The Wickersham Man on Eli Manning, Man

As our own ChampagneFellerRoy covered last night, Eli Manning has lost his starting job to Geno Smith. The NFL, much like life in American politics, is clearly a meritocracy, so Eli Manning acted like the trainers his brother assaulted in college and took it on the chin. But apparently some men in the sporting news couldn’t swallow it.’s Seth Wickersham was not alone in his condemnation of the Giants’ classless move with their big boy erstwhile starting quarterback, and while I usually leave this kind of thing to the professionals, I couldn’t resist the chance to give this article the FJM/MMQB/whateverthefuckwe’recallingagoodskeweringnowadays treatment.  His full article here, though you’ll get the gist as I try not to ragestroke going through the damn thing.  LET’S GET RIGHT INTO IT!

The mystery of moving on from a franchise QB, and uncertain futures for Eli, Giants

Oh, god, I’m already going to be sick. IT’S A MYSTERY! And also perhaps a futures market. Can you trade issues of Eli?  Or just the apples that go into his juice?

Look, Eli Manning might hate this comparison, the comparison of his life, but when he stood at his locker Tuesday afternoon — at the low point of his excellent career, lip quavering…

Is it “quavering” or “quivering”?  Does it matter if we’re not surprised that someone with the emotionally maturity of a toddler is having the professional equivalent of an “I want my mommy” moment in the locker room?

…as he tried to explain that he was not only being benched but also benching himself…

Holy fucking bullshit, Batman. Benching himself?  Um, no, Coach McAdoodoo decided the team was better off starting an ignominious jawbreaker who couldn’t hang on to a job ahead of Christian Hackenburg or Bryce Petty. Yes there are reports that he had the option to start to keep his stupid fucking streak alive and then get lifted for the afore-alluded to Geno Smith. But that doesn’t mean Eli chose to be the second “best” option for the team the rest of the way. Hey, Eli, your shitty play meant the season was lost AND that there was no faith you’d be any good next year, so maybe they pretended to give you the courtesy of having input on getting benched, but kind of like how Louis XVI had input on if he would be beheaded.

…pride getting the best of his prideful streak of 210 consecutive regular-season starts — it was reminiscent of another great quarterback who back in 2012 stood behind a lectern at the low point of his career, lip quavering…

How much quavering is in this fucking article?  Is this a romance novel? Because we haven’t read anything about a “swollen bud” yet, and not even tWBS could masturbate to this shit.

…as he tried to explain why his time with his first NFL team was coming to an end: Eli’s youngest older brother, Peyton. On that day, the Colts made a prudent move but still committed the cardinal sin of quarterback evaluation: They not only misdiagnosed Peyton Manning’s heart, but they had been blinded by his brilliance, fooled into forgetting how hard it is to find a true franchise quarterback.

Yes, the Colts were so wrong to offload a quarterback with Christopher Reeve’s neck. Let’s look at Peyton’s statistics again shall we?

Year Team G Att Comp Pct Att/G Yds Avg Yds/G TD TD% Int Int% Lng 20+ 40+ Sck SckY Rate
2015 Denver Broncos 10 331 198 59.8 33.1 2,249 6.8 224.9 9 2.7 17 5.1 75T 24 7 16 95 67.9
2014 Denver Broncos 16 597 395 66.2 37.3 4,727 7.9 295.4 39 6.5 15 2.5 86T 66 11 17 118 101.5
2013 Denver Broncos 16 659 450 68.3 41.2 5,477 8.3 342.3 55 8.3 10 1.5 78T 68 13 18 120 115.1
2012 Denver Broncos 16 583 400 68.6 36.4 4,659 8.0 291.2 37 6.3 11 1.9 71T 64 7 21 137 105.8
2011 Indianapolis Colts 0 0.0 0.0
2010 Indianapolis Colts 16 679 450 66.3 42.4 4,700 6.9 293.8 33 4.9 17 2.5 73T 43 9 16 91 91.9

What do you want from me on the formatting front? I’m not Zymm, so fuck off. But yeah, Pey Pey wasn’t horrendous in 2012 but he wasn’t lighting the world on fire.  And in 2015, Von Miller’s team won IN SPITE OF cyborg nut dropper, not because of him.  And it cost Denver a shitload of money and whatever cost you want to ascribe to the ensuing Osweiler/Lynch/Siemen debacle.

Yes, there was a legitimate and huge question of whether Peyton’s neck surgery would allow him to play again.

So either Irsay wasn’t involved in the decision or he was briefly sober evaluating this one, because that’s a real fucking reasonable concern.

Yes, Andrew Luck was soon to be available in the draft.

And until the Colts broke him, young Luck was a YUGE upgrade over old busted Manningbot.

But a Hall of Famer always has one last ride, if motivated and angry,

and once the Colts had secured the first pick in the draft, owner Jim Irsay made the decision to move on with an unproven coach, general manager and quarterback, without giving Peyton a chance to redo his contract and compete. The move was almost universally considered a no-brainer, but then something weird happened: The Denver Broncos clearly got the best of it. Peyton was the best quarterback in the NFL over the next two seasons and helped the Broncos reach a pair of Super Bowls and win one over the next four. Luck, meanwhile, has plateaued due to injuries, his own play, poor roster management and worse coaching, and now the question isn’t if he’ll eclipse Peyton as the greatest quarterback in franchise history; it’s if he’ll ever flourish into a better player than, say, Matthew Stafford.

jebjebcblacopjpabec  Sorry, stroked out a little there.  No one gives/gave a shit if Luck is the best Colts QB ever (and uh, that’s not a battle between Luck and Manning), it’s if young Luck was a better option from 2012-present than old busted ass Peyton Manning.  And Luck’s problems are almost exclusively the fault of the gravy-addled minds that built that team and fucked up his medical care.  But yeah, let’s compare him to Fat Stafford and say that busted ass Peyton was the right call.

Eli, of course, isn’t a clear future Hall of Famer.

No shit.  He had the two best days of his career on two very good days to do that. But EVEN IF HE WERE A HALL OF FAMER, he still sucks now.

But he has been good enough, tough enough and professional enough that when word broke that he was being benched for Geno Smith and rookie Davis Webb, the overwhelming reaction was to pity him.

Yeah, it sucks a bit that they did it abruptly mid-season.  But he still sucks.  He’s not a hero.  And if he were a hero, would pity be the right response?

Anyone who knows Eli knows that it’ll disgust him as much as losing his job. He deserved better, so went the thinking…

Skipping ahead past some bullshit

…He is 36 years old and hasn’t consistently played at an elite level for a few seasons, and he was leading an offense that was averaging 15.9 points a game this season. Even without Tuesday’s decision, the team would have had to sit with him in the offseason and discuss, at the least, a contract restructuring.

Um, yeah.  He sucked, he had lost his grasp on his job in a lost season. So maybe this was shitty, but it wasn’t like he earned anything less shitty.  “The chef at that restaurant may have served raw lamb, but he was so good for the past couple of seasons until these last 12 nights out where he gave everyone salmonella, so we should treat him better.”

 But at the heart of the move is an unforgiving cruelness and arrogance…

Yes, NFL owners and coaches have LEGENDARY humility

…It’s not just the idea that the best players are always disposable; it’s that teams still, after all these years, forget how hard it is to find a true franchise quarterback…

So why would you be ok spending longer than you need to hanging on to one you know is done?  Yeah, I think there’s less than a 2% chance that Geno Smith is a legit option for the Giants this year/next year/any year, but if you know Eli is done (which you do) and you have key decisions to make going forward, then why not check out the 2-7 off-suit for a few games?

[skipping ahead again because fuck this guy]

So now, for the first time since 2004, the Giants are all-in for a new quarterback. It might fall on the underwhelming McAdoo and Reese to find one, if they are around next year…

I mean, McAdoo is fucking gone, and desperate times call for desperate measures.  Sticking with Eli DEFINITELY wasn’t going to save his job, so short of luring Randall Cunningham and Herschel Walker out of retirement (I STILL BELIEVE!), I’m ok with that pederast-looking fuck trying WHATEVER to either jolt the team or ensure solid tankery for a better draft pick.  I also don’t give a flying fuck about the Giants, so I have no idea why I’m writing like I’m oddly invested in this now.

…Never underestimate the power of scars.

Former Giants GM Ernie Accorsi knew what he had in Eli as well, of course. “The GM,” a 2007 book that chronicled his final season in the front office, was a morass of his own quarterback-driven trauma. Accorsi, of course, was forced to trade John Elway in 1983, and he spent the next 20 years drafting and signing good-but-not great quarterbacks like Bernie Kosar and Kerry Collins. There’s no worse place to be in the NFL than to be all-in on a B-plus quarterback, knowing you had your shot at an immortal one. Elway haunted Accorsi, beyond The Drive. His singularity haunted him, leaving Accorsi to wonder if he’d ever get another shot at a player capable of the magic that nobody can predict, the magic Elway later saw in a spurned Peyton, the magic that the Giants now believe they can find in someone else, the magic that we might see from Eli in a different uniform next year.

A) Eli in a different uniform next year is the best thing for Eli and possibly for a team like the Jags; B) Accorsi missing out on Elway because Elway and his dad were dicks has nothing to do with him signing guys like Kosar and Collins; C) Let us not forget that Eli and HIS DICK DAD pulled an Elway and did the same thing to the Chargers so the Giants could even get him, so fuck all of these people.

On Nov. 2, 2002, Accorsi attended an Ole Miss-Auburn game to watch Eli Manning, then a junior. He wrote a scouting report in all caps. For a few hundred words, the report sifts through the classic quarterback lingo, delving into his release and accuracy and footwork and toughness. At the end, though, Accorsi admits what we both all know and what nobody knows, and it was about himself as much as it was about Eli. “He has that ability you can’t define. Call it magic. … We should move up to take him.

“These guys are rare, you know.”

Except when they’re fully cooked. And at that point, no matter how poorly McAdoo handled it, we don’t pity them or mourn them or whatever. We move the fuck on. Wish Wickersham could do that instead of spending a couple hundred words poorly articulating that this is an injustice.

Besides, at least it’s not as bad as the Bears.



BFC is a Chicago native transplanted to our nation’s capital and transplanted again to the mountain West. He enjoys football, whisky, and the oxford comma.
BFC is a Chicago native transplanted to our nation's capital and transplanted again to the mountain West. He enjoys football, whisky, and the oxford comma.
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Don T

So now a trembling lip or crying is cool, not fodder for derision or abuse? Maybe it’s for the best, but damn. All this outrage and compassion… For Eli Manning getting benched? Really? Oh! And isn’t being a professional all about duty and not personal feelings? And gimme a break! I don’t think any fan of a TEAM would bang the table demanding deference and decorum towards an aging and faltering franchise player over a win or developing a young player or evaluating for the future.
People—a lot of people—behaving like this and getting so worked up over very minor crap… Lost my train of thought. But now I like Aqib Talib more.
Great post, and your libk game is very strong too.


Oh, and well done on not going for the cheap Nic Cage reference. Like I will, while pointing out that if Eli got bees in his helmet, he couldn’t have played any worse this year.

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On the plus side, the Giants will be starting a black quarterback for the first time in their franchise history.

On the downside, is Gino really a professional quarterback to count it?

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I know you stroked out but the piece that’s most infuriating is when the author says that Peyton was the best QB in the NFL during his first two years in Denver.

That is so incorrect, I can’t even…

King Hippo

Not having looked anything up, I would bet Aaron Rodgers at least had to be better, if not also (vomits) Dreamboat, assuming neither was ded for the season in question. Maybe even Rapey The Ben HARF!

