Eli Manning: The Second Greatest NFL Player in New York Football History

April 24, 2004 is a date that Giants fans will remember for the rest of their lives. Eli Manning was selected by the San Diego Chargers with the first pick in the draft, while the Giants selected Philip Rivers with the fourth pick. Manning and Rivers did not last on those teams very long. Eli refused to play for the Chargers and the team had no choice but to trade him. The Giants and Chargers agreed to a trade that sent Manning to the Giants, while Rivers and three-draft picks (2004 3rd and 5th, 2005 1st) were sent to the Chargers. It is safe to say that the trade has panned out for the Giants.

Lawrence Taylor is the greatest player in New York Football history, by far. Who is number two? There have been plenty of great players that have worn the blue and white, or the green and white, but I am hear to say that Eli is right behind LT. Many will argue that Joe Namath was better than Eli. Joe Namath was OVERRATED. Let’s compare the two QBs throughout their New York careers.

Eli Manning:

  • 210 Games Started (2nd longest consecutive streak of All-Time)
  • 4,319 Passes Completed (6th All-Time)
  • 50,625 Passing Yards (7th All-Time)
  • 334 Passing TDs (7th All-Time)
  • 30 Comebacks (7th All-Time)
  • 40 Game-Winning Drives (8th All-Time)
  • 12 Playoff Games Started (14th All-Time)
  • 83.8 Passer Rating
  • 59.8% Passes Completed
  • 222 Interceptions
  • 4 x Pro-Bowler
  • 2 x SB Champ
  • 2 x SB MVP
  • Future HOF

Joe Namath

  • 129 Games Started
  • 1,836 Passes Completed
  • 27,057 Passing Yards
  • 170 Passing TDs
  • 16 Comebacks
  • 16 Game-Winning Drives
  • 3 Playoff Games Started
  • 65.8 Passer Rating
  • 50.2% Passes Completed
  • 215 Interceptions
  • 5 x Pro-Bowler
  • 1 x SB Champ
  • 1 x SB MVP
  • 1 x All-Pro
  • HOF

Yes, Eli has played many more games than Namath and some of his numbers may be higher for that reason. But, what about some of the other numbers? Namath’s completion percentage, passer rating and interceptions are abysmal. Namath has thrown 42 more interceptions than touchdowns in his time in New York. HORRIBLE. Not to mention how clutch Eli has been throughout his career. He has 40 game-winning drives compared to Namath’s 16 and 12 playoff games compared to Namath’s 3.

Joe Namath’s one SB victory came at a time in which he only had to win 2 games to accomplish the feat. The Raiders were a very good team in 1968 when Namath and the Jets defeated them, but they did not have Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. When Eli and the Giants defeated the Patriots in 2007 they were undefeated before that game. 18-0. They might have been the best team in NFL history. Randy Moss and Tom Brady had an insane connection. The Patriots, since 2000, may be the greatest dynasty in all of sports. They have reached the Super Bowl seven times since then, while winning it five times! Who handed them those two losses? ELI MANNING. You can say all you want about the defense and the lucky catches, but someone had to make those throws right?

Whether or not you want to put Eli over Namath, he is still a top-5 player in New York football history. He has brought the Giants two Super Bowls and many great memories in his 14 seasons with the team. The way they have treated him this week is downright disgusting. Eli deserves to be treated with more respect because of all the success he has been able to bring this franchise.

Thanksgiving Day against the Redskins may have been the last time we ever will see Eli under center for the New York Giants. He may be released or he may be traded come next year. No matter what happens Eli Manning is a legend in the eyes of Giants’ fans. He has brought all of us so many fond memories that we will never forget. As a Giants fan I cannot thank Eli enough for the joy he has brought me over these past 14 years. Thank you, Eli.


Roy Halladay Was More Than Just A Great Pitcher, He Was A Great Man

The baseball world is in mourning as the news came in today that Roy Halladay had passed away when his plan crashed in the Gulf of Mexico. Roy Halladay will be remembered as one of the greatest pitchers in the 2000’s. He played 16 seasons in the MLB with two teams, the Phillies and the Blue Jays. He had a stellar career and he may be bound for the Hall of Fame, but he was more than just a baseball player.

Halladay was drafted in the first round of the 1995 MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. Boy, did they strike gold. In his 12 years with the Blue Jays, Halladay compiled a 148-76 record in 2,406.2 IP. In those years Halladay had a 3.43 ERA to go along with 1,495 strikeouts and a 48.5 WAR. An amazing 12 years for Halladay, but the story does not end there in Toronto.

While listening to the radio today (The Michael Kay Show), a man called in to tell a story about Roy Halladay. The man said when his son was 16 years old he was diagnosed with cancer. The Blue Jays called him up and gave the family tickets to one of their home games. Little did they know they were being placed in Roy Halladay’s suite. Halladay had a suite in Toronto specifically for the family’s of children who were diagnosed with some type of sickness. Halladay would not let any media in the room and no photographs were to be taken besides the ones that the families were to take. Why was this such a hush-hush thing until now? Because that was the type of man he was. He did things like this because of the goodness in his heart. He did not look for any type of attention for it. He just wanted, for a couple of hours, to make a kid and their family forget about all of the commotion going on in their lives.

