It’s probably for the best that the New York Giants didn’t make it to Super Bowl LIII, because quarterback Elisha “Eli” Manning had somewhere far more important to be. On Super Bowl Sunday, the Quogue resident welcomed the newest addition to his family, his first son.
Newsday reports that Manning’s baby boy, Charles “Charlie” Elisha Manning, was born just after midnight on February 3. This is Manning’s fourth child with his wife Abby McGrew after daughters Ava Frances, 7, Lucy Thomas, 5, and Caroline Olivia, 4. Manning told Us Weekly in a 2014 interview that his eldest, Ava, was already becoming an athlete like him, getting involved in soccer and tennis. So even if young Charlie doesn’t take after his father, Manning has one budding sports star in the ranks.
While this was an incredibly joyous occasion, Manning fans were surprised that aside from a brief appearance in the NFL 100th anniversary clip, he was absent from Super Bowl LIII. For the first time in 14 years, Manning didn’t appear in the stands supporting his older brother Peyton Manning, on the field winning Super Bowl rings or in a starring role of a commercial lifting Odell Beckham Jr. over his head (check out the 2018 clip below). This year, he even avoided the interview rounds, including on Radio Row, a publicity tradition among star quarterbacks. Instead, he spent the day by his wife’s side, celebrating their newborn son.
Considering the cliché of a man choosing his career over his family, it’s heartwarming to see Manning put aside the biggest game of the season—and the publicity that goes with it—for his loved ones. Super Bowl LIII may have been a multi-million-dollar event between the commercials, the half-time show, the tickets and the concessions, but the Manning family welcoming their first son into the world is simply priceless.