ESPN premiered a new film on Tuesday, The Book of Manning, a documentary on the Manning football family. It’s quite wonderful – and good as the kids come across (not just the well-known Peyton and Eli, but also their older brother Cooper), the father Archie steals the show.
What helps make it so good is that Archie took family video of so much with his kids, not just on the football field -- even as far back as high schoo -- but everywhere, so it's never long stretches of talking heads. And there’s so much film of Archie, as well. (And for anyone who has no clue how great he was, and thinks it's just Peyton and Eli -- both #1 draft picks in the NFL -- it will bowl you over.) But mainly it’s the personalities that come through. And that’s where Archie shines.
Boy, does he shine. That's why even people who aren't football fans might reasonably enjoy this, because it's largely about family. To be clear, football dominates, so it's not "for everyone." But there's a great deal to enjoy in in it that's not football
The next airing is today (Wednesday) on ESPN 2 at 5 PM (Los Angeles time). It’s then on ESPNU on Thursday at 1 PM, Friday at 3:30 PM and next Monday on ESPN 2 at 4 PM. All times are for the Pacific Coast. Adjust accordingly. It runs 90 minutes.
Here's a four-minute excerpt
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Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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