Monday, January 23, 2012
I'm sorry, Eli
I don’t think I’ve ever done a complete 180 regarding my feelings for a player
on my team the way I have for one Eli Manning. Eli and I got off on the wrong
foot on Draft Day 2004 when he dictated, without ever taking one snap in the
NFL, where he would play. Given the tragedy that occurred near the draft, I never liked
Eli’s sense of entitlement. If his last name was Solomon instead of Manning, no
one would give a shit about him or his college numbers. So the Giants traded
Rivers and two picks (Merriman and Kaeding) for Peyton’s little brother. I
cringed every time Eli took a snap as a Giant. He looked like a deer in the
headlights. His “awww shucks” mentality after one painful loss after another
grew thin with me. It stayed that way until 2007 when playoff wins at Tampa,
Dallas, and Green Bay took the Giants to the Super Bowl. Even the SB win against
the Patriots didn’t make me an Eli fan, especially when it was more of a case of
the Pats losing more than the Giants winning. The Pats were an Asante Samuel
pick or a Randy Moss catch away from winning that game, but whatever.
Something happened this year. Eli went from simply being Peyton’s brother to an
established QB. Let’s look at the numbers: Over 4900 passing yards, 29 TDs, and 6 wins when the Giants were tied or losing in the 4th quarter. He has a postseason record of 7-3 and this year alone he's thrown for over 900 yards in 3 games to go along with 8 TDs and 1 pick.
He wasn’t great during the NFC title game but he held in against a tough 49ers
defense. He was sacked 6 times and was hit 20 times, but never turned
the ball over. A few years ago, he would have caved like a little bitch but not
this year. Eli Manning has matured as a QB and has finally become the player he
was projected to be when he was drafted in 2004. I can’t wait to see where he
goes from here.
So there’s my football post. On a side note, I was going to say something about
Joe Paterno’s passing but I’ve decided to wait about 12 years before speaking
up… just like Joe did.