Much like his retired older brother Peyton Manning, Eli Manning established himself as one of the foremost NFL quarterbacks. Yet most analysts agree the 38-year-old’s career is coming to a close.
In many games this season, the New York Giants chose to start 2019 first-round pick, Daniel Jones, over Eli, signaling the end of an era. Of course, it’s still uncertain whether Eli will return for another NFL season.
Nonetheless, analysts are already weighing in on his celebrated career, with many new stories emerging. One of the most colorful involves Eli’s post-game tradition that somehow escaped the media until now.
Eli Manning’s journey to the NFL
From 2000-03, Eli represented the Rebels at the University of Mississippi. The quarterback caught the attention of NFL teams as he set or tied 45 records (single-game, season, and career) during his time there.
The San Diego Chargers drafted Eli with the No. 1 overall pick in 2004. He’d previously stated he would refuse to play for the Chargers, so the team immediately traded him to the Giants.
In exchange, San Diego got a 2004 third-round pick, as well as first- and fifth-round picks in the 2005 draft. They also received quarterback Philip Rivers, who the Giants picked for the Chargers in the 2004 draft.
A ‘Giant’ NFL career for Eli Manning
During his 16-year tenure with the Giants, Eli earned a regular-season record of 116-116. He had five seasons where the team got 10 or more wins. In six of his seasons, Eli led the Chargers to the playoffs, including a four-year streak between 2005-08. His excellence clearly showed in the playoffs, with an all-time record of 8-4.
In his six trips to the NFL playoffs, Eli led the Chargers to two Super Bowl victories, beating the Patriots in both 2007 and 2011. He won MVP honors in both of those championship games. Of course, Eli didn’t just excel in a team setting; he also put up superb individual numbers.
During his 16 seasons, the four-time Pro Bowler played a total of 234 games, earning 56,537 passing yards, 4,860 completions, and 366 total touchdowns in the process. Eli’s total touchdowns put him in seventh place on the all-time leader board — four spots behind his brother Peyton.
Eli Manning’s road game ritual
It takes far more than just athletics to build a career like Eli’s. A dedication to excellence and an iron-clad work ethic are no less important. Apparently, we can add beer to the list, too. Yes, beer. According to ESPN’s Ian O’Connor, Eli had a serious beer-drinking ritual during his time with the Giants.
After virtually every road game, Eli would drink beer on the bus as the team returned to the airport. In order to obtain the beer, he had special contacts at each stadium who would get it to him. Unfortunately, O’Connor didn’t reveal Eli’s brand of choice, but he did make it clear that this was not a one-time occurrence.
Eli didn’t drink beer by himself, however. He also passed a cold one to each of his teammates, using the beer to bond and discuss the game. This kind of gesture adds a new element to our idea of the kind of person Eli is, making him a little more relatable.
In addition to being one of the greatest Giants of all time, Manning turned out to be just another guy who enjoys a beer after a long day of work.
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