Day: December 6, 2019

Giants Fans Hope Eli Manning’s Swan Song This Monday Night Isn’t a Disastrous Game for Immobile QB

by Scott Mandel

For those of you old enough to recall a former NFL great named Y.A. Tittle, you may remember the iconic photograph (shown above) of a bloodied and beaten Tittle at the end of his career as the quarterback of the New York Giants.

Then, there was the story of Joe Namath, the Super Bowl III championship quarterback of the New York Jets and cultural icon of the hippie-dippy 60s, whose quick release from the pocket, zipping the football 40 yards downfield on a straight line coupled with his football moxie and predictive powers (“We will beat the Colts in the Super Bowl”) changed the sport, forever.

You also probably remember Namath’s bad knees, particularly later in his career, that made him a veritable statue in the pocket who couldn’t avoid the rush of oncoming defensive linemen.

Namath, at age 34, was a washed up quarterback who gave it one last try with the Los Angeles Rams in 1977. It was a miserable and sad happenstance to observe. He had never been mobile enough to avoid being sacked with some regularity when his Jets’ offensive line broke down but, in 1977, the Rams were terrible and their offensive line, much worse than terrible.

Like watching Willie Mays playing centerfield for the New York Mets at age 42, Namath and his arthritically-wracked knees was an easy target for pass rushers. He would get sacked before he even got set in the pocket to throw a pass. Watching Mays and Namath, and Tittle in the twilight’s of their careers were among one young man’s saddest boyhood memories.

We are hoping Eli Manning, at age 37, can put on a better show than Namath did 42 years ago when he starts for the Giants this Monday against the Philadelphia Eagles in front of a huge national television audience that will be tuning in to see the two-time Super Bowl champion’s potentially final performance in the NFL.

Eli Manning walks off the field after the Giants’ loss to the Redskins on Thanksgiving. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Manning started first two games of this season. Since then, zero snaps.

How ironic is it that Manning, in his 16-year NFL career, started 210 consecutive regular-season games from Nov. 21, 2004 to Nov. 23, 2017, the second-longest streak by a quarterback in NFL history, until temporary Giants head coach, Ben McAdoo, replaced him for one start with the great Geno Smith. Yet, here we are, in season one of newly-crowned Giants quarterback, Daniel Jones getting injured with a high ankle sprain that may keep him sidelined for the remainder of his rookie campaign.

So Manning, holding a clipboard for the past 11 weeks, is back. No doubt, rusty and no doubt fearful this game could get very ugly for him and the Giants.

 

Image result for eli manning consecutive starts for Giants
What kind of performance will Manning have on Monday night?

The questions most fans are asking today are: Does Eli have anything left in the tank? Is he playing for a contract with the Giants or anther team for next season? Will he get sacked a dozen times as the Eagles rush punctures the porous Giants offensive line?

NFL fans, and Giants fans, in particular will be tuning in on Monday night to get their answers. The little guy, who saw Namath and Mays at the end of their careers, shedding a tear or two, hopes history does not repeat itself in the same way. But, there will be a box of tissues nearby, just in case.

Politics, Too:

New York Times Writes About the Democratic Party Not Having a Leading Minority Voice as the Primary Races Take Shape

by Scott Mandel

The New York Times, this morning, questioning how the Democratic party can present itself as a party of inclusion if they do not have any minority candidates running for the top office.

I don’t know, in this system we live under, or should I say, live within, voters choose. Unfortunately, polling also chooses and money follows the polling. Until money gets taken out of the electoral system, minority super pacs and very wealthy scions of industry and entertainment will need to give their billions to minority candidates of their choice to keep the Democratic Party from failing, in the Times’ eyes, from being an equal opportunity political party.

There is nothing egalitarian about politics in this country, right now. It is not about who has the clearest messaging or what color a candidate’s skin is. It IS about, especially this year, who the most electable person is, no matter gender or race..

And, while the New York Times is at it, I’d like to see a piece about the Republican party’s equal opportunity system for diversity among their national candidates.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) poses for photos after a roundtable with black male voters on Dec. 2 in South Carolina. (Meg Kinnard/AP)
Cory Booker hopes to capitalize on Kamala Harris; departure from the race for president

The other point, as the Times correctly points out, is that candidates like Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Julian Castro, and Tulsi Gabbard have not succeeded in garnering support from minority voters. That may be a more important piece of this equation to look at than Democratic party diversity issues.