Social Media Reacts to Eli Manning's Retirement Announcement
The Giants are getting ready to say goodbye Friday to No. 10, one of the greatest players in team history. While the end was inevitable, there was still enough of a mixture of sadness combined with an appreciation for all that Eli Manning brought to the franchise and the New York metropolitan area in general.
Here's a sampling of reactions from social media.
Eli Manning liked to play numerous pranks on his teammates, particularly his offensive linemen, who were, of course, tasked with protecting him. But it was all done out of brotherly love and in the end, Manning always could count on his guys to have his back.
Shaun O'Hara, who signed with the Giants in 2004, was supposed to be Manning's center from the start. Unfortunately, O'Hara had to miss a few games and wasn't there to take Manning's first NFL snaps--that honor went to Wayne Lucier.
Still, O'Hara, now an NFL Network analyst, became Manning'scenter and he reflected on his former teammate's career.
“Definitely mixed emotions. I know as a friend and a teammate, anytime you see somebody of Eli’s caliber with a career like he’s had, and he’s been there so long and done so many great things, it’s always tough to see players step away from the game and make that decision. Definitely it will be tough to see. We got a little glimpse of it this year the Giants with someone else playing quarterback, but when you hear the news and when you realize he’s going shut it down, a little piece of you feels sad. But at the same time, you realize that there is an afterlife and I’m excited for him and for his wife and his kids to have post-playing Eli and they know that they’re going to get to spend time with their Dad. That’s obviously a big part of life and I think it’s great that he’ll now get a chance to be appreciated for everything he did.”
Hall of Fame defensive end Michael Strahan, who was with Manning on the Super Bowl XLII championship team (and who no doubt hopes to be part of a welcoming committee at the Pro Football Hall of Fame in five years time when Manning is eligible to be elected, had this to say:
Sometimes Eli would even joke (we think) that if his receivers didn't do their part, he wouldn't throw them the ball. One guy who did do his part and whom Eli could always rely was Victor Cruz.
Even the younger generation of players grew to appreciate all Eli stood for. Some liked to call him "Uncle" or "grandpa" as the years went on and the age gap widened, but there was always that respect at the end of the day.
Manning never took a day off, never took a play off. But he was especially tireless when it came to his charity work, particularly supporting children with cancer, whom he'd visit at random, and, if given his druthers, without fanfare or cameras.
Eli extended that charitable spirit to former head coach Tom Coughlin's Jay Fund organization.
He was even well respected by other sports teams, such as the New York Mets, who invited him to throw out the first pitch after he won a Super Bowl.