Eli Manning's Burden

Kid Brother Takes a Load Off
Share |

Elisha Nelson Manning (whose name wouldn’t stick out on a list of Confederate generals) is a walking, mumbling Southern hegemone. Eli, his dad (legally Elisha Archibald Manning III), and the whole clan are quietly a lot more Mississippi than people realize, though much more Haley Barbour Mississippi than Brett Favre Mississippi. Archie hails from Drew, MS, a tiny, Black Belt hometown he shares with photographer William Eggleston (whose art was used on the cover of Big Star’s Radio City—infinity Southern-cred points). On the distaff side, clan mother Olivia Manning is from Philadelphia, MS—yes, that Philadephia, MS.

And for as long as Elisha Nelson Manning has been a starting quarterback in the NFL, it has been a source of comfort and grace to me that he’s not very good at being a starting quarterback in the NFL. This isn’t because I have any particular beef with Eli Manning as a vessel for football talent or even his general project of looking like an mutant fifteen-year-old. I find his shy-unto-sullen frat-dude thing vaguely endearing, for reasons I don’t understand. When Eli got a ring in 2007, that was mostly hilarious, because I’m not a Patriots fan, and because the Helmet Catch was first-rate sports melodrama.

But it wasn’t first-rate football, or even first-rate quarterbacking. In fact, the game by rights should have been over two plays earlier, when Manning lobbed a pass to Asante Samuel, who was so surprised by the shittiness of the throw that he forget to intercept it. Eli bounced right off that guardrail, and managed to just barely avoid getting sacked by two different dudes before valiantly overthrowing David Tyree.

But the thing about flags is that they do not stop flying. Eli’s Super Bowl win/MVP will last forever, and so will his quintessence of awkward little brother. Now that he’s reprising the role of Tom Brady’s foil, Eli Manning’s distinct Shia LeBoeuf vibe is stronger than ever. Yes, the Giants won Super Bowl XLII, Yes, the Transformers franchise has earned $2.6 billion dollars worldwide. Yes, I see little kids in New York City wearing Eli Manning jerseys—but that’s only because the Giants only have one starting QB. And also because of Mark Sanchez.

Basic metrics seem to bear out a gentle upward arc in Eli’s on-field performance as he marched toward and past age 30. Davy Crockett kilt him a bar when he was only 3, but people grew up faster back then. Let’s all give Eli Manning a pat on the head (using a stepladder, because he’s somehow 6’4”) for finding the keys before age 45. But because he's still, on a molecular level, Eli Manning, the Giants still lost to the Redskins twice this year. He still threw 25 picks in 2010 (granted, a number of those weren’t his fault). Even as a consensus #1 pick, eight-year veteran, and Super Bowl MVP, Eli Manning was and is eternally unfinished.

Except Eli Manning is actually a great QB now.

Well, that’s not strictly speaking accurate or true. He’s not Brady or pre-angry-years Peyton Manning great. But anyone who saw a mud-spattered Eli get engulfed by an angry swarm of 49ers defenders while completing a 30-yard-pass to Ahmad Bradshaw in the NFC title game—or rather, saw him pop up, unfaded, shake his spinal column back into alignment, and keep going—saw Eli Manning in the the act of grown-man shit. He took the burden of history, carefully placed it in the garbage, and lit the garbage on fire. I'm not positive he won't later fall into that flaming trash can, but for the next five days at least, he's free.

It seems paradoxical to say that a guy with a ring and an MVP trophy has anything like a history to be burdened by, but that’s Eli Manning for you. Even post-XLII he seemed to play under duress, to be still pushing to validate himself as a sufficiently noble heir to a great Southern football patrimony. It’s tempting to wring meaning from Eli’s Giants and their periodic tendency for unlikely Super Bowl appearances, to posit that Eli is about to trip over the threshold of greatness. But I'm not sure Eli Manning will ever be a great QB in the traditional sense, even if he shreds the Patriots’ balsa-wood defense this Sunday. But he has mastered an important concept in the American cultural lexicon, the same play that Southern dudes have been turning over, from Bob Dylan (Southern end of the Mesabi Range) to Newt Gingrich: Don’t look back.


Share |

Comments

In the event that you set out to make me think today; mission achieved! I truly like your written work style and how you express your thoughts game developer

If you're looking at doing some redesigning projects at home to cause it to more vigor efficient, there's really no better time frame than at this moment. maapalloistuminen

I found this is an informative and interesting post so i think so it is very useful and knowledgeable. I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article drain cleaning

An excellent post. The post affects a lot of urgent issues in our minds. We can not be indifferent to these problems. Your article gives the light in which we are able to watch our real life. Keep it up.blue ranger

Great post i must say and thanks for the information. Education is definitely a sticky subject. However, is still among the leading topics of our time florida seo

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work power rangers

This is an awesome post. Just one of the very best post I've ever seen. What a really good and awesome post. Keep up your work on articles!. life coach atlanta

