Written by: Glenn Warciski
November 28, 2017 = June 16th, 1994.
Like Phil Simms’ unexpected unceremonious departure in 1994, the Giants announced Eli Manning will no longer be their starting quarterback. Yesterday, a teary eyed and shocked Manning could not believe the Giants had dumped him for Geno Smith. History repeats itself, so let us compare what happened to Simms and Manning.
In 1994, Simms was cut and was replaced by Dave Brown and Kent Graham. In both cases, Giants’ quarterback legends were being replaced by unremarkable quarterbacks. This is how Giants owner Wellington Mara behaved:
Then in an amazing and highly emotional scene, the team’s owner, Wellington Mara, perhaps Simms’s biggest fan in the organization, read a prepared statement saying he disagreed with General Manager George Young about the decision and calling this “a day of overwhelming sadness.” In the end, though, he said he would support it. He then walked away from the podium without taking questions.
Twenty-three years later, perhaps the best quarterback in Giants history is out, and Giants owner John Mara is not around to take questions.
Yes indeed, this is a day of overwhelming sadness. After 210 consecutive starts, Eli Manning will not be under center when the Giants play the Raiders this Sunday. In a season that has spiraled out of control, the Giants are a dreadful 2-9, and now they have benched a player who has been a paragon for this organizaton since 2004. Manning led them to TWO Super Bowl victories and restored a sense of pride into an organization that was devoid of championships since 1990.
Speaking of championships, Giants’ owner John Mara called their win versus the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII, “the greatest win in franchise history.” Yet, this is how you choose to treat Eli Manning? If it were not for Manning’s outstanding play, the Giants would still have TWO Super Bowl trophies and not FOUR. Furthermore, an unflappable Manning NEVER threw any player or coach under the proverbial bus. He has been a warrior and a winner for an organization that desperately needed one. He provided so many indelible memories that Giants fans will cherish forever. Number 10 has been our quarterback, without question, the best and beloved in Giants lore. Farewell Eli! You will be missed.
Without Manning in charge of the offense, the Giants are sailing rudderless in dangerous waters. The team has hit a new low. No more Eli Manning as the Giants starting quarterback.
In 2009, I had the opportunity to work for a local ESPN radio affilate in South Lousiana, covering the Manning Passsing Academy. I had the honor to speak with Eli Manning. Let me tell you, he is a class act. He is very courteous and a consummate professional. I talked with him about the Giants upsetting loss to the Eagles in the 2008 divisional playoff. If you remember, wind was a factor in this game. Quite frankly, Eli did not play well in this game. Instead of placing blame on the wind or his teammates, he told me flat out, “I did not play well. This is the reason why we lost”.