In the 2004 NFL draft, the Chargers selected Eli Manning first overall. Manning was a Charger for an awkward half-hour during which he reiterated what he had said before the draft — that he wouldn’t play for the Chargers — before San Diego traded him to the Giants. Now Manning is preparing to play the Chargers and the quarterback he was traded for, Philip Rivers, but Manning would prefer not to talk about the past.
Asked by reporters today why he didn’t want to play for the Chargers, Manning answered, “I forgot, I think.”
Pressed to go into detail, Manning refused.
“I just can’t remember, it’s been 10 years. It slipped my mind,” Manning said, via Conor Orr of the Star-Ledger. “Ten years ago, I don’t know. I can’t remember.”
Manning did say he likes visiting the city of San Diego.
“I have nothing against San Diego as a city,” Manning said. “We had our rookie symposium there and besides that, we’ve had a few other things, I know it’s a beautiful city and great weather. There’s a lot of great things to it.”
Manning just didn’t want to play there. And he won’t get a warm welcome there on Sunday.