If you talk to me about the Giants and Eli Manning, you might hear how much I am not a fan. I’ve shredded this dude for YEARS. Ever since he got in the league in 2004, I’ve given him the business because I’ve always felt that his lack of immediate success in the NFL was less criticized due to his famous last name and the fact that his brother was currently quarterbacking for the Colts (rather well, at that!).
I HATED how he strong-armed his way out of San Diego when they drafted him just so he could go somewhere with a better media presence (allegedly). I disliked seeing him shilling products on television.
(I don’t eat Oreos, so watching him dunk them on TV only made me hate that cookie even more.)
I never understood how the most average looking guy I’ve ever seen quarterback in this league was destined to promote products, and be the pitchman that people look to sling Toyotas, cookies and Citizen Watches…
Then came this play: 2007 Super Bowl.
The media put this play on a pedestal that it has yet to come down from. And it only made me hate Manning more. I mean, this ratcheted the hate up to supernova levels. Everytime he lost a game, got sacked or got injured…I reveled in it like I was celebrating my own personal Mardi Gras!!
I reveled in it like I was celebrating my own personal Mardi Gras!!
I even strongly disliked how he never went to visit Mr. Pistol in the Pants Burress in jail. Yeah Pistol Plax is a fool for doing that but I felt Eli could’ve gone and showed some support for the guy!
But something happened this year.
The Giants were winning and they were winning because of Eli.
I was as shocked as anyone!
The offensive line this year for the Jints has been suspect, Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs have been okay but they haven’t been as good as previous years and that secondary has its moments in coverage that make you wonder how they lost to the Seahawks , of all teams…but the positives are that ferocious front four, the improvement of the pass catchers as a whole and, to be honest, Eli Manning. He’s leading game winning drives (against ARZ, MIA and NE) and watching him throw the ball is actually impressive. He’s dropping the ball into people’s breadbaskets with ease now.
I’m not saying he’s the best ever now. Far from it.
What I am saying is that he’s become good and can ratchet it up to great on occasion. He’ll never have the tools that some of the more talented quarterbacks have but I’ve come to appreciate his style of play and will no longer rip him indiscriminately as I once have.
I’ll take the occasional shot @ him, though…I can’t always help it.