New York Giants: Thank you, Eli

An era has come to an end. The New York Giants have announced that they will be starting rookie quarterback Daniel Jones in week three against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

I hope Jones has an incredible game against the Bucs and an incredible career. But this article is not about Daniel Jones. This article is about the best quarterback in New York Giants history, Eli Manning.

An All-Time Great

It is no question, Eli Manning is an all-time great quarterback who will one day be in the Hall of Fame. Manning led the Giants to two Super Bowl victories in his career. Only twelve quarterbacks in NFL history have one two or more Super Bowls and only five players in Super Bowl history have been named Super Bowl MVP more than once.

Eli Manning, the two-time Super Bowl MVP, has been in the NFL since 2004. He has been with the Giants for a record sixteen seasons. Over those sixteen seasons, Manning accumulated 362 passing touchdowns (8th best in NFL history),  and 56,537 passing yards (7th in NFL history).

Manning has been to 4 Pro Bowls and has an impressive 8-4 playoff record. And of course, two of the most impressive Super Bowl victories in NFL history, defeating the New England Patriots twice. One time to keep New England from achieving a perfect season.

Fans will never forget those Eli Manning moments. “Eli Manning’s Great Escape,” and David Tyree’s “Helmet Catch” will never be forgotten. Manning’s perfect pass down the left sideline to Manningham in Super Bowl XLVI will always be an all-time great play. Eli Manning has etched his name into NFL history. New York’s sports icon will never be forgotten as the ultimate New York Giant. One can only hope the Giants are able to find another quarterback that is half the man and player that Eli is (and hopefully Daniel Jones is that quarterback).

The Definition Of Class

For all of Eli’s heroics on the field, he has always paralleled them with incredible moments off the field. Whether it’s his class and respect with the press during every single interview and press conference, or his witty humor on SNL, Manning was always a man to admire in the public eye.

The NFL’s 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year has been a true role model his entire career. A career of some of Eli’s biggest career achievements can be found below:

Thank you, Eli Manning, for being an even bigger inspiration off the field than you are on the field.

The Iron Mann

Eli Manning has never missed a game due to injury. I am 18 years old. Eli has been a Giant for 16 years. My entire life, I have been watching Eli Manning start at quarterback for the New York Giants. He has been my hero since childhood and I have stuck with 10 through all the ups and downs.

Yes, I was there rooting on Eli and still believing in him when he led the NFL in interceptions with 27 in 2013. Countless mistakes that year didn’t matter, that’s still my quarterback. He was my quarterback when he was hosting the Lombardi trophy, so he was my quarterback when he was sinking with the team to a 3-13 record in 2017.

Ben McAdoo is maybe my least favorite person ever associated with the New York Giants because of what he did to Eli Manning. Manning was going for a record- his 210 consecutive starts lead the league and were behind only NFL legend, Brett Favre. If it weren’t for Ben McAdoo, Manning might have eventually caught up with Favre.

My Childhood Hero

When I lived in New York, I was a Giants fan because of Eli Manning. When I moved to Florida, I was still a Giants fan because of Eli Manning. Through all the changes over the years, Eli Manning has been the one constant. The Iron Mann has stood strong through all the hard hits on the field and in the media. He has been a true role model of how to hand adversity and how to remain calm under pressure.

I have countless memories watching Eli Manning. I even met Eli Manning when I was 10 years old at Steiner Sports on Long Island. I was shellshocked, meeting my hero. I couldn’t even speak, but I will never forget the moment I walked up to Eli and saw him in person.

Moving to Florida was sad for me for a few reasons (as you might expect), one is because I was going to be far away from the New York Giants. But since the move, my mom and I have made every effort we can to see the Giants when they play in Florida. I was lucky enough to see Eli Manning torch the Dolphins defense on Monday night. I was lucky enough to watch Eli rush for a 14-yard touchdown right into the end zone I was seated in against the Buccaneers.

No sports figure ever has or ever will mean more to me than Eli Manning. Sure, there have been some moments of tough love over the years, but Eli always has been and always will be my favorite athlete of all time. I think back to the 2012 NFC Conference Championship Game, the game I think defines Eli most.

Eli got absolutely pummeled in that game by the 49ers’ tenacious defensive line. Eli was sacked 6 times, the 49ers totaled 12 quarterback hits. But after every single hit, Eli got right back up. He did not get up for himself. At any point, Eli could’ve saved his body and gone to the sideline and everyone would have understood. Instead, Eli simply got right back up and got right back into the next play. Hit after hit, Manning got up and moved on for the team, for the fans, and for New York.

Once again, Eli Manning, my quarterback, I say thank you for all the memories. All of the special memories I made from your magical football moments I watched on TV and in person, I thank you for all of them. I thank you, also, for being a role model for me during my childhood and teenage years. You will probably never read this or know that I exist, but still, I thank you for helping me become who I am today through the example you set as a man off the field. The impact you have had on my life and many others can never be undermined or understated. You are the definition of a New York Giant. Thank you, Eli.