Originally posted on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 9/15/13
Who knew humble old Eli Manning was hiding a little bit of A-Rod narcissism inside? The New York Giants quarterback — known for his Aw shucks personality — is also a serious art collector who keeps a portrait of himself titled "Annointed" hanging in his vast collection of works. “He would appear to be anointed, in the parlance of our Protestant religious fables and myths,” said Mississippi-born artist and family friend William Dunlap, who painted  the portrait and misspelled the word — with an extra “n”— in gold leaf. “It wasn’t intentional,” Dunlap said of the spelling fumble. “There’s no secret message there.” Dunlap, 69, said the painting’s title refers to Manning’s bloodlines — father Archie quarterbacked the Saints for a decade, and future Hall of Fame brother Peyton is Denver’s leader on the field. “Annointed” was shipped to New Jersey, where Manning lives during football season, Dunlap said. While not nearly as vain as the Yankee third baseman's infamous Centaur self-portrait rumored to be hanging over his bed, Annointed hangs prominently in Manning's Hoboken abode. But Manning's tastes are more than pedestrian — his Big Blue Period collection includes abstract impressionist Ida Kohlmeyer, and Theora Hamblett, a Mississippi artist whose work has hung in the Museum of Modern Art and in the home of Nelson Rockefeller. According to The New York Post, the Renaissance Man's (he also acts) art collection also includes a depiction of the Williams Brothers Store — a Mississippi market opened in 1907 by Manning’s great-grandfather and great-great-uncle. The allegorical image includes six hounds, five of them meant to represent members of the Manning clan — parents Archie and Olivia, and brothers Cooper, Peyton and Eli, Dunlap said. On Sunday at MetLife Stadium, Eli's Giants will square off against Peyton and the Broncos in Manning Bowl III — in what can now only be called a dogfight.
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