Eli Manning

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

5 December 2017

The benching of Eli Manning embarrasses the franchise

The attitudes of some professional athletes cream my corn. But that isn’t the case when it comes to New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning. To me, he is the consummate professional.

He’s been playing in more than 200 straight games without complaint. Never throws anyone under the bus. And quietly goes about his business in the biggest and most scrutinized market in the NFL.

So all hell breaks loose when the Giants coaching staff benches the two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback in favor of the pedestrian, Geno Smith.

The result of that move? Smith plays a so-so game in a loss to the Raiders. Head coach Ben McAdoo and GM Jerry Reese are fired. And a shakeup the franchise has never seen is coming up.

“What a colossal misreading of the New York Giants brand, losing season or not.”

Tom Coughlin, the coach who won those two Super Bowls with Eli Manning, said it best.

“Surprised is not the word… My sentiments are totally with Eli Manning. I love the kid. He is a class act. Eli is a two-time Super Bowl champ. He is the finest, humblest young man in that locker room. I haven’t followed the Giants. I know it’s a disappointing year but my thoughts are strictly with Eli. I’m very upset about when I heard that.”

The Giants without Eli ManningEli Manning

The Giants season dovetails when star reciver Odell Beckham Jr. injuries his ankle and finishes him for the season. Not to mention a weak offensive line and maybe the worst running back group in the league. The season became an ugly one, then became uglier.

And none of it was Eli’s fault.

Now, with a record of 2-9 going into the Oakland game, I guess I could understand wanting to try out Davis Webb, the quarterback the Giants drafted in the third round last spring, to see what they got. But Geno Smith? He’s thrown 866 passes with 28 touchdowns and a whopping 36 interceptions. We’ve seen enough outta him. What’s the point of benching Eli Manning then?

Pulling Eli, who at the time held the longest starting streak in the NFL, was unforgiveable and disrespectful. The New York Giants are Eli Manning. He represents the team’s brand. Eli is a tough-nosed QB who bounces back when the chips are down. He is a fighter who could take down a goliath (ie., the New England Patriots in two Super Bowls). What now? Reports say Eli Manning will be the starter this week against the Cowboys. Owner John Mara understands that the branding of the New York Giants is firmly planted with Eli. Teams do move on from their long-time star quarterbacks. The Niners did it with Joe Montana. So did the Packers with Brett Favre and the Colts with Eli’s brother, Peyton.

But not at midseason. What a colossal misreading of the New York Giants brand, losing season or not.

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