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Elisha Manning allready under fire from NY press
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Old 27 Apr 2004, 07:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Elisha Manning allready under fire from NY press

Mannings tarnish NFL for a day

By Aaron Moore
Special to YES Network Online
April 26, 2004

The NFL always seems to do it right.

No professional sports league has the ability to capture attention the way the NFL does. Due in large part to masterful marketing plans and a sound economic platform, last weekend's draft allowed the NFL to jump to the top of the sports pages at a time when the Major League Baseball season is taking off, the NBA is in playoff mode, and the NHL is in the midst of one of its most dramatic postseasons in recent years.
The NFL Draft began with a tribute to fallen American hero Pat Tillman.

The reason the NFL has been so successful is because no league is more image conscious and has a better sense of timing than the one under Paul Tagliabue's watch.

However, the surreal and odd set of events that took place during the opening moments on Saturday was disturbing.

The Commissioner started the draft with a reflection on the life of Pat Tillman and then led a moment of silence for someone who could truly be called an American hero.

After the moment of silence ended, the Eli Manning saga unfolded and brought the ugly side of professional athletes back to the forefront. The juxtaposition of celebrating a genuine hero only to be followed by the selfishness of a spoiled prodigy made the NFL look worse than it has in a long time.

Minutes after people were wiping away tears of sadness, Manning took the stage and almost shed a tear of his own. His sorrow was much different. It was based on the fact that he didn't get what he wanted.

Even though the league's vaunted image took a hit, it does not compare to the classless actions Manning and his father Archie displayed. The Mannings' grandstanding took place on a day when only one person, Tillman, should hold the distinction of being larger than the NFL.

Eli and Archie told anybody who would listen that a player of this caliber should not have to play home games in San Diego, even though the Chargers had the first pick in the draft. Archie didn't believe his son should follow the customary process of first getting drafted by a team and then earning the right to choose an employer through free agency. So he and Eli's agent Tom Condon decided to take the low road of portraying the Mississippi quarterback as bigger than the league.

Eli tried to spin the media by saying the decision was all his. Yet, with his father constantly at his side, nobody was buying his story. The problem was that he had trouble using a consistent reference point. Interchangeably, he said "I" or "we" or "us" don't want to play for the Chargers. This shuffling of pronouns made it hard to believe the position that San Diego was the worst possible destination was Eli's alone.

As Archie pulled the puppet strings on his awestruck son, he transformed himself from an NFL legend into a stage parent rivaling John and Patsy Ramsey. His manipulation makes Carl and Bonnie Lindros seem like disinterested parents.

To make the way they handled the situation even worse, neither Eli nor Archie gave any specific reasons as to why they harbor so much disdain for the Chargers. If the Mannings are going to blast an organization, the least they could do is answer a question, not play a foolish game of dodgeball.

There is no doubt that the Chargers are a faltering franchise. There have been few wise personnel decisions in the last 20 years,*as the team has*only four winning seasons to show for it.

Head coach Marty Schottenheimer and general manager A.J. Smith are precariously standing on a short plank that ownership will push them off next year if the team is not more competitive than last season's squad which stumbled to a 4-12 mark.

These organizational problems and the lack of progress in a new stadium deal are concerns that any draftee would have to address, but no player is above the game to bypass the machinations of the NFL draft.

Be careful what you wish for Manning family, because it just might come true.

Eli Manning's wounds are self-inflicted. He is now facing unreasonable expectations after being portrayed by the national and local media, along with Giants fans, as someone who can immediately turn a team that lost eight straight games at the end of last season into a contender in the NFL's best division.

Unlike the other players drafted over the weekend, the Mannings' histrionics have eliminated any honeymoon period for Eli. A father forcing this level of pressure upon his child is the type of material HBO makes real-life documentaries about, or Cameron Crowe uses as a subplot to an Academy-Award caliber film.

As the Giants' quarterback, Manning will play behind a porous offensive line that allowed more sacks last year than the Chargers did. His health and safety will be in the hands of Luke Petitgout, a tackle who can best be described as average.

Since the Giants have effectively turned their backs on Kerry Collins and dealt so much to land Manning, the rookie will have to be the opening day starter. He must learn on the job as the likes of Jevon Kearse and La'Roi Glover chase him on a weekly basis. Even the established quarterbacks in the NFC East -- Donovan McNabb, Mark Brunell and Quincy Carter -- will have a hard time with such a high level of competition. Now Manning, with a target planted firmly on his back, will have to outdo these veterans to make the Giants a divisional contender.

Manning is extremely talented, but to lead a team to such a big turnaround in just one season is too much to ask for a rookie quarterback. Look at his older brother, Peyton; he came in and played immediately for Indianapolis in 1998, and most Colts fans didn't notice the rookie's 28 interceptions because they were more concerned with Bobby Knight's recruiting class.

Don't bet on that happening in New York. If he made a mistake in San Diego, only the fans not eating fish tacos and sushi would notice. At the Meadowlands, any Manning miscues will lead to a torrential downpour of boos and unmentionable comments.
Eli Manning must make an immediate impression on his new bosses as well as Giant fans.

Not that Manning needs any more pressure, but the long-term success of New York general manager Ernie Accorsi's draft-day deal depends on how well the rookie quarterback performs this upcoming season. If the Giants have a season similar to last year, their draft pick will be another top 10 selection. However, that pick goes to the Chargers and leads to an offseason of second-guessing and contempt directed at Manning and Accorsi.

Eli needs only to look back to 1979 for glimpse of what might be. That season the Giants also drafted a quarterback in the first round in hopes of turning their franchise back into a winner. Phil Simms came to New York that year and struggled mightily as a rookie.

Fans booed him mercilessly and others mocked the Giants by burning their season tickets in the parking lot before the games. Simms was just a player from Morehead State, not someone who immediately came in and challenged the NFL system.

Simms wound up being the franchise's scapegoat for years until the Giants finally became a playoff team.

However, Manning will not have the same time to fail which was previously awarded to Simms. The NFL is much different now than it was 25 years ago. With free agency and the player movement the way it is, building a Parcells-like consistent winner is almost unheard of this side south of Foxboro, Mass.

If Eli's career doesn't reach the exceptionally high ceiling he, his father and his agent created, then this newest Giant will reflect on draft day and realize that posing for pictures while holding a San Diego Chargers jersey wasn't so bad after all


LMAO, Stick, Rebel, McNabb, all you other dallas fans, I hope your boys have a field day putting Sheli on the ground.

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Old 27 Apr 2004, 08:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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^^^ We open the season against Eli......
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Old 27 Apr 2004, 08:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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That's a pretty good article. I'm gonna laugh so hard when Eli gets booed. He's a fuckin snot nosed punk. I can't wait to see him creamed by some linebacker or D-Line player.

Oh yeah, Feline "Pussy" Manning was Letterman trying to be a comedian last night.

Letterman: So what was the deal with you not wanting to play for the Chargers? Were there other teams you didn't want to play for?

Elisha: No they were the only one *chuckle*

Letterman and crowd: *laughing*

Hoo boy, if you get injured there pussy boy, you sure have a career of being a comedian waiting in the wings

I hope he gets demolished
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