Eli Has Left the Building

After sixteen seasons as a New York Giant, Eli Manning is retiring. At a press conference on early Friday afternoon, Manning officially announced that he will not be returning to football next season. Manning played his entire career in New York despite being drafted originally drafted by the then San Diego Chargers. He finished his career with a perfect .500 record in all of his regular season games. Manning also managed to win two Super Bowls for the Giants, both against the New England Patriots.

As a Patriots fan, it’s hard not to have a few issues with Eli Manning. It’s difficult to look back at both of his Super Bowl wins and not be at least a little bitter about them. Especially the 18-1 season. However, the man is so likable. He, along with his brother, has been one of the most personable NFL players in the last few decades. From commercials to Saturday Night Live appearances, Eli Manning has been as entertaining off the field as he has been on it.

Honestly, Eli had a bit of a rocky start to his career. The Chargers drafted him first over all in the 2004 draft but he wasn’t happy about it. Manning went so far as to even suggest that he would rather go to law school than play for the Chargers. Luckily for the Chargers, the Giants had picked Phillip Rivers a few picks later so they swapped QBs. After sixteen years, it’s fair to say that the Giants won out on this trade. While both Manning and Rivers have been playing for their respective teams ever since, the Giants have two Super Bowls with Manning and the Chargers have none with Rivers. Rivers also has only ever won one game against Tom Brady and none happened in the playoffs. Clearly, Manning was the better choice for the two Super Bowls they ended up in.

As sad as it is to see Eli Manning go, it was time. After a year being a back up to Giant’s QB of the future, Daniel Jones, it was clear Manning was unhappy. There was a small possibility that he could have gone to another team during this off season but it was an even smaller possibility that he would have been a starter. This way, he could end his career on his own terms and prevent himself from possibility ending up with a career losing record.

Still, a NFL with out a Manning is going to be weird. I’m going to miss some of the more epic Brady-Manning show downs and Manning face. It’s been a big part of me becoming a football fan. Thank you Eli Manning for making the league entertaining, even if a lot of it has resulted in my heartbreak.

 

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~Mary Evers (@For_Evers_Yong)

 

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