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You have to wonder whether Eli Manning ever had as much fun playing with Odell Beckham Jr. as he’s having now with Twitter. The recently retired New York Giants quarterback made his debut on the social media platform on Saturday and had rolled up close to 300,000 followers by lunchtime Tuesday.

And the man was good … assuming it was actually Eli doing the tweeting.

What prompted Eli Manning to join Twitter?

Eli Manning managed to stay as low-profile as is humanly possible for a quarterback with two Super Bowl rings and a 16-year career in the media capital of the world. He was rarely caught up in anything close to controversial, let alone scandalous or tawdry.

So, what would inspire him to begin engaging in the intellectual cesspool that has come to be known as social media? Well, money could be a factor.

Manning’s debut tweet on Saturday was followed soon afterward by a cheeky welcome from Tom Brady. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback has 1.2 million followers, so that naturally drew considerable attention to the newbie’s account.

That mattered, too, because the fifth post of the weekend was a retweet of an announcement from Frank’s RedHot sauce announcing that the company had “joined forces” with Manning just in time for Peyton Manning’s participation in the charity golf event Sunday with Brady, Tiger Woods, and Phil Mickelson.

Witty work by the newcomer … or a helper

Tom Brady got the first good line in while welcoming Eli Manning to Twitter, making a sly reference to how the retired New York Giants quarterback’s best work in two Super Bowl victories over the New England Patriots came in the fourth quarter.

Manning apparently took over from there, although some of his material was so good that it raises the prospect that perhaps someone from Frank’s RedHot or a public relations firm was pinch-hitting while occasionally finishing the tweets with advertising hashtags:

Manning’s account was almost immediately given the blue checkmark that Twitter uses to designate one as being verified, so joining Twitter seemingly wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision.

Another clue that Manning might be receiving assistance in running the account comes from his list of follows on Twitter. The first 10 accounts he followed were the New York Giants, the NFL, three Ole Miss accounts (that’s where he attended college), and several charities that Manning is associated with. That has the feel of something that a PR agency would do on behalf of a client.

Sage advice from an ‘SI’ writer

It’s too late to help Eli Manning, but Sports Illustrated writer Jimmy Traina had some solid advice for people contemplating joining Twitter:

“Now, I don’t know why anyone would join Twitter at this stage of the game. People like me who have been on it for 10-plus years are addicted. Plus, I’m in the media, so unfortunately, I need to be on it for work purposes. However, if you haven’t joined by now, don’t. It’s not worth your time or energy. And if you are a pro athlete, current or past, you should stay as far away from Twitter as possible.

We’ll give the last word to two of Manning’s former teammates who quickly found the two-time Super Bowl MVP on Twitter: