Why Eli Manning was a better New York Star than Derek Jeter

Eli Manning, New York Giants (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Eli Manning, New York Giants (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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New York Giants
Eli Manning and Kevin Boothe, New York Giants. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images) /

Number 10 was number 1 with his teammates

As Eli Manning’s performance improved and stories began to leak out about the New York Giants signal-caller. There was a team party he threw on Halloween where he gave out rose’s as players arrived in honor of back-up QB, and the first “Bachelor,” Jesse Palmer. The time he had trainer put blue dye in Justin Pugh‘s gloves and left them dyed for days. Eli was fun to be around.

To a man, players talked about how Manning went out of his way to connect with them and make them feel comfortable. Offense, defense, special teams it didn’t matter. Manning would introduce himself to undrafted rookies, sit and have lunch with third-string safeties. He never wanted to be that unapproachable guy in the locker room.

Eli was always more laid back and approachable. He was more apt to pick a teammate up after a mistake than to call him out. His relationship with head coach Tom Coughlin was very much in the same vein as the Duncan/Popovich mold.

There was something more familial in Manning’s relationships throughout the organization. When another player didn’t come through if it bothered Eli you could never tell. No glares, no icy responses, just shrug it off and get them next time.