Eli shouldn’t earn credit for pep talk to nowhere

Even Eli Manning’s pep talks are about as enlivening as a quilting convention. Eli didn’t exactly pull a Jim Fassel and throw all his chips onto the table when he decided to address the Giants solo yesterday for the first time in his seven seasons for Big Blue.

Despite managing to turn a blowout win into the NFL loss of the year, the Giants do not exactly face a Herculean task. All they have to do to guarantee a playoff berth is beat a Green Bay team reeling from its own unbelievable kick coverage gaffe.

If it’s not Lucy predicting that Charlie Brown will miss the football, it’s in the same ballpark. It’d be like LeBron James giving a pep talk before facing the Knicks’ defense.

And the crazy thing is Eli will probably be given mad props for the move if the Giants simply deliver a playoff berth that should have already been secured. A playoff spot and the inevitable early exit will now probably be enough to keep Eli and Tom Coughlin in good standing in the Mara world.

It’s all about bouncing back and all that other mumbo jumbo that franchises that aren’t truly obsessed with winning focus on, after all. Instead of celebrating Eli finally stepping up to talk to “his team,” someone with the Giants should be wondering what the hell took so long. You know what they call “a leader” in any other walk of life who never actually addresses his team? Fired.

Yes, everyone knows that Eli is ultra cautious (except when it comes to actually protecting the football). But at some point, you figured he’d have said something — anything — before DeSean Jackson became a legend.

Trying to paint this Monday moment as a milestone ignores all the times when Eli probably should have spoke up before. He didn’t have anything to add when Plaxico Burress shot apart that Giants’ season?

Maybe Coughlin should be demanding more of Manning, rather than a punter with no power. Instead, the coach plays right along with the media creation, adding to the idea that Eli’s found his voice. So many Giants were so quick to talk about Eli’s little speech that the quarterback’s protests about wanting to keep it private ring hollow.

The Giants organization obviously wanted this story out. That’s become the franchise’s specialty — weaving neat feel-good tales that help hide the dark days.

–Chris Baldwin covers the sports media for Metro.

Metro does not endorse the opinions of the author, or any opinions expressed on its pages. Opposing viewpoints are welcome. Send submissions to letters@metro.us.


'Barack Obama cheats on Michelle' claims Japanese politician…

A senior Japanese politician has marred Barack Obama's official visit to Tokyo with bizarre claims that the President cheats on his wife Michelle. Kazuyuki Hamada,…


British Royal family devastated by freak NY death…

The British royals have been left devastated by the death of Mark Shand, younger brother of Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, after a freak fall in…


VIDEO: Police seek suspect in molotov cocktail attack…

Police released surveillance video on Wednesday in hopes of tracking down a man who threw a molotov cocktail inside a Brooklyn corner store.


City Council budget asks for 1,000 additional NYPD…

Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito unveiled the City Council's budget priorities on Wednesday, including the extra cops for the NYPD at a cost of $94.3 million.


‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 9

It was only an hour-long episode, but there's a lot to cover this week. The drama of Survivor strikes again as the identity of the…


TV watch list, Wednesday, April 23: 'Suburgatory,' 'Modern…

'Suburgatory' The men of "Suburgatory" go camping and Tessa mentors a social outcast in a Miss Chatswin contest, which brings her, once again, into conflict…

The Word

The best lines from Oprah's ex-stepmother's Daily Mail…

Oprah’s ex-stepmother, Barbara Winfrey, is out for revenge.


A debut novel about fate, love and moving…

Pia Padukone talks about her debut novel, "Where Earth Meets Water."


2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version


Giants 2014 regular season schedule

The Giants will play five prime-time games — against the Lions, Redskins, Eagles, Colts and Cowboys.


Jets 2014 regular season schedule

The Jets will play three prime-time games — against the Bears, Patriots and Dolphins — as well as a CBS national game in Week 2 at Green Bay.


Phil Jackson talked to Steve Kerr, pushes for…

Knicks president Phil Jackson spoke to the media for the first time since firing head coach Mike Woodson on Monday.


Pippa Middleton's Etsy pick: Golden Thread Jewelry

Get a look at the jewelry Pippa Middleton loves and find out how you can buy it too.


What every parent needs to know to get…

Mom and author of "Small Talk," Tracey Blake, shares her five practical tips to help you develop your children's language skills.


Subway crush: Meet your soulmate on your commute

Read about a couple who has been 40 years after meeting on the train.


Happy birthday, Game Boy! The handheld console turns…

Nintendo's Game Boy turns 25 this week. To commemorate, we look at some of its better games, like "Tetris" and "The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening."