Eli Manning: Ava Is Already a Football Fan

11/04/2011 at 04:00 PM ET
Michael Loccisano/Getty

This season Eli Manning‘s sideline cheering squad has grown: The New York Giants quarterback said that 7-month-old daughter Ava Frances loves to watch her dad play football.

“She’s been to two Giants games, we won one, we lost one, but she enjoyed both of them,” Manning, 30, told PEOPLE while promoting his two new custom designed watches for Citizen at Macy’s in New York City on Tuesday.

“It’s getting a little chillier now, so we’ll see if she makes any more or not.”

And while part of Ava’s wardrobe pays tribute to her superstar dad, mom Abby tends to take her daughter’s style in a different direction when dressing her for the events.

“She does have a little jersey, [but] it’s not what she wore to the games — my wife gets her all dressed up,” Manning shares. “She’s always got a bow in her hair, and she’s always dressed for the occasion.”

Although “not quite crawling yet,” Ava has — almost! — mastered another milestone.

“She’s doing great … she’s doing awesome,” Manning says. “She’s sitting up perfectly and not falling over too many times.”

— Anya Leon with reporting by Kate Hogan

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

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Showing 27 comments

Pamela on

Ah! Love him and the Giants!!!!!

Pamela221 on

OMG, I’m in love with Eli Manning!

Annie on

He’s HOT

catty on

My favorite quarterback – love him and I know he is a wonderful Dad. Beat those Pats Sunday Eli!!

Tee on

Such a sweet story! Hopefully Uncle Peyton is getting to spend some good quality time with his niece during this forced break of his!

Laura on

So nice to hear about Eli Manning! He’s a great down to Earth guy! πŸ™‚

Ali on

Awwww, love hearing a dad talk about his baby girl! It’s like the cutest thing ever! πŸ™‚

He has such a baby face! I can’t believe he is 30!

txlady on

Is this a proud daddy or what?? Lucky baby girl! I wish them all the best.

Kate on

Eli is my favorite quarterback. He is just perfect <333

p on

oh, please. he’s a far cry from Tom Brady (looks AND talent.)

mochababe73 on

I know that it’s getting a little cold, but don’t they usually own a box where it would be warm and cozy?

Anyway, Ava is my favorite girl’s name next to Megan. I love to see these big, strong athletes with their kids. They just turn to mush.

Jillian on

Mochababe, my cousin now plays for another team, but did play with the Giants for a year. Every team he has ever played for puts the family in the family section with other wives, children, etc. I am guessing that’s where his family sits. Most of them do.


Marci on

I wish we could see a picture of Ava!!!! Good luck on the rest of the season!

Bugs on

Aww, good’old Eli! The only active Manning in the NFL right now :-(. We’re missing Peyton so much!! GO GIANTS!!

Casey on

Aw!! I have the hugest crush on this man. He’s the ONLY reason I watch football.

Donna on

How nice of Eli to share little tidbits about his daughter and wife, acknowledging their presence in his life, unlike his big brother who has never mentioned his twins or been seen having a wife for so many years most people don’t even realize he is married much less a Father of two now. Happy Holidays to the Eli Manning family.

Crystal on

@mochababe73- Eli has talked about how Abby is his good luck charm when she’s in the stands and not in the press box! πŸ™‚ Such a sweet family. I’m hoping we can see a picture of Miss Ava soon! πŸ™‚

Anonymous on

Donna- From what I’ve read, Peyton has always been very private when it comes to his personal life. So I’m guessing he just doesn’t want to share his family with the world…which, to be honest, makes me smile. Nothing sweeter than a protective father! πŸ™‚

Bugs on

Donna, Peyton does a lot of charity activities and most of them are run by his wife Ashley while he’s playing in the season. Every year both Peyton and Ashley host their annual fundraising event for Peyton’s Children Hospital in Indianapolis. That, along events in Thanksgiving. So honestly i don’t know what you’re talking about. I know we don’t see them everywhere in gossip rags like Tom Brady or Tony Romo, but that doesn’t mean he’s hiding his family. He’s too private, but they’re surely part of his life.

Lizzielui on

Why does Peyton NEED to do interviews about his kids or flaunt pics of his family around for the tabloids? He’s an NFL quarterback, not the Kardashians. And as someone else noted, he’s always doing charity events with his wife Ashley. That’s far more impressive than giving an exclusive to US Magazine or People.

anon1 on

Donna, there are plenty of pictures of peyton and his wife. They are active in charity and attend events together. And frankly, peyton has the right to choose what he shares with the world and what he doesn’t. He doesn’t owe it to anyone to talk about his personal life. his job is football not a talk show/reality show about his family. I enjoy reading about celeb’s children and seeing pictures, and am not going to lie i would love to see peyton’s twins, but i understand that he wants to keep that part of his life private. I appreciate the celebs who choose to share their families with the public but will not put down those who choose to keep private.

Reese on

Lizzielui, I completely agree. Peyton doesn’t owe the public a thing when it comes to his wife and children. What he does, or did prior to his injury, on the field has nothing to do with his personal life off of it.

Addie Krueger on

I feel that Peyton worries about harm coming to his family, as well as wanting privacy. He is a special person, and shares a lot of himself.

m on

He’s so cute! I love the way he talks about his little girl.

AmberM on

I LOVE Eli and Peyton…my last daughter’s name is Peyton. After my fave quarterback and some other awesome Peytons. And Eli–he is a dang close second. Love these guys! Go Giants and Colts!

MMK on

Donna, Peyton has long been a very private person. And honestly that’s refreshing. It was nice of Eli to share a sweet story of Ava.

Also the (Peyton) mannings live a far cry from photographers/stalkers so your not going to see alot of photos of them.

That said sometimes celebrities need to shelter their kids more, If I were them I wouldn’t raise a child anywhere near LA. Biggest pet peeve would be those sponsored parties.

Mary on

I would love to see a pic of Ava.