Eli Manning -- I’m Better Looking Than Peyton!
Yesterday, JustJared sat down to talk with New York Giants quarterback, Eli Manning, to talk about the upcoming football season, possibly doing Saturday Night Live, his love of The Office and how he’s better looking than his brother Peyton Manning! The 28-year-old Super Bowl XLII MVP was cool, collected and easygoing. Let’s go G-Men! Check it:
JJ: Hey Eli! Congrats again on the Super Bowl win last year!
EM: Thanks! Good stuff!
JJ: Are you computer savvy? What blogs do you read?
EM: I’m pretty computer savvy. A lot of it is sports stuff, NFL.com and ESPN.
JJ: I noticed you have a Twitter account. Is that you?
EM: That is not me. I’ve never used Twitter. I’m not that savvy I guess. I know what it is. A few people have asked me that. Just wanted to get the word out that it’s not me.
JJ: Can you tell us what you’re doing with Gatorade – REPLAY? Sounds like a pretty interesting game!
EM: Yeah it is. It’s basically two teams. 15 years ago, Easton, which is in Pennsylvania, and Phillipsburg, which is in New Jersey, tied a game 7-7 15 years ago. So now they’re going to have the opportunity to play the game again. The concept is that once you’re an athlete, you’re always an athlete. And Gatorade does a great job. The game is April 26. They’ve been working out for 8 weeks. You can go to MissionG.com and you can see some updates and how they’ve been practicing and working hard. It’s a great opportunity for guys who played high school to suit up again, get back with their old friends and play another game. Both towns have gone crazy about it. You can watch it on TV. Peyton and I will be there motivating both teams. I’m going to be with Phillipsburg since they’re from New Jersey. But it’s a great opportunity for these guys.
(Click inside to continue reading Eli Manning’s interview…)
JJ: Have you done any coaching before?
EM: When I was in college at Ole Miss, fraternities had football games and I’d go out and watch practice. I wasn’t really calling any plays though. Both teams have real coaches and I’ll be there just to motivate the guys. I’ve been filming and talking to them as they go through eight weeks of training and working out and make sure they stay focused and working hard to prepare for the game.
JJ: Do you think you’d have a future in coaching after your playing days are over?
EM: That’s a good question because I know what these coaches do. I know how much work goes into putting a game plan together and I see their hours. Coaches have the worst hours in the world. They go home maybe twice a week. They’re sleeping in their office. They’re watching film. It’s a brutal, brutal job and that’s why I respect them so much. It depends if you want to get into that lifestyle. Maybe at a high school level or something, it could be fun and it’s not as grueling.
JJ: Now let’s hit some football – what do you think about the rumors about Braylon Edwards?
EM: I don’t know. I hear rumors all the time and what might be going on. Over the years, I’ve learned not to worry about the rumors and see what happens. Never get too excited something or dread something that might happen ‘cause you just don’t know what’s going to go on and how some of these things get started. Kinda just like you thought I was on Twitter. You never know what’s true or not
JJ: Do you think he’d be a good fit with the Giants?
EM: I think he is talented and makes plays. And I know he’s had some good years at Cleveland. Last year wasn’t one of his best years, but he’s a talented receiver for sure.
JJ: Any idea if Amani [Toomer] is coming back?
EM: You never know in that case also. I don’t think he’s burned any bridges in New York and with the coaching staff, or the owner. So it’s just one of those deals, so hopefully something happens. I wish the best for Amani and I know he can still play and hope he can catch on with the team. If something happens and he’s around, you never know who’s going to grab him.
JJ: Do you get frustrated when fans complain about not throwing tight spirals?
EM: [Laughs] I’ve kind of just gone with the approach that as long as it gets to the receiver, it’s not always how pretty it is. It’s how effective it is. As long as it gets there, I’m happy with it. Sometimes you don’t get the perfect footing or the perfect set-up, or someone’s in your face, the ball doesn’t always come out pretty. If you’re worried about looking pretty, then you’re in the wrong business. Sometimes you just have to win ugly and find a way to make it happen.
