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Intriguing people for February 5, 2010

By Jay Kernis, CNN

Former Saints quarterback Archie Manning says he will root for his son, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, on Sunday.
Former Saints quarterback Archie Manning says he will root for his son, Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, on Sunday.
  • Former Saints quarterback puts family before team
  • Korean-American missionary to be released from North Korea
  • Poet D.A. Powell wins $100,000 award for book, "Chronic"

Editor's note: Every weekday, CNN focuses on a handful of people in the news. This is a chance to find out more about what they've done -- good or bad -- what they've said or what they believe, and why we think they're intriguing.

(CNN) -- Archie Manning: Super Bowl XLIV is Sunday in Miami, Florida. The New Orleans Saints will face the Indianapolis Colts, and it's the first time the Saints have been in the Super Bowl in the team's four-decade history.

Archie Manning is in an interesting situation. The quarterback was drafted by the Saints in 1971, and was hands-down the most famous and revered Saint, staying with them for ten years. He still has a home in New Orleans, Louisiana. Now his son, Peyton Manning, quarterback of the Colts, will face his father's old team, the team he grew up rooting for.

Archie Manning and his wife, Olivia, raised three football-playing sons. Cooper, an all-state high school wide receiver and now a partner in an investment firm; Eli, who led the New York Giants to their Super Bowl win two years ago; and Peyton, who did the same for the Colts the year before that. Eli and Peyton both won MVP awards.

A few weeks ago, Mike Chappell in the Indianapolis Star reported that Archie Manning said he plans to root for the Colts. "I'm going to pull for my son," Archie said. "(Saints coach) Sean Payton knows that. He's a great friend of mine. (Saints quarterback) Drew Brees knows that. That's just the way it is. Anybody who thinks it's different must not have children."

Indy Star: Saints legend Archie Manning pulling for son, Colts

Robert Park: North Korea said Friday it was releasing the Korean-American missionary detained after reportedly illegally entering the country in December, state-run media reported.

Tyong Park, Robert Park's father, said in San Diego, California, that he was "so excited" by the news but had no other information about his son's release. Robert Park told relatives before Christmas that he was trying to sneak into the isolated communist state to bring a message of "Christ's love and forgiveness" to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. After an investigation, North Korean authorities "decided to leniently forgive and release him, taking his admission and sincere repentance of his wrong doings into consideration," the state-run Korea Central News Agency said.

During an interview with North Korean authorities, Park reportedly told investigators that "he was taken in by the false rumor spread by the West and committed a criminal act in the end." Park said he heard stories of concentration camps and of mass killings, prompting him to go to North Korea to help, the news agency said.

A South Korean Web site in December posted a copy of the letter it said Park was trying to deliver to Kim, urging the North Korean leader to free political prisoners and "open your borders so that we may bring food, provisions, medicine, necessities, and assistance to those who are struggling to survive." But according to the North Korean news agency, once Park was in North Korea he said he was treated well and allowed to attend church and pray freely.

CNN: N. Korea says it is releasing U.S. citizen

Joe Lombardi: He's the grandson of legendary New York Giants and Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi. The Los Angeles Times reports that Joe Lombardi, 38, never met his famous grandfather; he was born a year after his death in 1970. Lombardi, the quarterbacks coach for the New Orleans Saints, told the newspaper that he had seen a quote from his grandfather saying he wished he had never said "Winning isn't everything, it's the only thing," and that he feels Vince was misinterpreted.

"I think his point was that certainly your goal is to win, but it's the process that you take in order to get there, the will to win, the will to prepare -- doing everything in your control in order to put yourself in position to win at anything. And I think that's what his point was, more so than win at all costs, even if you've got to cheat or cut corners," Joe Lombardi told the Los Angeles Times.

L.A. Times: Saints have a Lombardi, and now they want a trophy

Jenny Sanford: "Staying True" by Sanford, who in December filed for divorce from South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, will be available in bookstores Friday.

Reporters exposed the governor's affair with an Argentine woman after he disappeared for several days last summer. Staffers said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. Sanford later admitted he was actually in Argentina with his mistress.

Rather than standing by their men, wives of morally challenged politicians are now publicly opting to let their husbands clean up their own messes. That is one reason why former investment banker Jenny Sanford wrote her book, publisher Ballantine Books says on its Web site.

"She chose to let Mark Sanford deal with the embarrassment and political fallout from his own actions while focusing her own efforts privately on raising their children to be men of character, even in the face of the lies their father has told," says the synopsis of her book on the site.

CNN: Silent no more, wives go public about husbands' affairs

D.A. Powell: Claremont Graduate University in Southern California announced this week that D.A. Powell has won the $100,000 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for his book "Chronic." Powell teaches at the University of San Francisco and lives in the Bay Area of California. According to the Poetry Foundation, Powell was born in 1963 in Albany, Georgia.

When he was teaching at Sonoma State, he noticed that many of his students wrote poems that somehow fit the size of the page they were working on, so he began experimenting with his students. What difference would it make if words were written on a candlestick or a roll of toilet paper? When he wrote the first poem for his book, "Tea," he turned his legal pad sideways and began writing longer lines of poetry. Powell receives his prize this April.

Here's an excerpt from his poem, "Chronic:"

I carry the same baffled heart I have always carried / a bit more battered than before, a bit less joy / for I see the difficult charge of living in this declining sphere / by the open air, I swore out my list of pleasures: / sprig of lilac, scent of pine / the sparrows bathing in the drainage ditch..."

Claremont Graduate University: D.A. Powell wins Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award

Poetry Foundation: Poet biography

Poetry Daily: "Chronic"

What makes a person intriguing?

There are people who enter the news cycle every day because their actions or decisions are new, important or different. Others are in the news because they are the ones those decisions affect. And there are a number of people who are so famous or controversial that anything they say or do becomes news.

Some of these people do what we expect of them: They run for office, pass legislation, start a business, get hired or fired, commit a crime, make an arrest, get in accidents, hit a home run, overthrow a government, fight wars, sue an opponent, put out fires, prepare for hurricanes and cavort with people other than their spouses. They do make news, but the action is usually more important than who is involved in the story.

But every day, there are a number of people who become fascinating to us -- by virtue of their character, how they reached their decision, how they behaved under pressure or because of the remarkable circumstances surrounding the event they are involved in.

They arouse our curiosity. We hear about them and want to know more. What they have done or said stimulates conversations across the country. At times, there is even a mystery about them. What they have done may be unique, heroic, cowardly or ghastly, but they capture our imaginations. We want to know what makes them tick, why they believe what they do, and why they did what they did. They intrigue us.