New York Giants’ quarterback Eli Manning recently received a very high honor. According to Metro, fans voted him “the face of professional sports” in New York. This is such an honor, given the fact that New York has one of the largest sports markets in the world. New Yorkers had a choice of multiple high-profile athletes such as Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks, David Wright of the New York Mets, and Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers. Each of those respective athletes could be considered the “stars” of their team. The survey was produced and conducted by J.D. Powers & Associates. It was offered to residents of Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and New York.
Bringing in this honor is huge (no pun intended) for Manning. New York is known to be one of the hardest markets for an athlete to play in. It is very easy to be branded an outcast among New Yorkers when it comes to sports; just ask former New York Jets’ quarterback Mark Sanchez. After what seemed to be a promising campaign ended, Sanchez was ran out of New York by Jets’ fans. Eric Decker, Darrelle Revis, and Brandon Marshall were the only members of the New York Jets’ to make the cut. They all hovered outside the top 10 in the voting count.
Eli Manning had this honor bestowed upon him after gaining the trust of New Yorkers. It took two Super Bowl titles to gain that trust. Not only was Manning the MVP in both those games, but he defeated what seemed to be the greatest football team in NFL history. The 2007 New England Patriots were undefeated going into Super Bowl XLII. Manning and the Giants were considered automatic losers even before they took a snap on the field.
Not only did Manning help the Giants win that game, but he orchestrated one of the greatest drives in Super Bowl history. After evading what seemed to be a sack, Manning spun out of the defender’s grasp and threw the ball to David Tyree. Tyree proceeded to make what is considered to be the greatest catch in Super Bowl history.
In 2011 NFL season, the Giants encountered the Patriots for a Super Bowl rematch. The Patriots were once again heavily favored in this contest. Eli Manning did what he does best and remained calm. The key to that game was to avoid making any turnovers and keeping Tom Brady off the field as much as possible. That is exactly what Manning did by throwing for 296 yards, one touchdown, and no interceptions.
These two games made Eli Manning a legend to New York Giants’ fans, and probably most New Yorkers in general. Manning and the Giants are the last sports franchise based out of New York to bring home a title. The New York Yankees come in at second by winning a World Series in 2009.
Not one sports team based out of New York has won a title since the Giants’ last Super Bowl win. The New York Rangers and New York Mets both came close, but failed to seal the deal. Eli Manning will be given another chance this season to bring home another title to New York. The Giants’ seem to have the most promising roster that anyone has seen in recent years.
[Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images]