Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 6/28/12
Rodney Dangerfield was a well known and beloved comedian in the 1980's who is best known for his famous saying, "I don't get any respect."

Eli Manning will never be accused of being a comedian, but Dangerfield's catch phrase probably applies to Eli even more so than it did Rodney. 


Eli was recently voted the 31st 'best' NFL player by his peers. Which would be a lofty position if it were occupied by an offensive lineman, special teams or otherwise part-time player.

But as we all know, three of the top four voted players were quarterbacks in Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Tom Brady. The rational for QBs being voted so high is due to their inordinate impact on the eventual outcome of any given game. Which is a completely reasonable qualification. After all, it's all about winning. Isn't it?

Although impressively and commandingly leading his team to two incredible world championships, Eli still doesn't seem to get his due. He may not look the prettiest getting it done or have the most magnetic public personality, but this is one of the all-time great clutch quarterbacks.

He outplayed this year's 'best' player Aaron Rodgers in eliminating the NFL's team with the best record, and beat last year's No. 1 player, Tom Brady, for the second straight time in the Super Bowl. And he did outplay them both. Rodgers and Brady both missed big plays, where Eli didn't. He's famous for some of the greatest clutch plays in NFL history.  The David Tyree play is often referred to as the greatest play in Super Bowl history.

And what did Eli do to follow it up? The sensational throw/catch by Mario Manningham late to rally his team to the winning touchdown in last year's Super Bowl. Meanwhile, Brady missed several crucial throws. People can whine all they want about Wes Welker 'missing' a throw that would have iced the game for the Patriots.

But it was not an easy catch, nor a well-thrown ball. Welker was wide open and Brady couldn't have made it any more difficult on him, Welker having to leap high in the air while twisting his body half circle in attempting to corral the errant throw. Perhaps Welker makes that catch 9 out of 10 times. But you know what? An accurate throw and it is almost an impossibility for Welker not to make the catch. On the next play, 3rd down - he missed another open target that would have kept the drive alive and probalby iced the game. 

It's not just Eli's impressive super Bowl performances that should rank him higher than 31. The Manning-led New York Championships featured Manning coming up big - huge - in game after game throughout both playoff runs.

Manning carried his team through the regular season with one of the NFL's statistically-worst running games and an incredible 4th quarter QB rating in pulling out game after game.

He is 2-0 in the Super Bowl. That's the best in the NFL today. That's one more victory than his brother Peyton, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees. Brady is 3-2, both losses coming at the hands of Eli the Great.

Let us not forget that the first was against what was being hailed at the time as the greatest team in NFL history. And had Brady's Patriots prevailed, they would have been. 

The facts speak for themselves. Eli Manning is a great quarterback. It doesn't matter if you like him or think otherwise, because he's proved it in the only place it counts. On the battle field defeating the best of the rest. 


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