Does anybody STILL think of Eli Manning strictly as Peyton Manning's little brother?
If you do, it's really time for a reality check.
Eli Manning, the two-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player of the defending NFL champion New York Giants, deserves the spotlight to himself. Just look at what he accomplished last Sunday. He led the Giants to a remarkable fourth quarter comeback, passing for a near-team record of 510 passing yards in one game (only three yards shy of Phil Simms' 1985 record of 513 yards).
True, Eli is not conspicuous on television commercials like Peyton. You can hardly turn the channels without stumbling across one of Peyton's commercials. But if you watched Eli last season on "Saturday Night Live," you can see for yourself that he has great comic timing and is quite willing to poke fun at himself. It's an admirable trait for a sports superstar — or any of us.
Plus, Eli has to fight back against the crosstown (or cross-state, since the Giants and Jets both play their home games in New Jersey) rival New York Jets and their new attraction, quarterback Tim Tebow, the most overhyped athlete this side of basketball player Jeremy Lin.
Tebow possesses a fraction of Eli's ability, yet Tebow is the one who garners the media attention. It isn't quite fair to Manning and it doesn't make a lot of sense. But that's the way it goes.
Manning probably couldn't care less, anyway. He is a modest, self-effacing, team-oriented player, which is perfect for a sport where there are so many players and egos. All Eli cares about is winning games and championships, not amassing headlines.
He makes me proud to be a New York Giants fan.
Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for MarketWatch.com. Click here to read his latest column. He is also the author of "Forget About Today: Bob Dylan's Genius for (Re)invention, Shunning the Naysayers and Creating a Personal Revolution," which is now available. Read more reports from Jon Friedman — Click Here Now.
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