Manning had established himself as a college star at Ole Miss - just beginning an impressive quarterbacking career that mixed running and passing - when his father committed suicide. Manning briefly thought of leaving school to help his struggling family, but ultimately chose to stay, eventually resulting in a 14-year pro career, a dozen of those with a New Orleans Saints team that, despite his stoic efforts, never enjoyed a winning season.
There's also a moving passage about Manning's oldest son, Cooper, whose own promising football career (he was Eli's favorite receiver in high school) was cut short by injury, with Eli citing that as motivation for everything he's accomplished since.
Mostly, the doc (part of the SEC's "Storied" series) presents the elder Manning as a model for the modern sports dad -- one who takes enormous pleasure and pride in his sons' accomplishments, without seeking either to live in their reflected glory or reclaim his own.
Admittedly, the tone is a little too adoring, at times feeling like a promotional video for college football at a time when the game could clearly use some feel-good publicity. Yet even with its flaws, there's enough here and in the Mannings to make this "Book" worth opening.
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