Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Eli Manning: Giants Would Take Back Ex-Con Plaxico Over Ex-TV Host Tiki

Eli Manning was asked if the New York Giants players had to chose between former Giants wide-out Plaxico Burress or former running back Tiki Barber returning to the team, the Giants quarterback said he believes the recently released ex-con, Burress, would be more readily accepted than the ex-"Today" show reporter.

According to the New York Post, Manning, speaking on the Dan Patrick Show, claimed Barber slammed the door on his Giants career when he bolted the team for a career in broadcasting.

Even though there is little chance either Burress or Barber will return to the team, Manning said at least Plax chipped in by catching the winning touchdown in Super Bowl XLII and the Giants players have long and heartfelt memories of the victory and Burress' part in it.

Manning thinks Burress stands a better chance of joining the G-Men; even after a 20-month stint in the joint.

"Probably Plaxico just because he has fonder memories of winning a Super Bowl and that catch for the touchdown in Super Bowl XLII," said Manning.  "Tiki ended on a bad note and it's really a shame, he should be remembered as a great Giants running back and a terrific player, because he was.  Just kind of the way he went out and burned a few bridges with the fans and kind of went after me a little bit, it's unfortunate.  I'm not happy about it in that sense, so I think Plaxico would probably be welcomed back a little quicker."

Neither former-Giant was ever considered a team player and both players couldn't keep their opinions of head coach Tom Coughlin to themselves.  Burress was mainly prone to missing team meetings but is still dissing the old disciplinarian Coughlin, even after his release from prison.

Barber, meanwhile criticized Coughlin, even though the taskmaster helped the running back with his "fumblitis."  Barber went on to have his best seasons because of Coughlin's adjustments of the running back's flawed mechanics.  Grateful is apparently not in Barber's vocabulary.

Barber's worst transgression was criticizing a young Manning before announcing his retirement in the out of nowhere in the middle of the season.  Barber's self-promoting stunt stunned the Giants players and alienated Big Blue fans from the grinning back for good.

Barber claimed Manning's leadership skills were lacking and called them "comical."  

Manning didn't take kindly to the remarks and called Barber's premature announcement a distraction to the team.  The counter punch at Barber raised Manning's esteem and his profile with the veteran players.

"When I kind of responded, I think guys kind of liked to see that from me, since I've always been pretty quiet and never really tried to create any controversy," said Manning.  " I just felt this was a little different.  This wasn't a media guy or reporter attacking me, this was a teammate coming after me...but I couldn't sit there and do nothing."

After Barber's verbal attack on Manning, the proud QB didn't just do nothing.  He went on to win a Super Bowl that Barber could only watch from his living room.

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