A Tribute To Eli
Written by: Snacks
Tuesday September 17th, 2019 was the day I have been dreading for the last few years. The day that the Eli Manning era would officially come to an end for the New York Giants. Now obviously most of you know this, but for those that don’t – I am a sadistic, absurd, die hard New York Giants fan. I have said this once and I will say it a million times, I care more about this team than LITERALLY anything else in life. I am not ashamed to admit that. For 15 years, Eli has been my starting quarterback. Aside from a select few teams, how many of you can say your favorite football team had the same quarterback for that long? Since I was 11 years old, all I have known is Giants football with Eli Manning. He has brought me more happiness than one human that I don’t know personally, could.
Eli was never the best QB in the league (outside of 2011, I will fight you if you think he wasn’t the best QB in football that year I swear I will literally fight you). He was never the most talented Qb in the league, he turned the ball over a lot, he made you scratch your head more times than Johnny Sins has had sex, he made himself the butt of all jokes with his classic “Eli face”. But you know what? He was always there. He was there every Sunday for 15 straight seasons. In 2007, Eli dislocated his shoulder in the season opener against Dallas. There is a great story about how he went into the team doctor’s office the next day and the doctor told Eli that he would have to be sidelined 4-6 weeks. Eli told the doctor that is unacceptable, and it won’t happen. That he is playing that week against the Packers. Sure enough, he did. And he went on to play the rest of the season with that dislocated shoulder. We know how that year ended.
I could give two fucks what the haters say about Eli. They look at the last 5 years and see a QB that was absolutely ruined by front office incompetence. If you took Phillip Rivers or Big Ben and put them on the teams the Giants fielded since 2013, they wouldn’t even come close to producing at the levels they are accustomed too. That is an absolute fact it is not an opinion. Eli never bitched, he never moaned, he just went out there every Sunday and did all he could with nothing. Like the absolute cold blooded warrior that he is.
It’s not just that Eli was such a good and steady QB for more than a decade. There is so much more to Eli, that if you aren’t a Giants fan, you wouldn’t understand. What he does in the community is unmatched. He is a massive advocate for childhood cancer. He supports multiple charities in the NY/NJ area and has raised millions of dollars for the families of these kids. Every day after training camp practices he stays hours after and signs every piece of memorabilia for those in attendance. There is literally no better man in the NFL than Eli Manning. Again, that is a fact it is NOT an opinion.
Eli Manning means more to me than just about anyone in this world. I will never forget, in 2004, Eli’s rookie year, it was the season finale against the Cowboys. The Giants – out of playoff contention and in late December, not the most ideal conditions to go to a football game in NJ. But as an 11 year old, I wanted to be there. My dad surprised me with tickets that day and I could not be happier. If I won the lottery that day, it still wouldn’t have made me happier than I was when he came in the house and asked if I wanted to go to the game. We sat in the third to last row of the stadium. Freezing our asses off. It didn’t matter because of what happened the end of that game. Eli drove us down the field and audibled to a handoff at the 5 yard line to Tiki Barber (scumbag quitting whiny bitch loser) and we won the game. I remember jumping and screaming and hugging my father like we had just won the super bowl. It was surreal being there for Eli’s first win and a moment I will forever cherish with my dad and the rest of section 333 row 27.
Fast forward a few years to the aforementioned 2007 season. The season in which the 10-6 Giants beat the undefeated New England Patriots as 13 point underdogs. That is the greatest football team we will ever see. Eli beat them. Before that, we traveled to Tampa Bay and won handily. The week after, we traveled to Dallas and beat those fucking loser Cowboys after Jerry Jones had made it known he already purchased NFC championship game tickets for his players. Nice try Jerry. Fucking loser. And the best yet – we traveled to -20 degree Green Bay Wisconsin and beat Hall of Fame Brett Favre and the Packers. Is there a more magical super bowl run ever? 0% chance of that. And our leader, Eli Manning, was unbelievable. No interceptions, no game changing turnovers, nothing. As a 3rd year starting QB, he led us to the most improbable super bowl of all time. Best part about that super bowl? My family held a MASSIVE party t the knights of Columbus, where we had about 60-70 people all watching and praying the Giants could pull of the miracle of the century. After the greatest play in sports history, Eli escaping out of a game sealing sack, we did it. And the first thing I did was look for my parents. When we all came together and hugged each other like we just met for the first time, it was surreal. It had happened. We were super bowl champions.
Our 2011 run was special, maybe not as much as 2007, but boy it was still special. Before the season started, Eli was asked by a reporter if he considered himself an “Elite” quarterback. He answered confidently that yes he does believe he is. Everyone laughed it off, but good ol’ Eli came out proved that he was. He led 9 4th quarter comebacks that year and led the 32nd ranked rushing offense and the 30th ranked defense to another super bowl victory. Traveling to Green Bay in the divisional round and beating MVP Aaron Rodgers and the 15-1 Packers in a fucking ROMP. We destroyed them. We made them fucking quit. We took their will. We spit on their dead bodies. I digress. We then traveled to rainy and muddy San Francisco and beat the leagues #1 ranked defense. A game in which Eli got crushed from the first quarter to the last. He kept getting back up and slinging the ball all over the field. And in the super bowl, he did it again. He made the greatest throw in Super Bowl history to Mario Manningham on the game winning drive. Sealing yet another super bowl MVP and cementing his legacy as the GOAT slayer.
You have to be out of your mind to think Eli isn’t a Hall of Famer. You can’t write the history of football without Eli and what he did to stop the New England Patriots. There are 5 people in history with 2 super bowl MVPs. Eli is one of them and the other 4 are in the HOF. He is top 10 in completions, touchdowns and yards. He beat the greatest coach, the greatest QB, the greatest dynasty ever in the biggest game ever. He didn’t do it once, he did it twice. He is the franchise leader in wins and every major category. He was an ironman. He did it all. And he would have done more had it not have been for front office incompetence.
I am ready for Daniel Jones. I am ready for the future of the team I love so much. But I need to express just how much Eli Manning has meant to me, to my family and to the New York Giants. I love you Eli. Thank you so much for everything you have done for us. I can’t wait to travel to Canton to watch you be inducted into the hall of fame. I love you so much.