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Eli Manning banned from playing QB in family game


Families across the United States will hit their backyards today for some Thanksgiving football. The Mannings were no different.

The New York Times' Sam Borden tells a story about a New Orleans family with three sons that played every Thanksgiving. One of those boys, however, never was allowed to play quarterback. That boy became a two-time Super Bowl MVP.

Take a look back at this long standing NFL tradition.

"They always made me play automatic center," New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning said. "At least the center was always eligible."

Family patriarch Archie Manning, the longtime Saint, played quarterback most of the time to avoid arguments between the eldest brother, Cooper, and the middle brother, Peyton. Eli was five years younger than Peyton and seven younger than Cooper, so his role was different.

"I liked to huddle up, grab Eli when he was little and stick the ball in his shirt or pants," Archie said. "Then we would come to the line, call the ball and he'd go off running."

The Mannings had one rule in common with most backyard football games -- the quarterback can't run.

"With us, that obviously wasn't a problem," Eli said.

Enjoy the NFL games today and yours in the backyard.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.


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