A story broke on Monday that Eli Manning had released debt-strapped St. Vincent's Hospital from the final $500,000 of a marketing deal that it owed to him and that he would continue working with the hospital for no money. Yesterday, however, Eli got blasted on WFAN and in the Post for accepting the money St. Vincent's had already paid him as part of the deal. Yahoo's MJD summarizes the story at his Shutdown Corner blog, and I pretty much agree with his last two paragraphs:
"Perhaps Manning wasn't aware of the hospital's financial problems when he took their money to begin with. He had a marketing deal with the hospital. They signed up to give him that money. It's not like he held them up at gunpoint and started demanding cash or something.
It just seems like this was all a poorly-timed and poorly-executed deal from the beginning, and I'm sure Eli will do what he feels his right."
Eli would be well within his legal rights to demand the rest of the money from St. Vincent's, and he's doing a good thing by releasing them from the contract. He's doing a further good thing by continuing to work with them for free. If he were to donate back some of the money they already paid him, that would be a great thing, but he certainly has no obligation to do so. It's not his fault that St. Vincent's agreed to pay him that money when they should have realized their precarious financial situation.
Maybe some people will disagree, but I think Eli comes out of this looking like a good guy, not a bad one. I think the FAN and the Post are just an example of the NY sports media kicking a team while it's down. It happens in every sport in the city: when teams have a bad season or two (or a decade, in the Knicks case), little stories like this get blown out of proportion to make the struggling team look worse. Just take a look at the difference in coverage for the Yankees between this offseason and last, if you need proof. It's annoying, but that's just the way it is. If the Giants had won the Super Bowl again (or at least finished better than the Jets) the media would be suggesting they rename the hospital St. Eli's. What do you guys think of the situation?
- Remember that report I posted about Nick Folk working out with the Giants? Never mind, turns out he decided to sign with the Jets. Many of you were adamantly against signing Folk - I hope you were right, because if he has a good season for the Jets in our home stadium, the Giants are gonna look pretty bad, especially if Tynes struggles again.
- Ralph Vacchiano gives a free agent primer for the Giants. Ed covered most of this the other day, but Vacchiano lists the Giants who are free agents and what type of free agent they are. All I have to say is that I'm extremely glad CC Brown is on the list of free agents.
- Speaking of free agents: Barry Cofield says he'll most likely be a Giant again next year. Cofield was the Giants best defensive tackle last year, though that doesn't say too much. He's a good player, though, and I hope the Giants bring him back and get him some help.
- Finally, the Giants are taking a scientific approach to offseason training, looking to endurance sports for guidance. I'm far from a fitness expert, but, hey, it sounds good, right?