On December 15, 2009, Roy Halladay was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. In four years with the Phillies, Halladay amassed a 55-29 record, 3.25 ERA, 622 strikeouts, and a 17.1 WAR in 702.2 innings pitched. He was also named the 2010 NL Cy Young winner and finished as the runner up for the award in 2011. When he won it in 2010, he became one of just six pitchers in MLB history to win the Cy Young Award in both the National League and American League. The other five to do so were Max Scherzer, Roger Clemens, Pedro Martinez, Gaylord Perry, and Randy Johnson. Quite the group to be a part of. In his four year with the Phillies he was a two time All-Star and finished Top-10 in the MVP voting twice.

Halladay also pitched one of the most memorable postseason games in MLB history. On October 6 in 2010, Roy Halladay became the second pitcher ever to throw a no-hitter in a postseason game. The only thing that separated him from a perfect game was a 5th inning walk that he surrendered. Earlier that year on May 29th, Halladay recorded the 20th perfect game in MLB history when he faced 27 Marlins and retired each and every one of them.

Halladay’s final season in the MLB was not one to remember as he struggled for the entire year. After his second start of the season, in which he was roughed up once again, Halladay’s oldest son texted him saying, “You’re my hero.” Halladay was loved by his teammates, by the league, and most importantly, by his family. He was one of the most dominant pitchers of his time. Will he be a Hall of Famer? Time will tell as he is eligible for the Hall in 2019. Whether he gets in or he does not, he will always be remembered as a great pitcher, a great man, and most of all, a loving father.

David Ortiz: His Case For The Hall of Fame

For David Ortiz, the Dominican Republic and Boston has been home since 2003. In four years, he might be enshrined into a third one, the Hall of Fame. The long time designated hitter for the Boston Red Sox retired after one of the best final seasons in MLB history. After recently having his number 34 retired in Fenway Park, the city of Boston is making a push for the BBWAA to elect him in four years.

In 151 games played last year, the slugger hit .315 with 38 home runs and 127 RBIs in his age 40 season. The 10 time All Star’s season ended on a short note after being swept by the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS and coming back onto the field for his teary goodbye.

His career accomplishments go beyond last season. The three time world series champion (04,07,13) and world series MVP in 2013, hit 541 career home runs with 2,472 hits, a career .286 batting average and 1,768 RBIs. His RBI total is the most among any designated hitter in the history of baseball. That is more than Frank Thomas, Edgar Martinez, and Don Baylor.

His contributions on the field are not the only grounds for his induction, his humanitarianism and kindness have shown that he was a great ambassador for the sport. Whether it be visiting the Boston Children’s Hospital on off days and before games, his endless work with The Jimmy Fund, and working with Make A Wish to help grant wishes for thousands of children and teens.

In the midst of the 2003 season, Ortiz failed a player survey about PEDs, never actually failing a test. With baseball players like Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Ryan Braun, and many others confessing to using PEDs, there is some speculation, but again never failed an actual test.

With his legacy being spread around Boston, should not it be fitting if the most decorated designated hitter in the history of the sport be recognized in cooperstown?


Photo Credits: Sporting News

Athletics: Holy Toledo! Bill King Enters HOF

Bay Area, CA | Yesterday was a great day for Oakland Athletics baseball. While it ended with a Rajai Davis walk-off blast and Bob Melvin's 1000th career victory, it began with the induction of Oakland's iconic radio voice, Bill King, into the Ford C. Frick wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame. King entered the hall posthumously, after passing in 2005 by complications from hip surgery. King's moving induction speech (transcript here) was delivered by his stepdaughter, Kathleen Lowenthal. It's worth the read.

As the voice of the A's for 25 years, Bill King was an Oakland institution. Known for many things, like his handlebar mustache or his signature call of "Holy Toledo!", fans also loved him for broadcasting each of Oakland's three franchises. During each team's best years it was likely Bill King's voice on the other end of the radio. It turns out that calling A's games was King's real passion. In the end, Lowenthal describes baseball as his true love, which is why honoring King in Cooperstown first is most fitting.

As the voice of the Warriors from 1962-83, Lowenthal made a point to remind/inform attendees of the time King received a technical foul for using an expletive on-air in disagreement with a call by the referee. As the voice of the Raiders from 1966-92, King called historic plays for the Raiders that have been featured on highlight reels/NFL Films. You can hear just a few of King's famous calls across Oakland's three franchises here.

Bay Area fans have been spoiled by top-flight broadcasters. This list includes names like Lon Simmons, Jon Miller, Greg Papa, Ken Korach, and Tim Roye. King stands alone atop this Mt. Rushmore of broadcasting legends for his versatility and mastery of calling the Oakland A's, Oakland/LA Raiders, and Golden State Warriors. Regardless of your sport of choice, Bill King was among the best play-by-play voices you'd ever heard.

Lowenthal was right about two things. As a kid in the 80s, I was one of the many that listened to King call games on my handheld radio as I watched the game live from the old bleachers. And when we watched from home, my dad muted the television and we could listen to the voices of King, Korach, and Ray Fosse. A tradition I continued into adulthood. Yesterday was a long time coming for this A's fan.

Twitter: @eastbayfanatic