Good Morning, New York Giants Fans!
The first morning in the wake of Eli Manning’s benching is a sympathetic one. It’s appropriate to take a moment to appreciate all he’s done for the franchise over the last 15 years and the success he’s brought to New York. Please feel free to leave a heartfelt comment below, I will respond to all of you!
Fifteen years ago, I was just eight years old, barely understanding the game of football and what it meant to be a part of a “fan-base.” I quickly began to understand the inner-workings of the game and why Football was not only an essential part of my life but why it was an important aspect of society.
I never played the beautiful game on a real team, more-so in my backyard with a bunch of friends early on Sunday mornings before we watched Eli Manning and Amani Toomer trot out onto the field. I always closed my eyes and pictured myself catching a pass in the NFL, knowing I would likely never touch a field. Well, I was right, but my joy from the game didn’t stop there. Every Sunday I would gear up and sit quietly, saying a few football-religious prayers in my head before #10 took the field with his troops.
When I turned ten years old, I witnessed my first Super Bowl. I vividly remember watching the Giants and Patriots square off, an undefeated team against a Wild-Card squad that barely squeaked into the playoffs. The defensive line for Big Blue was unstoppable, and I’ll never forget watching Eli break free on his historic pass to David Tyree. My heart was racing so fast I fell out of my chair. The passion and connection with fellow fans was an unbreakable bond. I could feel the energy of every last one of you coursing through my veins. A special moment in my life, and I imagine yours as well. We all have Eli Manning to thank for that moment.
And if one Super Bowl wasn’t enough, Eli provided us with two. Two MVPs, two of the most impressive passes and catches I’ve ever witnessed with my own two eyes. Believe it or not, he’s a big reason for who I am today, the website I have created and the love I have for the game of football. Watching can be just as influential as playing. Recently, the Giants and Manning have gone through tough times — losing games and struggling to find an identity again after years of prosperity.
Then, they drafted Daniel Jones in the 2019 NFL Draft, and every Giants fan knew Eli’s career was coming to an end…soon. On Tuesday, 9/17/2019, Manning was replaced with the future in Jones. Today, I wanted to take a moment to remember not only a Super Bowl-winning athlete but a fantastic human being and mentor for people like me growing up. I learned to be humble in the face of success and to have gratitude for the hard work I’ve put in over the years. Eli has been a mentor for all of us, but it’s time for us to embrace Jones, a young man facing adversity in his first-ever season.
All we can say now is: Thank you, Eli Manning, for everything, and let a new era of prosperity begin.
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