Friday has been an emotional afternoon for the New York Giants and Giants’ fans alike.
We all knew it would be emotional when Eli Manning officially announced his retirement after a storied 16-year career. There will be plenty to sort through as we come to grips with just what Eli has meant to the team and the community, as well as the reality that The Age Of Eli is over.
Giants’ owner John Mara opened the press conference by recognizing all that Eli meant to the Giants. And it was a choked up Mara who would be the first to honor Eli’s career, not even waiting until Eli had the opportunity to announce his retirement.
“You have always been the ultimate Giant, and we will be honored to induct you into our ring of honor this year,” Mara said. “And please know this: No Giant will ever wear number 10 again.”
Mara took the opportunity to confirm that Eli would be inducted into the Giants’ ring of honor as soon as possible this season. He also announced that the Giants will be adding Eli Manning’s jersey to their list of retired numbers.
(And yes, the Wikipedia page has already been updated.)
We will spend the coming, days, weeks, months, and years arguing over whether or not Eli belongs in the Hall of Fame (he does). But some of his former teammates have already voiced their feelings on the matter.
Plaxico Burress is as sure that Eli will be inducted into Canton as he was that the Giants would win Super Bowl 42. “Might, my ass,” Plax said to anyone who thinks Eli ‘might’ be a Hall of Famer.
Brandon Jacobs didn’t mince words when it came to his opinion of voters who don’t think Eli should be in the Hall, saying, “They should be out of a job.”
Geoff Schwartz wrote an entire piece for SB Nation on what kind of presence Eli was in the huddle and why he should be in the Hall of Fame.
But that is all for the future. For now we know that, and how, the Giants will be honoring Eli.