Sunday, January 07, 2007

To Love -or- To Hate Eli Manning

I don't read the New York Post, I don't read the New York Times, and hell, I'm almost always to lazy to even take a copy of AM New York or some such other rag from the poor guys who hand them out near the entrances to the subways, because I know perfectly well I'm not gonna have time to read them. Of course, if there was a guy handing out AM New Yorks by my subway station (read: if I didn't live so far off in the boondocks that AM New York considered me unworthy of being plied with their wares every morning) I might consider taking a look at it during my hideously long commute. I'm not complaining, but all we get is a guy selling copies of the Post and the Times. This means, even if I don't buy it, I steal peeks at the headlines while other people read them. With the Post this is almost impossible not to do since all of their headlines seem to printed in giant block script across half a page.

At least on the back page. For the last few weeks, barring the whole Knicks vs. Nuggets bout through which Isaiaha Thomas earned himself the coveted spot for a few days, it seems like it's been all Eli all the time. New York is tough on sports stars, and with good reason. People like Eli Manning make too much money to just throw footballs and then go home at the end of the day and forget about their mistakes in front of their Wii. They get payed to deal with the media, and the media gets payed to flay them alive every week as they see fit.

None the less, I feel sorry for Eli. He seems to be a good guy, who is trying, way way way too hard, to do a good job in place that will either adore you or scorn you. After tonight's performance, which, from what I saw was not all that terrible, really, I doubt Eli will be having an easy off season. New York will let him know that it was Tom Coughlin's fault primarily, but then his, with an underline under his, and he will take it to heart. Which isn't good for Eli. He's a thinking man, and thinking men generally don't make good big game quarterbacks. You gotta have instinct and grace to survive at the NFL's highest level - Eli's brains will only get him so far.

I recommend, personally, that Eli, instead of undergoing the traditional training, this offseason, takes himself off to the jungle, or, say, the Himalayas, pitting himself against the elements, learning to survive against nature, honing his animal instinct and hardening himself to the elements. Joe Montana, John Elway, even maybe Peyton, they didn't need the jungle, they had the instinct. Kurt Warner had Jesus. Ok, well, that's another option, but I think it's more likely that Eli goes out and tries to hone his animal reflexes and develop his primordial charismatic nature in order to actually lead the Giants next season.

Still, don't get me wrong, I was rooting for the Eagles.

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