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Tom Brady congratulates Eli on a great career ... Mostly

Brady’s backhanded compliment met with Eli’s sense of humor

NFL: New England Patriots at New York Giants Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Just in case you had to ask, the New York - Boston rivalry is alive and well.

Considering the New York Giants and New England Patriots play in different conferences and only meet every four years in the regular season, they don’t have much of a “rivalry”. Not nearly so much as between the Yankees and Red Sox.

But thanks to Super Bowl 42 and Super Bowl 46, there will always be something between these two franchises. There is a mutual respect between the Giants and Patriots, but the grudge that formed in 2008 and reinforced in 2012 doesn’t fade easily.

So it isn’t surprising — and perhaps a bit fitting — that as Eli Manning announced his retirement that Tom Brady offered his congratulations. Likewise, it isn’t surprising that Brady included his own back-handed compliment while congratulating Eli.

When Eli was told of Brady’s tweet during his farewell press conference, Number 10 responded in the most typically “Eli” way possible.

“I’ve been around Tom a number of times and seen how competitive he is,” Manning said. “We joke around it a little bit, but I think it’s not real funny to him.”

It was a light moment in which Eli had the assembled crowd laughing. It also perfectly captures the relationship between the two men and two franchises. Respect, with a side of grinding teeth on one side and subdued humor on the other.