NEW ORLEANS — The First Family of football in New Orleans will most undoubtedly always be the Mannings. Former Saints quarterback Archie Manning spent a decade with the beleaguered organization still in its infancy after being selected out of Ole Miss as the second overall draft choice in 1971.
Manning, along with wife Olivia, raised three boys from their Garden District home — two of which, Peyton and Eli, have gone on to win a pair of Super Bowls each – a feat the family patriarch never accomplished.
With neither Manning son, including eldest Cooper, following in their father’s footsteps to play football in the ‘Big Easy’ beyond their own high school careers at Isidore Newman, newly retired Saints quarterback Drew Brees might be next in line to create a local football family tree of his own.
The Dallas native and Purdue alum joined the Saints in 2006 after spending five seasons with the then-San Diego Chargers. Brees accomplished what no other before him ever did – including the Mannings – and that’s deliver a Super Bowl win to New Orleans.
The Super Bowl XLVI MVP ended his career atop most every single NFL record a quarterback could own: most career passing yards (80,358), completions (7,142), consecutive games with a passing touchdown (54) and highest single-season completion percentage (74.4 percent), and so on and so forth.
On the family front, Brees celebrates his 18th wedding anniversary with wife Brittany in February. The couple have four children, including three boys, Baylen, 12, Bowen, 10, Callen, 8, and daughter Rylen, 6.
Whether or not a future in football is in store of any of the Brees offspring remains to be seen.
But if a highlight reel from WGNO’s Friday Night Football in 2019 and an impromptu round of catch with eventual seven-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady in January are any indication, the city’s football future could be in good hands, starting with young receiver Baylen.