It’s really not that bad, and if you’re interested in listening, you can find it here.
Here’s what it looks like when you put it in print:
“I consider myself in that class and Tom Brady is a great quarterback, he’s a great player and what you’ve seen with him is he’s gotten better every year and he started off winning championships and I think he’s a better quarterback now than what he was, in all honesty, when he was winning those championships.”
I think when people read stuff like that in a vacuum, the perception is that the player called the media, and said “I have an announcement at noon. Bring two cameras. This is going to be big.” But really, these stupid quotes are a lot more innocent.
The topic started off with Michael Kay asking Eli if he was an elite QB. Eli uncomfortably answered that he was, and promptly veered off into talk about how the Giants are going to look to use a lot of play action this season. Having no interest in talking X’s and O’s, Kay brought it right back and asked Eli directly if he thought he was in the same class as Brady, and after a long pause, the above quote is what he spit out.
Obviously, Eli Manning isn’t Tom Brady. Not even close. I know that. You know that. Eli Manning knows that. He gave a silly answer, but what is he supposed to say, “No, Tom Brady is way better than me?” He’d get killed worse for that. Maybe the better answer is something boring like “I can only worry about myself, and work toward being the best QB that I can be.” Whatever.
We’ve all had job interviews, right? What percentage of your answers sound dumb as hell? Like 25%? These players are no different. Ask them enough dumb questions, and eventually you’re going to get a dumb answer. Unfortunately for Manning, people are going to destroy him for this, but I don’t really see a big deal here.