Sweet 16: Eli Manning Retires

Just because Marshawn Lynch announced his first retirement in 2016 by tweeting a picture of his cleats hanging from a telephone wire, that doesn’t mean all NFLers announce their retirements that way. Last week, Eli Manning announced his retirement after 16 years with the New York Giants via press conference, you know, the normal way to say that you’re taking your ball and going home.

I started following the Giants in 2007 because I needed something to watch in the baseball off-season, and I hate the New England Patriots. (And still do.) The only Giants quarterback I’ve known is Eli, so it’s bittersweet to see him retire.

I lucked out and saw the Giants go to the Super Bowl that season as they beat the undefeated Pats. Plus the David Tyree helmet catch? C’mon. Four seasons later, I saw the Giants go to another Super Bowl, again, against the Pats, and the Giants won that, too. That was the game where after it ended, my mom and I were jumping up and down in the living room, and I immediately ordered my Super Bowl shirt. Manning was named MVP in both of those games.

It’s been pretty downhill since 2012, and it’s been kinda painful to be a Giants fan. (Here’s a fun post I wrote back in 2017 about it.) But I’m not going to jump ship anytime soon. I’m sad that the Manning era is over, but I’m excited to see what’s next with Daniel Jones as QB1.

I know Manning has had his struggles—just look at his win-loss record between 2005-2012 and 2013-2019—but he played with the team for 16 years. I don’t think the Giants were expecting that when they traded for him in the 2004 NFL Draft from the San Diego Los Angeles Chargers. He’s a true franchise quarterback, and, as Giants fans, we have a lot to thank him for.

I watched most of his press conference on Friday and may or may not have teared up at my desk. According to John Mara (president, CEO, and co-owner of the Giants), no Giant will ever wear number 10 again 😭

One quote that stood out to me the most from Manning: “And to the Giants fan, you are definitely unique…but I love you for that.” We are definitely unique haha.

According to an anonymous source, far away from the situation, Eli Manning’s given name is Elisha Nelson Manning IV. Upon further review, a.k.a. looking on Wikipedia, Archie’s real name is Elisha Archibald Manning III. Sooo, yeah.

Some stats:

  • Played his entire career (16 seasons) with the Giants
  • 2× Super Bowl champion (XLII, XLVI)
  • 2× Super Bowl MVP (XLII, XLVI)
  • 4× Pro Bowl (2008, 2011, 2012, 2015)
  • Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year (2016)
  • Bart Starr Award (2020)
  • 210 consecutive starts as a quarterback*
  • Never missed a game due to injury
  • Plus a whole bunch of Giants franchise records

*Until he was benched so that creepy Ben McAdoo could start Geno Smith on December 3, 2017. McAdoo was fired the next day after the Giants lost 24–17 to the Oakland Raiders. Manning started the next 22 games, giving him 232 starts in 233 games.

So I guess the next question is: Is Eli Manning a hall of famer?

And my current answer is I’m not sure. I do a lot more yelling about the Baseball Hall of Fame because I’m better with baseball numbers than football numbers. As time gets closer for Manning to be on the ballot for Canton (he has to be retired for 5 years, so we’re looking at 2025), I might have a better answer. But for now, I’m just going to sit here and watch a ton of video montages of Manning and wear my Giants onesie.

Any thoughts on Eli Manning’s retirement?

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