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It's Thursday, so I'll remind participants in our football pools to get their picks in, and use that as an excuse for a lengthy sports rant (apologies in advance). As a lifelong fan of the New York Giants, I've had many occasions to be proud of the organization and how they handle things. This is not to say they've been perfect, but they have generally been a classy outfit, which is often referred to as the "Giant Way." But some are saying The ‘Giant Way’ is a thing of the past, thanks to co-owner John Mara. This comes to a head based on the news that they are benching QB Eli Manning, which has me beyond upset. Like the organization, Eli hasn't always been perfect, but he has been a credit to the team since he arrived, and his two Super Bowl MVP awards speak for themselves (in case they don't, only four other players have been SB MVP more than once). He's also the reigning NFL iron man whose streak of consecutive starts is 10th in NFL history, and second only to Brett Favre among quarterbacks. He's been classy, clutch, and clean for his entire career, and taking him out to take a look at the other QBs on the roster incorrectly implies their bad season (the team is currently 2-9) is somehow on him (the blame for that is on a disappointing defense and one of the league's worst offensive lines, which is largely unchanged from last season). And if the plan is to move on from Eli next season, when he will be 37 years old (which is real-life young but makes him a football geriatric), he deserves to go out on the field, not on the bench.
The team wants to evaluate its future QB options, and as further demonstration of his classiness, Eli was given the opportunity to start and keep the streak alive before giving way to the backups, but he declined, since that is cheesy. Here are my predictions on what's to learn with this experiment: Davis Webb will turn out to be the second coming of Ryan Nassib, and Geno Smith is going to turn out to be the second coming of Geno Smith (I'm hoping I'm wrong, and will gladly apologize if I am). The organization is not one to fire front-office staff midseason, but if they are departing from the Giant Way I'd much rather they just cut bait on GM Jerry Reese and Coach Ben McAdoo over their obvious failures and leave Eli in place for the rest of the year, especially when there are indications both the GM (who has failed with most of his draft picks) and the coach (an offensive "genius" who has failed to put 30 points on the board even once as head coach) will be justifiably fired after the season anyway. Instead they are making this move under the delusion that their next franchise QB is on the roster, and the implication that somehow Eli is to blame for the horrible season the team and its fans have suffered. Okay, I'm done venting. I'm sure this was not of much interest to most of you, though there was a single comment in the forums expecting some response from me (popular demand?), so I thank you for your indulgence. If you do want more ranting on the topic, I can hand you off to radio host Mike Francesa, pro quarterback Philip Rivers, and John Mara's own niece, Kate Mara.
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