Mike Francesa Says Eli Manning Did Everything With Grace And Dignity

Giants Quarterback To Retire Friday

Mike's On
January 22, 2020 - 7:07 pm

One of the greatest careers in the history of the New York Giants will come to a close Friday when Eli Manning announces his retirement. During his Wednesday evening show on WFAN, Mike Francesa discussed Manning’s 16-year career which included two Super Bowl MVP’s, but a lot of losing near the end.

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After the quarterback led the Giants to his second Super Bowl win, Francesa remembers telling Eli’s father Archie, “Eli is now golden forever.” But according to Francesa, it ended up not being true, “because the losing got to such an extreme that it actually wore the fan base out.”

“The fan base would have allowed him a year of losing or two years of losing, they were not expecting the prolific losing, the excruciating losing that came first to Tom [Coughlin> and then to Eli,” Francesa added.

Even with all of the losing, Francesa says Eli let criticism run off his back and handled everything with a coolness under pressure.

“Eli was at his best when things were most chaotic, when there was the most pressure, when there was so much to be won, so much to be gained and so much pressure on everyone out there,” Francesa said.

“Walking into Dallas and being down 14-3 in a playoff game. Going into San Francisco and playing a team that was nasty on defense, in one of the most punishing games I ever saw, he stood in there and led the team to victory. Or going into Green Bay on a frigid day, where they figured nobody plays against us in this weather...it happened time and time again” Francesa remembered.

“His teams not only beat the Pats twice, they came from behind in the fourth quarter both times to beat the favorite Patriots, once to beat the unbeatable team,” continued Francesa. Eli Manning's Giants defeated the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII and Super Bowl XLVI.

Giants quarterback Eli Manning passes the ball against the Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field Dec 9, 2019; Philadelphia, PA
Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

“Tom Coughlin and Eli Manning changed the face of the NFL and they changed the history of the NFL,” Francesa said. “Because the Pats, and Brady and Belichick were headed to a place that nobody could have ever touched them if they didn’t lose the two games to the Giants.”

Francesa notes there are only five players in the history of the NFL that won two or more Super Bowl MVPs and one of them is Eli.

“Aaron Rodgers, for all his greatness, he’s one won Super Bowl, Drew Brees has a truck load of records he can plow into Canton, he’s won one Super Bowl. Brett Favre, won one Super Bowl…Dan Marino never won any, neither did Dan Fouts and we could down the list of all the guys who didn’t.”

Francesa acknowledges it wasn’t pretty in New York with the Giants the last few years as the team did a lot of losing and Eli lost his job, but he still did everything with grace, dignity and a team first approach

“Look around at all the teams that don’t win championships around here and then realize how special those two are in 16 years,” said Francesa of Manning’s career.