Archie Manning was the New Orleans Saints' quarterback for 13 years. In his post-NFL career, he serves in public relations and consulting capacities for several local, regional and national companies.
Manning was kind enough to speak with our staff about his football career, passing on one’s legacy and service to the community. Manning spoke at the opening general session at NECA 2021 Nashville on Sunday, Oct. 10. A limited number of signed footballs were available and sponsored by Southwire.
Manning shared personal stories in a Q&A style talk with emcee David Meade.
"Leadership and teamwork are the keys to success," Manning said. "To be a leader you to have to earn respect, and being accountable is how to be a good teammate."
Registrants can watch it on-demand until Nov. 12.
What drew you to the game of football, and what goals did you have for yourself as a player?
I grew up across the street from a school in a small town. As a youngster, I used to stand in my front yard and watch PE class. A lot of times they would play football, and I would walk to the football field and watch practice. We played a lot of football in the yard, at the playground and sometimes in a vacant lot. I looked forward to when I could play organized football, and I enjoyed it. I played all sports, but I particularly wanted to play football.
Goals—basically, I just wanted to play high school football. My goal was to be as good a player as I could be in high school. I didn’t think much about playing college football until I got offers. Fortunately, I was offered a few scholarships. I grew up loving Ole Miss [University of Mississippi] and when I had a chance to play college ball, Ole Miss was where I wanted to play.
What has it been like as a former player watching your sons Eli and Peyton, and now your grandson Arch, take up football and find so much success in the game?
It was not a goal or a dream of mine for my sons or my grandson to play college or pro football. But the fact that they worked at it and were fortunate enough to play, it’s been a lot of fun to watch them. And all of them have given us a lot of joy.
For electrical contractors hoping to pass on the legacy of their career to their children (and maybe even their grandchildren), like you did, what advice would you give them?
Well, I don’t think you push too hard. That can be dangerous. I think the plan is for them to be passionate about it and want to do it, but be careful of making it too easy, just giving them a title. They need to work and earn it.
You’ve made a significant commitment to community service off the field, including working with the Louisiana Special Olympics and helping the community after Hurricane Katrina, and have received several awards for your service. What drives you to contribute to your community in this way, and what do you hope to contribute through your service?
I feel like I am blessed to be in that position and to be asked to help others, so I feel like it’s part of giving back. And it’s a very satisfying feeling to be able to help others who aren’t as fortunate as you.
What advice would you give people or companies wanting to participate in service to their own communities?
I look at it as an obligation in our society to help others and lift them up when the opportunity occurs.