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. life coach atlanta

It should be noted that whilst ordering papers for sale at paper writing service, you can get unkind attitude. In case you feel that the bureau is trying to cheat you, don't buy term paper from it austin mobile dog groomer

It will be fun and quite easy to sing along to your favorite song. In fact, you can record yourself singing or Simple past dancing in a video. personal injury attorneys canton ga

You have a real ability for writing unique content. I like how you think and the way you represent your views in this article. find this

I would like to thank you for the Efforts You have made ​​in writing this article. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. personal injury attorneys kennesaw ga

Well thanks for posting such an outstanding idea. I like this blog & I like the topic and thinking of making it right tactical flashlights

Great post i must say and thanks for the information. Education is definitely a sticky subject. However, is still among the leading topics of our time. bunches promotional code

. The stick figure drawn by the animator will be using everything he can find - the brush tool, the eraser tool - to get back at his tormentor. It's re
professional web developer

It should be noted that whilst ordering papers for sale at paper writing service, you can get unkind attitude. In case you feel that the bureau is trying to cheat you, don't buy term paper from it inventif

I see these days don't really provide anything that I'm interested in, but I'm most definitely interested in this one. pokecoins hack

I want you to thank for your time of this wonderful read!!! I definitely enjoy every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff of your blog a must read blog iPad Online Casino

A lot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that I'm interested in, but I'm most definitely interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you know Kuntokärpäset

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this interesting and knowledgeable article casinobonukset

I have always found your work interesting and you\\\'ve made it more interesting with this article submission.talletusbonus

Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration Shakkikerho

There’s clearly much work still ahead to effectively support female coaches and achieve equality, but the research, and the entire day’s discussions, provided a great platform to achieve those goals
OctopusTravel

Great amount for sharing this incredible blog.Very motivating and accommodating too.Hope you keep on sharing a greater amount of your ideas.I will love to perusesouth african wine

I read a ton of stuff and i found that the method for composing to clearing that precisely need to say was great so i am awed and i like to come back again in future Steenberg vineyards

I was checking constantly this blog and impressed! Extremely useful info specially the last part I care for such information a lot.
astro web marketing

I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this interesting and knowledgeable article kirjatapahtuma

I enjoy a person's posting. Its fine to check out you actually explain in words with the soul plus resolution during this vital matter is often without difficulty viewed. specifics perspective web-site.starlight finder

Great post.Thanks for the wonderful share.Very Nice article.Keep updating more interesting blogs like this. pregnancy miracle method

I enjoyed over read your blog post. Your blog have nice information, I got good ideas from this amazing blog. I am always searching like this type blog post. I hope I will see again Sharp Cutlery Stainless Steel Knife

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents.
get best seo audit

I have come across and believe me I have been searching out for this similar kind of post for past a week and hardly came across this. How to Use Coconut Oil for Acne

I have always found your work interesting and you've made it more interesting with this article submission. I seriously believe you are one of the best writers out there and if you keep this up, you'll be the best of them all
hengsten

Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration freelance graphic designer

I expected work no less than this from you and you've not disappointed me. This is great work from your side, my friend. I just hope that you can continue this in the future as well hawaii marvin

Your article has provoked a considerable measure of positive hobby. I can see why since you have made such a decent showing of making it fascinating casino Amsterdam

A lot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that I'm interested in, but I'm most definitely interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you know werken in de horeca

I just like the valuable info you provide for your articles.I’ll bookmark your weblog and take a look at once more right here regularly. I am reasonably certain I’ll learn a lot of new stuff proper hereresearch paper writing help

Very interesting blog. A lot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that I'm interested in, but I'm most definitely interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you knowcoursework writing help

I want you to thank for your time of this wonderful read!!! I definately enjoy every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff of your blog a must read blog.sparklers at your wedding reception

There’s clearly much work still ahead to effectively support female coaches and achieve equality, but the research, and the entire day’s discussions, provided a great platform to achieve those goals
Theologische universiteit

I definitely enjoying every little bit of it. It is a great website and nice share. I want to thank you. Good job! You guys do a great blog, and have some great contents. Keep up the good work sparklers for weddings

I read a considerable measure of stuff and i found that the method for composing to clearing that precisely need to say was great so i am inspired and i like to come back again in future bloom and wild flowers

The information you actually give on this site includes made it simpler for people considerably... kissayhdistys

This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles web designer Pablo

All the contents you mentioned in post is too good and can be very useful. I will keep it in mind, thanks for sharing the information keep updating, looking forward for more posts. paysafecard forex

having all the leisure here! Keep up the good work. I have been meaning to write something like this on my website and you have given me an idea kouluratsastus

I have come across and believe me I have been searching out for this similar kind of post for past a week and hardly came across this. Towel Warmer Reviews

This post is truly inspiring. I like your post and everything you share with us is current and very informative, I want to bookmark the page so I can return here from you that you have done a fantastic job
voyance immediate

I just like the valuable info you provide for your articles.I’ll bookmark your weblog and take a look at once more right here regularly. I am reasonably certain I’ll learn a lot of new stuff proper here Best Shoes for Standing All Day