Eli Manning announced his retirement from the NFL Wednesday after 16 seasons with the New York Giants.
We all know the 2004 draft day saga that ended with Eli Manning a New York Giant. 16 years later, Manning ends his career as one of the greatest Giants who ever lived and one of the faces of New York sports.
When thinking about New York sports many will think of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, Joe Namath, Mark Messier, Lawrence Taylor, Derek Jeter and of course Eli Manning. Why? Because like those other names, Manning embodies winning, toughness and being at his best when it mattered most.
Eli Manning’s career was far from perfect. Manning finishes his career with a .500 winning percentage and a 117-117 career record. He led the NFL in interceptions three times and had 244 in his career. However, that never defined Eli Manning it just fueled his detractors that he never paid much attention to anyway.
Manning often played on teams that had terrible defenses, poor offensive lines and running games that didn’t do much. He never complained he just played. Manning always answered the tough questions and took full responsibility for the team even when the team and the brass failed him.
Eli Manning put together a Hall of Fame career in the toughest market and the biggest stage. Manning is best known for his two Super Bowl MVPs. His pass to David Tyree known as the ‘Helmet Catch and the Escape’ will always be remembered as one of the biggest moments in football history. His pass in 2011 to Mario Manningham can be argued as the best pass in Super Bowl history.
His 2007 championship run with the Giants will go down as one of the most iconic in football history as well. The Giants defeated the Cowboys in Dallas, Brett Favre and the Packers in Green Bay and Tom Brady and the 18-0 Patriots.
In 2011 Manning had another historic run. This time it featured a blowout win over the Falcons, a blowout win over the 15-1 Aaron Rodgers led Packers in Green Bay, a win on the road against the 49ers and another Super Bowl win over the Bill Belichick and Tom Brady led Patriots. Manning had his most impressive game against the 49ers where he was brutalized by their defense but kept getting back up. He had 1219 yards, 9 touchdowns, 1 interception and 65% completion percentage in that 2011 playoffs run.
Manning finished his Giants career with an 8-4 playoff record. He made four Pro Bowls. He passed for 366 touchdowns, 57,023 yards good enough for top seven all-time in both categories. Manning never missed a game due to injury and played in over 200 consecutive games. Besides the numbers, Manning was everything you wanted in a leader. He was beloved by his teammates.
Manning won the Walter Peyton Man of the Year Award in 2016 for his great work off the field giving back to so many. Manning spent so much time off the field helping children with cancer and other diseases. His work with Tackle Kids Cancer and other great organizations is remarkable.
After 16 great years, it’s time for us to thank Eli Manning. We were lucky to have him in the city of New York. Every Sunday he answered the call. Giant fans will always wear number 10 jerseys proudly. We will always remember the great memories he gave us.
We will always remember the incredible person he is. Eli Manning is a New York Giants legend and a New York sports legend. In a few years, he will take his rightful place in the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton Ohio. From the bottom of our hearts on behalf of all New York Giant fans and football fans thank you, Eli, you did it with class, dignity, and toughness.
See you in the Hall of Fame.