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Eli Manning and His Career in This Blog

November 29th, 2017 · No Comments · Football, France, Lists, NFL, Sports Journalism

Eli Manning will not start for the New York Giants on Sunday, ending a streak of 210 consecutive starts at quarterback for the Giants, going back to 2004.

However, the Giants are 2-9 and their playoffs hopes were buried weeks ago, and Eli will be 37 in five weeks and is not having a very good season, albeit trying to lead a banged-up and only semi-talented team.

An outsider could make a case that the Giants trying something different might be a good idea. Nothing to lose; let’s have a look at the backups, starting with Geno Smith at QB.

But Eli has friends and fans in New York. Lots of them. The Giants won the Super Bowl twice with Eli at the controls.

News of the benching circulated yesterday, a decision made by a remarkably unpopular coach, Ben McAdoo (who, parenthetically, has the most ridiculous hair in football) and an unpopular general manager named Jerry Reese.

Pretty much, New York exploded, with radio guys (hello, Mike Francesa) and TV guys (hey, Screamin’ Stephen) and pundits, experts and fans throughout the Tri-State area going nuts.

They all hate that the Giants are awful, and Eli being benched makes them crazy, overlooking the idea that the NFL is competitive and the definition of insanity is to keep starting, again and again, the same quarterback who just got beat.

Anyway, I like Eli. He has appeared several times on this blog in items I like, and I will link to them below, saving the best for last.

–I wrote this as the “aughties” were drawing to a close, in 2009 — a list of my 10 favorite sports events of the century’s first decade, and Eli has a prominent place. This is a list made up of events I covered. That I saw in person and wrote about for the newspaper.

This one came in 2012, a list of my 10 favorite Super Bowls. Games that I saw, but not necessarily in person.

Here is the link to one I did in 2014, listing my five favorite Super Bowls among the 12 I covered.

This is the one about how the young Frenchwoman, who lives in Paris and likes a little action on sports events, much to our surprise, picked up on some buzz on Super Bowl 42, in 2008. She likes underdogs and saw that the Giants were getting 12 points, in gambling dens, for their matchup with the unbeaten, 18-0 New England Patriots — and how she went all in on the Giants — not just to cover, but to win the whole game. It is a remarkable story, and a true one, about a woman who plunked down more cash then she could afford, stayed up all night in France watching the game and came up smelling like roses thanks to Eli Manning — who is the only player she can remember from that game.

I must concede, thinking about it, compiling that little list, above … I can see how people might get emotional about Eli Manning. Some of their best moments as football fans or sports fans are tied up with the aw-shucks little brother of Peyton.

Good luck, Eli. It’s been a hell of a ride. And the French girl says: Bon chance — and thanks for the thousand-euro Super Bowl!



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