The patriarch of the “First Family of Football,” Archie Manning, will be the featured speaker at the sixth-annual Independence Bowl Kickoff Luncheon.
The 2015 Kickoff Luncheon is set for Monday, July 20, at 11:45 a.m. on the second floor of the Shreveport Convention Center.
“We are excited to have Archie Manning, a football legend, as our speaker for the Independence Bowl kickoff luncheon this year,” 2015 Independence Bowl Chairman Kyle McInnis said. “This continues our tradition of bringing high profile speakers to our area in anticipation of football season. It should be a great kickoff luncheon.”
Individual tickets are $50, and tables of eight are $400. Tickets to the event can be purchased by calling the Independence Bowl office at (318) 221-0712 or toll-free at (888) 414-BOWL. Tickets will be available for purchase at independencebowl.org beginning Wednesday, May 27.
Manning began his rise to fame with a stellar collegiate career as a quarterback at Ole Miss. A member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Class of 1989, he accounted for 5,576 yards of total offense and 56 touchdowns during his career.
The dual threat quarterback earned All-America nods in 1969 and 1970, and was tabbed the SEC Player of the Year in 1969.
He still holds the Ole Miss record for passing yards in a game (436), while he checks in at fifth in career passing touchdowns (31) and eighth in career passing yards (4,753). He is the first player in Ole Miss football history to have his number retired.
Manning led the Rebels to three-straight bowl appearances, including victories in the 1968 Liberty Bowl and 1970 Sugar Bowl, in which he was named Most Outstanding Player.
The New Orleans Saints selected Manning with the second overall pick of the 1971 NFL Draft, and he would spend 10 seasons with the team. He played two seasons each with the Houston Oilers and Minnesota Vikings.
During his NFL career, he racked up 23,911 yards passing and 125 touchdowns, along with another 2,197 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 1978 and 1979 as a member of the Saints, and he is enshrined in the Saints Ring of Honor.
Manning has the distinction of being selected as one of the inaugural members of the College Football Playoff Selection Committee.
This will not be Manning’s first involvement with the Independence Bowl. During halftime of the 2009 game between Texas A&M and Georgia, Manning accepted the Omar N. Bradley “Spirit of Independence” Award on behalf of The National Football Foundation.
His youngest son, Eli Manning, led Ole Miss to a 27-23 victory against Nebraska in the 2002 Independence Bowl, throwing for 313 yards and a touchdown en route to being named the Offensive Player of the Game.
Eli is a two-time Super Bowl MVP for the New York Giants, while middle son Peyton Manning enters his 17th NFL season. Peyton has one Super Bowl title and has been named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player five times.
Archie Manning adds to the football royalty who have spoken at the Kickoff Luncheon, joining Terry Bradshaw, Bobby Bowden, Lou Holtz, Jason Witten and Emmitt Smith.
— Stefan Nolet, Independence Bowl