Eli Manning has been the starting quarterback for the New York Giants for 14 years. He has played in 210 consecutive games and has had a great career, winning two Lombardi trophies and two Super Bowl MVP awards. Coach Ben McAdoo has decided to bench Eli this Sunday, essentially throwing him under the bus for a very disappointing season.
If the G-Men had a young future quarterback waiting in the wings I would not complain. The man who will replace Eli this Sunday in Oakland is Geno Smith. Give me a break! Did you know he is one of 13 quarterbacks who have started for the New York Jets since 2004? That’s the year Eli played his first game for the Giants.
Eli is a class act just like his whole family. Last year, I took my family to a Florida resort for a few days and I asked the employees what celebrities who vacation here are the most impressive. They all answered that the Manning family members were all fantastic people and have no egos whatsoever.
Eli brought his lunch pail to work every day for 14 years. He never complained about his offensive line or the lack of a star running back. Sure, sometimes he went down too easily and his interceptions could drive you crazy but he never ever quit on his beloved Giants. It’s too bad GM Jerry Reese and Coach Ben McAdoo quit on him, the greatest G-Men quarterback of all-time. He deserved much better.
Eric Bird is back as the varsity basketball coach at Camden High School. Did you know he grew up in my backyard? He was a very good basketball player for Stan Evans back in 1989-90. His sidekick on that team was point guard Steve Evans, who was one of the best.
From the mailbag: Rob Cronk will be traveling to the area with former South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia next month (Dec. 28-29) to give personalized training for high school quarterback athletes. Bobby Haney is a famous baseball coach from South Carolina and will do baseball workouts for perspective ball players also. Did you know Rob Cronk was the 2003 All-Mohawk Valley Player of the Year, pitching Smith Post to a championship? He went 7-0 in the regular season, 4-1 in the postseason, and hit .416. He was one of the best for Rome Free Academy.
DJ Carstensen has been officiating so many big-time college basketball games on TV this year. I am watching him ref the Duke-Indiana game tonight while I write this column. Did you know he became a grandfather a few months ago? His son Chad and wife Kaitlyn are the proud parents of a little girl named Carys Katherine. Both mom and dad were very good basketball players in high school for Rome Catholic High and RFA back in 2006 (Kate) and 2004 (Chad).
Pick of the Week: (NFL) Panthers 31, Saints 28. New Orleans won on the road in Charlotte so I think Carolina upsets them as payback in the Dome.
Pick of the Week: (College) Auburn 24, Georgia 14. Herbie Hand is coaching for the Tigers and his team just beat Alabama.
Geek of the Week: The front office of my Giants. They could have waited to draft a QB next year and let Eli go out in style.
Friends, like all good things in this life, can be had by any one who wants them. There is only one simple rule to follow; it is this: to have a friend, be one yourself.