My friend Ariel is a die-hard Giants fan. Last night, after gloating via text message, he insisted I write something about the Super Bowl today on this blog, in order to, as he put it, "commemorate this great moment in sports history." As a petulant Patriots fan, I don't think he really thought that one through. At all. That said, I hope he enjoys this heartfelt account of Super Bowl XLII, and it's shining star: Eli Manning.
According to FOX's Super Bowl pre-game show, Eli Manning uttered his first word at the age of three. Now I'm no child rearing expert, but as far as I'm concerned, if you haven't learned how to say "mama" by the time you're two, you're probably going to be riding the short bus to school. Retardation aside, Eli managed to sound out the words in his high school football team's play book, and conned his way into Ole Miss, which, as you may have guessed, is where our story begins.
At the University of Mississippi, Eli majored in killing the few straggling brain cells left in his largely hollow skull. While not a traditional major, his coaches and teachers agreed, it was pretty much the only thing he was good at. Well, that and football, which, luckily for Eli, landed him on a spot on the New York Football Giants, postponing his eventual fate in the Double Stuff Racing League.
Eli's four seasons as a Giant--like the comically large gap between Michael Strahan's front teeth--left much to be desired. And for four years, Giants fans became all-too-familiar with the now infamous "Manning Face".
Up until about three weeks ago, the "Manning Face" was pretty much the only face Eli ever made. But then, last night, as the clocked ticked away on the Giants' hopes, and Eli's boyhood dream, he managed to break 435 tackles and blindly heave the football down-field. Naturally, it sailed directly onto the head of David Tyree, where he calmly trapped it with his hand.
As I watched the Patriots' perfect season unravel before my eyes, I couldn't help but think, "What is he, a fucking seal?" Honestly, if I ever see a football player catch a ball squarely on his face again, as if he's a well-trained porpoise at Sea World, mark my words, I'm going to feed myself to a manatee. Worst of all: there's a new Manning Face.
And even though it looks like he just won the Special Olympics, I still prefer the old one.