Peyton Manning and Jarrius Robertson give the ESPYS plenty of New Orleans flavor

THE NEW ORLEANS ADVOCATE | Rod Walker

Jarrius Robertson has never met Peyton Manning.

But Robertson — or Lil' JJ, as most call the quick-witted, 15-year-old Saints diehard — already has a special place in his heart for Manning.

And it has nothing to do with the quarterback's record-setting, Hall of Fame-caliber career.

"It's because he threw that interception," Robertson quipped, referring to the play in Super Bowl XLIV that helped give JJ's Saints their first NFL title.

Manning and Robertson will share the stage Wednesday at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles as part of the ESPYS awards, giving the show some New Orleans flavor.

Manning, a New Orleans native, will host ESPN's 25th annual awards show, which recognizes the best of the best in the world of sports.

Robertson, who lives in Reserve, will receive the Jimmy V Perseverance Award after battling a chronic liver disease before receiving a liver transplant in April. Despite his illness, Robertson kept an upbeat personality that helped him garner national attention as he danced and joked on the sideline at Saints games.

Manning is one of a few former athletes to be chosen as host of the show. It's a spot typically reserved for actors and comedians, but he joins a short list that includes Lance Armstrong, LeBron James and John Cena. Continue reading

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