History repeats itself. Last Sunday, in Indianapolis, the New York Giants captured their fourth Super Bowl championship by yet again knocking off the New England Patriots for the second time in four years. Eli Manning shined, as he earned his second Super Bowl MVP award.
A couple of days ago Kurt Warner was on a sports radio show and was asked whether or not Manning deserves to be pegged as a future Hall-of-Famer at this juncture of his career. In a surprising statement, Kurt said that he thinks Eli doesn’t have enough of a body of work to warrant a Hall of Fame suggestion yet, that he’d like to see more of that AND for Manning to be a game changer.
While Kurt Warner is one of my all-time favorite football players, I shook my head as I heard him utter the words above.
Let me tell you what kind of guy I am: I’m an impact kind of guy. I don’t give a who-diddly-do about longevity or durability when it comes to judging an athlete’s career. I believe in looking at the impact an athlete has made. I think Manning’s accolades as of February 9, 2012 already warrant Hall of Fame discussion. Impact.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has it 100% right when it comes to impact. Short careers, HUGE impact.
What does Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain have in common? Short careers, HUGE impact. Thus, immortality.
I feel like Kurt has ostracized himself with his comments about Eli not having enough of a body of work. Warner anchored the Greatest Show on Turf in St. Louis, and that era wasn’t exactly a long one. It was a quick, visceral, unstoppable offense that was eventually halted (a paradox in and of itself). Kurt then, after a short one year stint with the Giants, went on to Arizona to play for the Cardinals and ultimately led that team to their first ever Super Bowl appearance in 2009. Warner didn’t exactly have a long career in terms of longevity and staying power as a starting quarterback for years on years at a time, but guess what? He made a huge impact on the game of football, and thus I believe that warrants his future initiation to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
Warner also said that Manning needs to be more of a game changer… uh, what, Kurt? He hasn’t been already? He wasn’t a game changer in Super Bowl XLII when he escaped what would have been a potential game changing sack? He wasn’t a game changer in Super Bowl XLVI when he made that beautiful pass to Mario Manningham along the sidelines during the final offensive drive for the Giants? Ballocks!
Troy Aikman wasn’t exactly a ‘game changer‘, but he’s in the Hall of Fame for obvious reasons.
Terry Bradshaw wasn’t exactly a ‘game changer‘, but he won four Super Bowls surrounded by like 13 Hall of Famers.
Joe Namath is in the Hall of Fame, and for his career he tossed 45 more interceptions than he did touchdowns… buuuuuut he’s a Hall-of-Famer.
“But the game is different now, Troy! It’s more advanced!” So, what? Are we going to be unfair to the players of today that bust their asses? I don’t think so.
Let’s embrace Eli Manning and his multitude of accolades and acknowledge the impact he’s made on the game of football. Please. The hate and the shunning is becoming laughable by the envious and jealous detractors of the football world.