the Reading Football Club, I will be checking in on the Royals from time to time, and I'm still harboring hope that they can fight their way back up to the English Premier League. In the meantime they're sitting in the middle of the Football League Championship table six games into the season and hoping that manager Brian McDermott, whose elevation to the top job last winter spurred a remarkable second-half surge, can build a consistent winner. He'll have to do it without his best player from 2009-10, 21-year-old midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson, who was sold to Bundesliga-leading TSN Hoffenheim for a club-record transfer fee of 6 million pounds. Reading used some of the money to pick up Georgian defender Zurab Khizanishvili (on loan from Blackburn) and Irish defender Ian Harte. The Royals play at Middlesbrough Saturday, and we'll likely check in again when things are really good or really bad for the lads.

LYRIC-ALTERED SONG DEDICATION OF THE WEEK

Early in Singletary's coaching tenure, we imagined his turbulent side with a sendup of "Faint." As his temper continues to boil, here's a Linkin' Park encore from the 49ers coach who sometimes acts like he's still a Bears middle linebacker – to the tune of "1stp Klosr."

Break!

I'm about to break
This football team
This football team
Somebody's spleen

I cannot take this anymore
Saying everything I've said before
Jimmy's words, they make no sense
I found bliss in ignorance
Less time left, the less you say
Makes it kind of hard to plaaaayyyyyy
Break
I find the answers aren't so clear
I'm gonna have to get in QB's ear
All these calls, they make no sense
I found bliss in ignorance
Nothing seems to go away
Over and over again
Over and over again
Over and over again
Over and over again
Over and over again …
Just like before

Jimmy Raye is killing me
And I'm about to break
Sounds like he's speaking Japanese
And I'm about to break
Everything is gibberish
And I'm about to break
Not gonna give 'em room to breathe
And I'm about to break

These are the moments when I can feel
like hitting someone so hard he squeals
Dropping my pants will not cut it – I must fight
Give me the mic, I cannot resist
My name is Mike and I'm very pissed
Please, someone, give me a reason to rip off youurrr faaaacccceeee
Blood is a pouring
And pouring
And pouring
And pouring
And pouring
And pouring
And pouring
And pouring
And pouring
And pouring

Shut up, now I'm calling the plays
Shut up
Blood is pouring
Shut up
Blood is pouring
Shut up
Blood is pouring
Shut up, now I'm calling the plays
Shut up
Blood is pouring
Shut up
Blood is pouring
Shut up
Blood is pouring
Shut up
I'm about to break

Jimmy Raye is killing me
And I'm about to break
It's coming out in Japanese
And I'm about to break
Everything is gibberish
And I'm about to break
Not gonna give 'em room to breathe
And I'm about to

Every time he calls a play
Takes me one step closer to the edge
And I'm about to break
I'm goin' down with Jimmy Raye
'Cause I'm one step closer to the edge
And I'm about to break
Got no idea what he'll say
Takes me one step closer to the edge
And I'm about to break
We're coming up on Judgment Day
'Cause I'm one step closer to the edge
And I'm about to …

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