The Mother of all Super BowlersPosted: February 3, 2016
Gretchen Rose is back on the blog with this a timely football mom view of the Super Bowl experience.
Super Bowl Week is upon us! The world collectively holds its breath in anticipation of the Big Game. Fifty years of Super Bowls is an accomplishment. The festivities grow larger each year. The build up of the parties, the press, the half -time shows and of course, who will actually play the game make for fabulous reality TV. The epic match up of the venerable Peyton Manning versus the young-gun Cam Newton will certainly entertain all of us for an entire week of anticipation. This Sunday, I find myself more concerned with Peyton’s mother – Olivia Manning, my ultimate football mom Hall of Famer and role model icon. How will she handle this week?
Mrs. Manning has been here before – many times. Although she never attended as a player’s wife, this will be Olivia’s fifth Super Bowls as a player’s mom. This certainly has to be a record. She has celebrated with both of her sons – Peyton and Eli three victories. She has also been there in “the agony of defeat”. So, why am I concerned at all with Mrs. Manning? She probably made all of her San Francisco restaurant reservations for this exact week last August – just in case! She has probably been a huge help to her fellow Ole Miss alum Leigh Anne Tuohy (Panther’s Michael Oher’s mom) to determine what to do and obviously what to wear! I find myself concerned for Olivia, as I do for all my other fellow football moms – on that last game of the season.
Rumors have swirled, will this be Peyton’s last game? Was the AFC Championship speech a thank you and farewell speech? None of us outsiders know. My bet is that his mom knows. If this is Peyton’s last game – how will his mom handle the occasion? We see the emotion of parents at the last game of the season. High School Seniors, who have decided to quit playing or cannot compete at the next level. Never is there a dry eye in a stadium of playing field or gym on this game day. The Manning’s oldest son retired early from football due to injury/health issues. This will not be her first experience – IF there is an experience. We must remember that she has watched many of Peyton’s football games over the years – the good as well as the bad. The years of driving to practice, the laundry, and of course the food! What do you think – Chicken Parm? Of course, Peyton has been in college or a professional for almost 20 years – over half his life. For a mom, it does not matter – whether she is driving the car pool or not – she is always thinking about it in the back of her mind. So will this Icon of Football be a crusty old veteran IF there is a post game retirement speech? Or will she just be a mom and cry unabashedly marking the end of their era? If there is a retirement and tears, Olivia will not be alone. All sports fans will feel this San Francisco emotional earthquake.
Again, Mrs. Manning may have a different take on the situation. She will still have Eli to cheer. His Off Season training officially begins on Monday, February 8th. Every football mom knows that the season is won or lost in the Off Season. And, oh, by the way there is Peyton Manning’s press conference after the AFC Victory. Marshall Manning! That baby boy is 4? I thought he was 7 and I am from Texas! Olivia may be thankful for a small break in the football action. Marshall could be the third generation of NFL greats from the Manning family. I think grandparent Olivia has a four-year hiatus before this young man’s career begins. One thing I know – player wife, mom or grand mom, Olivia will be there with style and grace and cheering every step of the way.
Enjoy your week!
Gretchen Rose is a wife and mom from Dallas, Texas. She loves all sports – especially watching her kids. Football is her passion. When not on the football field, Gretchen can be found running in the neighborhood with her dog. Follow her on Twitter @kidzmat and on Instagram at Gretchyrose01.