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2/04/2007

Ricky Manning, Jr. Hoping to Impress Dad Archie in Super Bowl

(Miami) There's a lot more on the line for Chicago Bear's defensive back Ricky Manning, Jr. in today's Super Bowl than just a championship ring.

The fourth-year star out of UCLA hopes to mend some family ties with estranged father Archie Manning.

"Ever since I was a little kid, my dad has always looked down on me because... I play defense," he said, looking down. "Peyton and Eli have always gotten more of his time and love than I ever did. Maybe if I play well, my Dad will accept me for who I am - an All-Pro cornerback."

Manning Jr., who tied for the Chicago team lead with five interceptions in the regular season, has one of the Bears’ two picks in the postseason, and five interceptions in nine postseason games in his career. Still, he said, Archie Manning has never congratulated him after a good game.

"I used to see him peeking at my games from beside the bleachers in high school, but by the time the game ended, he'd be gone," said Manning, Jr. "And when we'd sit down home for dinner, nobody would ever talk about me being a football player. Just about Peyton, Cooper, and Eli, the fuckers."

Archie Manning reluctant to show his love for son Ricky, Jr.Left: Archie Manning reluctant to show his love for son Ricky Manning, Jr.

Manning, Jr. believes his father bears some "hidden grudge" from a point before he was born.

"There's some talk that my Mom and some linebacker from the Chiefs hooked up, and that I'm not really my Dad's son," he said, looking off into the distance. "But I like to think that I'm always a part of him, no matter what. And just because I play defense is no reason for him to ignore me. I just want to be loved, OK, Dad?"

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