THIBODAUX, La. -- Peyton Manning, the underdog. Eli Manning, the alpha dog.
No, you're not in another dimension. You're in today's reality.
A reality not many people ever imagined. Peyton has always been the headliner, and Eli the undercard. But numerous neck surgeries later for Peyton and a second Lombardi Trophy for Eli last season, and the perception of the Manning brothers has been flipped upside down.
Eli is the proven one. Peyton now has something to prove.
This weekend at the annual Manning Passing Academy at Nicholls State, both quarterbacks downplayed the polar-opposite routes their careers took in the past year.
When asked whether he has something to prove to himself, Peyton responded quickly and simply, "No." Eli dismissed the role-reversal notion as well.
"Peyton's a four-time MVP and a Super Bowl champion," Eli said. "He's coming off an injury, but he's going to be ready to play. I've got to worry about getting my team ready."
Leave it to the Manning clan's elder statesman to call it like everyone else sees it.
"2012 [was] so much fun for the Giants, to win another Super Bowl," Archie Manning said. "But then for Peyton -- we look at the plusses, the fact he worked so hard and got himself back healthy. The Indy thing was tough. It was tough on everybody, tough on him, tough on our family, I think tough for some people in Indy. But it happens, so I was very proud of the way he handled it, and then he had to turn around and find a new team and that was hard.