This weekend there are two important football games to determine which NFL teams will play in the Super Bowl. This month Garden and Gun Magazine featured a wonderful article on Cam Newton, quarterback for the Carolina Panthers, highlighting his strong football resume and his proud southern roots. Cam Newton grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and attended Auburn University. In the article he stated, ‘I am blessed to call the South Home. There is a sense of community, refined values and a ‘gentleman-like’ culture that I value” This weekend he will lead the Carolina Panthers in the NFC South Championship football game against Arizona.

But, which football player taking part in this weekend games was born in New Orleans? The Denver Broncos quarterback, Peyton Manning!!!! Yes, he and Eli were both born in New Orleans and after leading their high school football teams stayed in the south for college. One of my favorite Manning’s story is about their father, Archie who was the quarterback for the Saints from 1971-1982. My best friend’s parents had a business on St. Charles Avenue during Archie’s time in New Orleans. One day Archie came into their business and my best friend’s father said…”Oh, my son will be so upset to know he missed you”. So, on a day when Archie knew my friend’s brother would be there, he went back took him out for a soda. A busy man as Archie was with a full house of three sons himself who would take time out for a local kid is a true southern gentlemen with strong family & community values.

The NFL is home to a lot of players with Southern spirit. A report from Sporting News showed the state most represented on the 2013 NFL roster was…..Louisiana!!! Followed by, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia. Overall in the past number of years, football players from Louisiana have been in the top 10 of states represented in the NFL, including of course……Peyton and Eli Manning.

An NBC sports report from last year listed LSU as the top producer of NFL rookie! No college football program has produced more NFL talent than LSU! A review of the past 10 years showed at least four LSU players a year were drafted into the NFL. The southern universities continued to be well represented by; Miami, Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Florida State, and Clemson to name a few. The south even holds bragging rights to the U. S. high school that produces the most NFL players. The magical place…..St. Thomas Aquinas of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

So, regardless of where you were born or where you live today, or who you are cheering on this weekend. Stay safe, warm and dry and may the best teams win. GEAUX Boys!!!!

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