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Parade

Eli Manning on What it Really Feels Like to Win the Super Bowl

Two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning knows how important it is to stay active on and off the field. Now, the New York Giants quarterback has teamed up with Kinect Xbox 360 on a mission to get kids off their couches.

“There’s a real problem in this country with kids being obese and overweight, and this is one way to attack it. Instead of watching TV or playing video games all day, now they can move around and jump up and down. And the great thing about Kinect is that your body is the remote control,” says Manning, 32.

The NFL star talked to Parade.com about his Super Bowl predictions, how he handles a loss on the field, fatherhood, and more.

What are your thoughts on Sunday’s big game between the San Diego Chargers and the Baltimore Ravens?
“You never know in the Super Bowl. At this level, the game is going to come down to a few plays. Both teams are very talented, so it should be an exciting game. They both have great defensives. I guess I’ll just stick with the NFC and go with San Diego."

What does it feel like to win a Super Bowl?
“It truly is a great feeling. The guys on Sunday will learn that when you win a championship, it’s not just you that wins; it’s your whole family. And it's guys that you played high school football with who never went on to play football at a higher level. I brought a bunch of my high school buddies to the game last year, and they were almost more excited than I was. I know they celebrated harder than I did that night! I think it’s the whole organization, the whole city you’re playing in. It’s more than just you. There are millions of people involved who all feel like they’re winning a championship, and that’s pretty special.”

How do you get over a big loss during the season?
“I think you've got to learn from each game. Win or lose, you really deal with it the same way. The Monday afterwards, you go in and watch the film and decide what you’re doing well and what you need to improve on, so by Tuesday, you’re preparing for that next game. You have to put it behind you and learn from the things you want to improve on that next week. That Sunday night after a loss, you’re not going to be as happy as a win, but you've got to deal with each game the same way.”

New York is such a big sports town. Is there a sense of community among all the teams?

"Yes, I think it’s like a little fraternity between the sports in New York. You get to know some of the guys on each team and try to support each other, whether it’s going to a Knicks game or a Yankees game. There are so many different teams, so it’s hard to go to each one, but you watch and read the papers and keep up with what’s going on and maybe send a text to a guy after he had a big game or a tough loss. I think it is a special fraternity, and you have to stick together and make sure the guys are keeping their heads up.”

Your daughter Ava will turn two this year. What’s the best part about fatherhood?
“Just seeing her grow every day. Each day she has something new that she’s learning; either a new word or she’s walking or running or throwing a ball. She surprises me each day."

Would you want her to play football one day?
“I’m going to promote sports because I think it’s great for learning about teamwork and leadership and dealing with wins and losses, and obviously great for her health, so I’d love for her to be involved in sports. If she wants to play football, I’ll promote that. I don’t know if I’ll put her in pads and have her go out for the team, but I’d promote flag football or a pickup game around the neighborhood if there were kids playing. I’d want her to go join them and just have fun."

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