Eli Manning: overrated QB, or the most overrated QB?
I have extra bias against Eli Manning. Not only am I a Redskins fan, but I live in San Diego, and people in San Diego HATE Eli Manning. This is significant because people in San Diego don't really hate anything, except for when the temperature drops below 65 (the last two weeks have been brutal - I've needed a jacket). If you wear the opponent's jersey at Chargers games, you don't get beer dumped on you like you would in New Jersey, or thrown up on like you would in Philly, or stabbed with a sharpened toothbrush like you would in Oakland. San Diegans will engage you in polite conversation and then recommend the fish tacos (which are awesome, by the way). This zen-like ambivalence went right out the window when Eli and the Giants came to town in 2005. It was like LeBron returning to Cleveland last night - boos, taunts, signs, effigies. It's hard not to get caught up in that sort of fun.
Now, I am not saying that Eli Manning is a terrible quarterback - he obviously isn't. If he was no good, he wouldn't have the opportunity to be overrated. Eli plays for NEW YORK (ok, really New Jersey) and is a part of the Manning family, so he gets endorsement deals and always seems to be on my TV. Philip Rivers, the guy the Chargers picked instead of Manning, puts up better numbers but he's not nearly as well known. I don't even see him in cheesy local ads. Of course, Rivers doesn't have a Super Bowl ring, but that's mostly because he's saddled with Norv Turner as a coach. If Johnny Unitas was coached by Norv Turner, he would have started every year 2-5 as well.
That 2007 ring that Eli has drives me nuts as well. I will go to my death bed convinced that the 2007 Redskins were a better team than the 2007 Giants (this may create an odd scene there at the very end). The Redskins finished one game behind the Giants, had similar offensive and defensive rankings and beat the Giants handily at the end of the season (not to mention the fact that one of the Redskins' best players died). But because of that extra win, the Giants got a more favorable playoff draw and managed to stumble their way to the Super Bowl, where they played a game as though they were personally touched by the hand of God. This biggest downside is that any argument you make about Eli Manning being overrated is countered by "but he won a Super Bowl." Dah.
So, on Sunday, I will watch Eli Manning and listen to the announcers talk about his "poise" and about his football pedigree. Then, for equal time, I will spend three hours browsing ManningFace.com. I have a feeling I'll enjoy the second part a lot more.
| December 3, 2010; 2:47 PM ET
Categories: Jason Woodmansee, Redskins | Tags: Jason Woodmansee, Redskins
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