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Peyton Manning stumps for Eli's HOF worthiness

Seemingly everyone has an opinion on whether Eli Manningshould be a Hall of Famer down the line after the quarterback announced his retirement this week.

Eli's brother, Peyton, joined the chorus this week vociferously stumping for his little brother's candidacy in a sit-down interview with the Denver Broncos' official team website.

"To me, it's the time to look back and reflect," Manning said, via CBS Sports. "Everybody else wants to look ahead and have this debate. And I understand, that's just the world we live in. I know Eli doesn't think like that, and I don't think like that either. But I certainly have my strong feelings and opinions on it. When you're the Super Bowl MVP twice against the greatest dynasty of all-time, the New England Patriots, Tom Brady/Bill Belichick, and you join a list that includes Terry Bradshaw, Bart Starr, Tom Brady and Joe Montana, Eli Manning as the only (multiple) Super Bowl MVPs.

"I don't really know what that term, 'drop the mic' is, but I guess if there was one ...There really is no 'yeah, but' after that. That kind of ends it. But if you want a, 'yeah, but,' yeah, but he also started 220-plus consecutive games. He's sixth or seventh all-time in touchdowns. It wasn't like he just played those two seasons.

"He answered the bell, played his butt off, won some huge games for his team. I have strong opinions on it, but I'm gonna pull an Eli and live in the present and kinda look back if you will and not look too far ahead, get too worried about it."

Clearly, Peyton hasn't been in many Twitter battles if he thinks he just mic dropped on anyone. The rebuttal to the 2-MVPs stance will always be returned with a volley suggesting that Eli was gifted an MVP trophy that should have gone to Michael Strahan and the defense.

Like everyone in the debate over Eli's HOF worthiness, Peyton is entrenched in his view.

The greatest memory from Eli will always be escaping the sack and heaving the Helmet Catch to David Tyree to beat the undefeated Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. It's a moment that even Peyton gets pumped thinking about.

"I got to play in four Super Bowls," Peyton said. "I got to be on the winning side of two. And I think people don't really believe me when I say that my favorite Super Bowl memory was watching my little brother take the New York Giants down the field in the two-minute drill and beat the undefeated Patriots and all that came with that. Maybe I wasn't as happy as the '72 Dolphins ... but I was pretty close.

"He did it. There's that famous Bill Parcells quote after he tells their team: 'Don't let anybody ever tell you that you couldn't do it because you did it.' He did it, and he did it the right way for a long time."

Alas, after years of having a brother to root on from afar, Peyton now searches for a new favorite NFL player.

"I'm happy for Eli because I know he's at peace and he put a lot of time and thought into this decision, but I am sad because I won't get to see him play anymore," Peyton said. "After my dad and Dan Marino, Eli really was my favorite player. And so, I'll have to find a new one. But for really 19 years, going back to his three years at Ole Miss, 16 years in the NFL, I have enjoyed watching him play, watching him compete, watching him grow into a man. It was a heck of a run."

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