It was not the first time [Eli] Manning and his mother [Olivia Manning] had bonded over stories. Long before he learned to read defenses, Manning struggled to decipher Dr. Seuss. “I had trouble reading,” he said.
The inadequacy he felt drove him deeper into his shell. “As a child, it’s embarrassing and frustrating,” Manning said. “They call on students to read out loud in class and it’s one of those deals where you’re praying the whole time that they don’t call on you.”
His mother, he said, was influential in helping him improve his reading so he would not have to repeat first grade. “She worked with me and stayed patient,” Manning said. “Her laid-back attitude and her soft Southern drawl helped me keep calm about it. She’s the one who kept telling me it would all work out and it did.”
From "Eli Manning Took Cues from Mother," a profile of the Giants quarterback, in the New York Times, 1/29/08. Written by Karen Crouse.