Eli Manning is a two-time Super Bowl winner and a likely Hall of Famer (at least in part because his last name is “Manning”). But make no mistake about it. He’s a company man. And as a company man, he is toeing the company line regarding the use of turf instead of grass at the stadium his employer, the Giants, shares with the Jets.
Eli took a job with the Giants in 2021. Thus, he’s not going to say the Giants, who play on turf, should play on grass. And he recently rattled off the predominant talking point regarding the venue at which both New York (New Jersey) teams play.
“I think the turf, it gives you a reliable field all the time,” Manning told Front Office Sports, via the New York Post.
His point is that, during this past weekend’s Sunday night/Monday night home games for the Giants and Jets, playing the first game in a driving rainstorm would have created horrible conditions for the Bills-Jets game.
“The Giants played in that same stadium in a big rain storm,” Eli said. “If you played that game and you had to play another game on Monday night on the same field, it would be ripped up and muddy and wet and all messed up anyways. So I think it eliminates that.”
How about this? Don’t play games in the same open-air, grass-field stadium on consecutive nights. Or maybe don’t share stadiums.
Eli also played the role of doctor and/or turfologist, declaring that Monday night’s torn Achilles tendon suffered by Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers had nothing to do with the playing surface.
“The turf didn’t have a factor in that injury,” Eli said.
No one knows with certainty that it didn’t, and no one knows with certainty that it did. To take a clear and unequivocal position one way or the other is to gaslight those who are trying to process the situation.
Thus, while Eli Manning previously was a player, he’s far closer to management now. His opinion isn’t the same as the opinion of an active player. Again, Eli is a very nice guy. He’s done great things, on and off the field. But his opinion on this subject is hopelessly biased.
We’ll continue to wait for current Giants players to articulate a similar viewpoint. We have a feeling we’ll be waiting for a while.