After the Giants’ win over the Patriots, Archie Manning said that his enjoyment of watching his son Eli lead the team to victory was dampened by FOX announcer Troy Aikman’s criticism of Eli.
On the Dan Patrick Show today, Aikman said he doesn’t think he’s any tougher on Eli than he is on any other NFL quarterback. And he reminded Archie that his son is a grown man who can handle such criticism himself.
“Eli hasn’t said anything to me,” Aikman said. “He’s 30 years old and if he has something to say or if he feels I’m being a little too tough then he can certainly voice that.”
Aikman added that he thinks highly of the youngest member of the Manning quarterback clan, but that when Eli threw one particularly bad pass in that game against the Patriots, it was Aikman’s job to say so.
“I think Eli is playing outstanding,” Aikman said. “Archie is referring to a game a few weeks back, when Eli, with a one-possession lead, threw a reckless ball into the corner of the end zone, it was intercepted and you just can’t have that as a quarterback. I know that, Eli knows that. I pointed it out. Sometimes quarterbacks don’t play as great as their parents think they do.”
Aikman is right: Announcers who sugarcoat their commentary are doing a disservice to the viewers. If a quarterback makes a mistake, the ex-quarterback in the booth is supposed to analyze the mistake, without worrying about how the quarterback’s dad might feel.