Fans of the National Football League are well aware of the rich history of the New York Giants. Over the course of the last eighty-five years, the Giants have managed to achieve status as one of the elite historical franchises in the NFL. With a total of seven National Football League championships, including four prior to the advent of the Super Bowl and three since, the Giants have the third highest number of championships in the League. Only the twelve titles of the Packers and the nine earned by the Bears surpass the Giants total. Their most recent title win came in 2007, and featured the play of rising star Eli Manning.
How do you get to New York?
For Eli Manning, getting to New York was no easy feat. As the top prospect of the 2004 draft, there were few who believed that the Chargers would select anyone other than Eli. They did, after all, need a quarterback, and Eli was believed to be the best available. Manning then went on to complicate the selection process when he vowed that he would never play for the San Diego team. Things usually work out as they are intended, however, and the young quarterback did eventually end up going to New York – but only after the Chargers and Giants concocted a multi-layered trade and draft arrangement that involved Eli, Philip Rivers, and several draft picks. The bottom line was that Eli found a way to get to his goal: anywhere but San Diego.
A new beginning
At the time of Manning’s arrival, New York had been without an NFL title win for 14 years. In addition, the team’s loss to the Ravens in the 2001 Super Bowl had left them reeling. Everyone agreed that it was time for a new start, and with new coaching and a brand new quarterback, the franchise hoped that they could replicate the same levels of play that Peyton Manning had been providing for Indianapolis since his arrival in the League years before. They did. Under Eli’s stewardship, the team reversed its previous poor performance and managed playoff appearances for three straight years. The last of those three was enough to send them into the title game once again, this time in the forty-second Super Bowl.
Eli overcomes the odds
When the forty-second Super Bowl got under way in Glendale, Arizona, the Giants were heavy underdogs. In fact, the odds makers predicted that the then-undefeated Patriots would cruise to an easy eighteen-plus point victory. Eli Manning, who had long suffered from unfair comparisons to his brother Peyton, led his Giants team to a seventeen to fourteen victory in the game, however, and equaled his brother’s achievement of one Super Bowl ring. The final come-from behind drive of the game made Eli the first quarterback in the history of the Super Bowl to throw a game-winning touchdown in the final minute of play.