In honor of Mother’s Day, Pigskin ‘N Pearls salutes…the Mama’s Boys of the NFL!
To coin a phrase from my favorite movie growing up, Tim Tebow is a parent’s wet dream (The Breakfast Club). Smart, attractive, athletic, charismatic, religious, and…a virgin! Sigh. That could be a first, by the way, for an NFL quarterback. I’m not sure they keep records on that kind of thing though.
Tebow is the quintessential all American boy. He grew up the youngest of five children in a Baptist family, was home schooled by his mother Pam, and played football for a school near his neighborhood in Jacksonville, FL.
“Timmy” as she calls him, was always thoughtful. One Mother’s Day he didn’t have enough money to buy her a gift, so he went out in the middle of the night (in the rain) and weeded her garden with a flashlight so it would be pretty for her when she got up in the morning. Is there anything sweeter than that? Money is not an issue now, so after Tebow was signed by the Broncos in 2010, what was the first gift he bought? A diamond Tiffany key necklace for his mom since she was the key to his success. I think that story would even make Bill Belichick feel warm and fuzzy inside. Maybe…
I admit it, I am partial to Mannings. And as much as I love Peyton, there’s just something so…sweet about Eli. Even his awkwardness is endearing. And he also happens to be my mom’s favorite quarterback!
Growing up the youngest of three boys couldn’t have been easy. Especially in a football household where dad Archie was an NFL quarterback. Mom Olivia admits she’s always had a special bond with her baby. Protecting him from his teasing big brothers then, she says she wishes she could shield him from those big, mean linebackers now…but has somehow found a way to control herself. It’s said that Eli takes after Olivia much more than Peyton and Cooper. The two even resemble each other.
As far as athletics go, Eli’s parents say he was the wild card. They didn’t know if he would ever like sports, much less football. It was an up down and much scrutinized start for the youngest Manning in the NFL, but after winning two Superbowls for the New York Giants, there’s no question who the real athlete in the family is. Just don’t tell Peyton I said that…
Hats off to these women on the fantastic young men they raised. And to all the moms out there, including my own. I may not be a professional athlete, but she’s supported me like one no matter what I do. To my mother, best friend, moral compass, and senior editor…Happy Mother’s Day! Love you, Mom.
Thanks also to my sweet and wonderful stepchildren, Hailey and Matthew, for turning me into something I never thought I would be…a mother! I’m glad I never tried, because I couldn’t have done any better than you. And thanks also to their mom, Stephanie, who has so graciously shared them with me all these years. Love you all!