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

You create sense out of the foremost complex topics.
payday loans stores in st paul mn

This is very significant, and yet necessary towards just click this unique backlink: Wrap Him Around Your Finger

Your contents are too straightforward to browse and easy to understand.
car and home insurance bundle

I have read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity.. Michael E. Kraut

I truly enjoyed reading your post. we will bookmark your blog for future reference. I want to encourage one to continue your Great post..www.55printing.com

Thanks for posting this info. I just want to let you know that I just check out your site and I find it very interesting and informative. I can't wait to read lots of your posts...Hobby bouwtekening

I actually appeared to be available a task to undertake your for your special crafting enterprise plus Photograph averting them. Maybe at this moment, together with the mindset you actually gifted people,Constant Profits Club

Enormous blog you individuals have made there, I entirely appreciate the work.
payday advancecom

This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post. 55 prints

There are so many places and ways to yell or praise, and the perverting effects of being able to do so anonymously, and so in full embrace of the most ridiculous asshattery.
ivc filter injury lawyer

Just wanted to tell you that you have people like me who appreciate your work. Definitely a great post. The information you provide is really very good.. postcard printing

I really enjoy simply reading all of your weblogs. Just wanted to tell you that you have people like me who appreciate your work. Definitely a great post. The information you provide is really very good..
ipro academy

It will be awesome to see her in statue form like the Poison Ivy I did with them previously. xarelto lawyer

In this case you will begin it is important, it again produces a web site a strong significant internet site: Children Learning Reading

Amazing, this is great as you want to learn more, I invite to This is my page. what are some obsession phrases

Your articles are very well written and unique. whole life insurance quotes

Good post. I was searching for such type of issues for a long time, now I have got it. Thanks John Cresani Super Affiliate System

I appreciate you and hopping for some more informative posts. taxi for delhi jaipur

Your blog provided us with valuable information to work with.Each & every tips of your post are awesome. cheap club flyers printed

You have really selected the suitable topic; this is one of my favorite blogs. http://www.hangarg.com/

I truly enjoyed reading your post. we will bookmark your blog for future refernece. I want to encourage one to continue your Great post... metallic business card

It’s my first time to visit this site & I’m really surprised to see such impressive stuff out there. San Francisco CA Roofers

Hmm!! This blog is really cool, I’m so lucky that I have reached here and got this awesome information. sam bakker

It's not my very first time to visit this blog; I’m visiting this daily and acquire superb info from here day by day. Summit Print - summitprint.ca

Your articles and contents are encouraging. Where To Stay In Barcelona

Really nice and interesting post. I was looking for this kind of information and enjoyed reading this one. www.relationshipeguide.com

The instruction helps you to have certainty in life. You can arrange your life successfully when you have instruction as it will help to examine issues of life and have the capacity to turn out with answers for those issues that you may confront. build links

Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which I need, thanks to offer such a helpful information here. High PR Blog comments

I agree. You have made the nice blogs with the great info in the contents. astrology answers

The dough should be quite elastic and have a somewhat strange color (due to the cantaloupe). Cover the bowl and place in fridge neurologists in nj

Your articles and contents are encouraging. Medical Advice

Hmm!! This blog is really cool, I’m so lucky that I have reached here and got this awesome information.
cash advance with savings account

I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. http://writemypapercheap.net/

It’s amazing in support of me to truly have a web site that is valuable meant for my knowledge. los angeles emergency plumber

Road transport is an essential element of the Australian transport network, and an enabler of the Australian economy. camtecelectrical.com.au

I Never ever found such edifying blogs. life insuarnce term

Each time I used to always check blog posts within the first hours in the break of day, because I like to get information increasingly more. virginia online payday loans

I exploit solely premium quality products -- you will observe these individuals on: Manifestation Miracle

This text may be value everyone’s attention. How will I learn more? m9d

I Never ever found such edifying blogs. My millionaire mentor

waardoor u genoodzaakt bent scherper te kijken naar uw activiteiten en de bijbehorende kostprijs. Vanuit de focus op kostprijs is de discussie over arbeid en salaris onvermijdelijk....real hcg

I was getting bore since morning but as soon as I got this link & reached at this blog, I turned into fresh and also joyful too.

get a loan now

Your blog is extremely brilliant especially the quality content is really appreciable.
payday loans no checking account

Yet, even if you have held a house for Three decades and paid off your unique mortgage loan, you'll likely need a significant budget to keep that house livable in the future... Michael E. Kraut

I thought haven’t read such distinctive material anywhere else on-line. video enigma review

Your style is so unique compared to other people I have read stuff from. Thank you for posting when you have the opportunity..
continued

I really appreciate this wonderful post that you have provided for us. I assure this would be beneficial for most of the people.The Penguin method

I would like to say that this blog really convinced me to do it! Thanks, very good post. ipad repair

Nice post. Very helpful and full of information. This is very good. I appreciate this very much!that not how men work

Thank you for sharing this great data...I am really so happy to see this post. Nice article!!
car insurance