There have been some embarrassing days in N.Y. Giants’ history. From November 1966 when the Redskins ran up the score in a 72-41 defeat to “the fumble” in 1978 when the Giants literally “handed” a win to the Eagles, yesterday goes right to the top of the list.
In a move that sent shock waves throughout the Giants’ loyal fan base and many of his NFL brethren, two time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning will head to the bench this week and Geno Smith will start at quarterback against the Raiders. Head Coach Ben McAdoo (who is already #1 on a Giant fan’s s..t list) made the stunning announcement.
The fact that Manning’s streak of 210 consecutive starts, the second longest in NFL history, will come to an end is not the issue. What’s at stake here is the reputation of a franchise that oozed with class. Are the co-owners, John Mara and Steve Tisch, really on board with this move? Suffice it to say, the Giants are a mess and getting worse.
2017 is turning into one of the worst and most dysfunctional seasons in franchise history so why let this coach make this move now. Anyone in his right mind would have to think that McAdoo is done at the end of the season and probably should’ve been let go already. There are still five games left and with the Giants now mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, Manning is owed the opportunity to dictate his own terms down the stretch of this season. If he wants to continue to play, he should play.
This week’s game is on the road. What happens at the next home game on December 10th against Dallas, a game that is an embarrassment in itself. The game was “retro-flexed” to a 1 PM start. No matter if Geno Smith (and this is not an indictment on Geno Smith) throws five touchdowns and looks great leading the team to a win this week, the fans that do show up for the next home game will be letting the Giants know how they feel and it won’t be pretty.
Social media sent the reaction into another stratosphere as the move was trending on twitter. Besides the fans, former teammates, former Giants, athletes and coaches from other sports and even some in the entertainment world, showed their support for Manning while many twitter users ripped the Giants for the way this move was handled. During a radio interview, former coach Tom Coughlin said, “I was very upset when I heard that.” WFAN’s Mike Francesa used the good ol’ fashioned medium of radio to get his points across with an epic and “right on point” rant on one of his final shows.
There are still questions that need answers. Why start Smith, a quarterback who failed to stick with their co-tenants, the Jets. Does management really believe he can be the future. It would make more sense if the Giants made this decision in order to start Davis Webb, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.
The Giants have three home games left, all against divisional opponents. The late Wellington Mara never minded the fans booing the Giants but if they weren’t showing up then something had to be done to change that. The empty seats or the ones that will be sold by the season ticket holders to fans of the opponent should catch John Mara’s eye. Will he be watching?