JJ: After all, you did win the Superbowl last year!
JJ: How do you think being the quiet and youngest brother in your family has molded you as a football player?
EM: I think I’ve gotten to watch a lot of football games. Growing up, watching sports, watching people compete, whether it’s my brothers or teammates. I grew up observing and taking it all in. It’s kind of my attitude. I don’t get really upset or I don’t start over thinking things or getting down on myself and make one mistake into another mistake. I try to stay level-headed and it’s always the way I’ve been. Sometimes your personality out in the real world, you want to take that into your sport because that’s where you feel comfortable. You never want to try to do something that’s not you or you don’t feel comfortable doing. That’s where you get in trouble. It’s the only way I’ve played sports and done things. I’m low-key, but I’m very competitive and hate to lose. And I like to get after it. I just don’t show a whole lot of emotion out there.
JJ: It was reported that you scored a 39 on the Wonderlic test. (The Wonderlic test is an aptitude test used by the NFL for pre-draft assessments of athletes. The average score for a football player is around 20.) Were you surprised?
EM: No. I thought I aced it! It’s 50 questions and you only have 12 minutes to answer them. A lot of people don’t finish. I got through all 50 and had 15-20 seconds to look over some other answers to make sure I was right. I felt so good, so when I found out that I missed 11 of them, I said, what in the world? Some of them were educated guesses, but I knew I did pretty well.
JJ: Happy early anniversary to you and Abby. (Their one-year anniversary is today!)
EM: Thank you very much!
JJ: How are you celebrating?
EM: We’ll probably be here in New York. We’ll go to a nice dinner and just take it in. Nothing too crazy.
JJ: How are your cooking skills? Is it usually you or Abby in the kitchen?
EM: She’ll be the one in there cooking, but I’m usually in there. I set the table and help with the dishes. She’s a better cook than I. She’s a good cook. I’m usually in there – I’ll stir something. I try to help her out.
JJ: And to finish off, we have a 2-minute drill. So here we go!
JJ: What TV shows do you watch?
EM: The Office!
JJ: Will we ever see you host Saturday night live like Peyton did?
EM: Possibly. I think if have another great season, I would like to do it!
JJ: What was the last movie you saw?
EM: Slumdog Millionaire.
JJ: What’s your best sport besides football?
EM: Golf! It’s always the caddie’s fault! (In reference to his most recent Gatorade/Tiger Woods commercial).
JJ: What do you shoot?
EM: I’m in the lower 80’s.
JJ: What’s your favorite fast food restaurant?
JJ: What music is on your Ipod right now?
EM: A lot of country and 70’s and 80’s classic rock.
JJ: How’d you get out of jury duty yesterday?
EM: I had to be there all day! I didn’t have to serve on the jury, but I still had to be there from 8:30 to 4:30. I told the judge I had to get back to practice and he understood.
JJ: Thank goodness you did otherwise I wouldn’t be speaking to you now!
JJ: Do you enjoy New York or Mississippi more?
EM: I enjoy both. I love being up in New York. This is where I am the majority of the time. 10 months out of the year, I’m here and I love it. But it’s also nice to get back when I want to get always relax and slow things down, Mississippi is a great spot to get to.
JJ: What’s the funniest initiation you’ve had onto any football team?
EM: The guys put a blue dye in my cleats and when it mixes with sweat, it stains your feet purplish blue for about two or three weeks. They [The Giants] got me good my rookie year.
JJ: Who’s going to win their second Super Bowl first? You or Peyton?
EM: That’s undecided. We’re both trying. I’ll try to get my own when I can.
JJ: Would you pick yourself in a fantasy football league?
EM: I’d pick myself!
JJ: Tell us one thing about yourself that the public doesn’t know about you.
EM: I like olives!
JJ: And finally, the fourth and goal question- Do you still think you’re better looking than Peyton?
EM: No doubt!
JJ: Touchdown! Thanks Eli for the time and good luck with the upcoming season and winning another Super Bowl!
EM: Appreciate it. Have a good one!