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

“Not having looked anything up” pretty much says it right there.

Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

“That is so incorrect, I can’t even…” What exactly is the criteria you are using? Rushing? Charming affectation? Those two years combined he was pretty much at the top in nearly every meaningful stat that QBs are measured by. You could say that Breesus had a better 2012, except for the fact they were 7-9 for third in the division and he had a higher int %. 2013 as far as actual measurables as opposed to whatever you would be using, was one of the best QB years ever by any QB as far as production. They rolled over everybody most weeks (13-3, 2-1). It’s fine, even encouraged, to hate this author and Manning, but don’t be fucking silly.


2013 yes, 2012 no.


Wickersham needed a Fisting.

Howevar, the Giants have totally fucked this up.

If you want to give Eli a chance to keep the streak alive, let him play. Don’t do any of this cameo appearance shit. It’s bad enough if they did this for one game when they knew he would be back the week after. But to do this for the last 5 games of the season is just bull shit.

Next, why in the motherfucking hell are they starting Geno Smith.
From wikipedia.

Prior to the Week 5 game, Smith missed a team meeting, eventually admitting that he went to a movie theater in San Diego, unaware that the eastern and pacific time zones had a three-hour difference.

Also, but not quite as hilariously,

On October 26, 2014 Smith went 2-of-8 and threw three interceptions before the end of the first quarter against the Bills and was subsequently benched in favor of Michael Vick.

I saw that game on TV. It was uglier than his stat line.

If you’re going to pull Manning in the middle of the season, at least go with the guy you drafted LAST YEAR. He has never gotten a chance to play yet. Do I think he will be any great shakes, especially with this offensive unit,(Even more offensive than Matt Lauer’s) no, but stranger things have happened.

Finally, I know teams don’t have any loyalty towards players in the NFL, but if this is how you’re going to treat the face of the franchise for the last decade, how are you going to treat a good but anonymous player. You don’t owe him the starting job, you don’t owe him a roster spot next season, but you at lest owe him some respect and dignity. And the Maras allowed this to happen for a lame duck coach and a GM who is also almost certainly gone on black Monday. I don’t expect any owners to behave with class or do something that is against their financial interest, but when you constantly talk about the late Mr. Mara like he was some sort of saint and you want to emulate him, don’t behave like Jed York.

Finally, I really mean it this time. A little reward for reading through my rant.

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King Hippo

speaking of fisting…


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King Hippo

this just puzzles me. Who gets up in arms about this? I mean sure, it’s tanking/deck chairs on the Titanic territory, but who really gives a hairy fuck? Because it involves a wealthy white man in Noo Yawk City, must it mean something profound by default?







Fuck the P*triots.

From: Giants to bench Eli Manning, will only drive Tom Brady towards even greater heights

And you can be certain that Brady is watching what is taking place in New York and telling himself to commit even more to excellence, because if a two-time Super Bowl champion and face of the franchise can get benched for playing poorly, the same can happen to Brady.


Brady has outlasted his peers as a premier quarterback and he’s starting to outlast his juniors. Whatever happens with Eli in New York, just know that Brady is watching- and it will only make him stronger.

Low Commander of the Super Soldiers

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I briefly forgot the one rule of Boston. No matter how unrelated, they will always find a way to make every fucking thing be about THEM.


Look, the Giants suck.They have no healthy wide outs, they’re not a threat in the East, and Geno is a bad NFL quarterback. Do whatever the hell you want. When your season is without relevancy, you can do stuff like start Blaine Gabbert. Keep Manning and hope he returns to form — that’s fine. Cut him past him prime and look to the future — that’s fine too.

For this west coaster, however, Eli will always have a special place in my heart (and, frankly, the Cardinals will probably sign him in the offseason because Michael Bidwill doesn’t know how to win a Super Bowl).

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