Eli Manning walks back Monday night snark regarding Russell Wilson

USA TODAY Sports

The ManningCast is so good because it’s just a couple of guys who know a thing or two about football talking about football. It’s loose, it’s unscripted, it’s fun.

And it sometimes includes poking a little harmless fun at a team, a player, a coach, whoever.

Eli Manning did that on Monday night, regarding the performance of the Broncos offense with Russell Wilson at quarterback. One night after Denver punter Corliss Waitman kicked the ball 10 times, Eli said during the broadcast, “They should have paid that punter $235 million instead of Russell.”

One day later, Eli was backpedaling.

Eli told Michael McCarthy of FrontOfficeSports.com that Eli wasn’t taking a shot at Wilson.

I don’t think we’re trying to be critical,” Eli said. “I think we always try to support the guys that are in the game. I think sometimes, ‘Hey, it’s live TV.’ I never try to take a real shot at somebody. I think that was obviously a very outrageous joke — because a punter had 10 punts. Nothing against Russell. He’s going to do great.”

But Eli didn’t say they should pay the punter in addition to Wilson. Eli said they should pay the punter “instead of” Wilson.

Here’s the reality. People who say what needs to be said in a way that will be well received by the audience will at times piss people off. And there’s a political game that Peyton and Eli need to play, whether it’s aimed at getting the right guests for the right games or, ultimately, persuading the game’s best players to show up for the alternative to the Pro Bowl, which will be an Omaha Productions production.

Eli’s trying to have it both ways. He wants to be entertaining on the ManningCast, but he also doesn’t want to burn bridges. Sometimes, he’ll be on the wrong side of that line. When he is, he should just own it and move on. And if he has to do some private damage control after the fact, so be it. But he shouldn’t act like he didn’t say exactly what he said.

And if he worries too much about saying things that others may not like, the ManningCast is going to become far less compelling and entertaining than it has been.

31 responses to “Eli Manning walks back Monday night snark regarding Russell Wilson

  1. Eli of all people has no room to be critical of any QB. I may be in the minority, but I have seen ZERO minutes of the Manning act. I’m old enough to have the the original Smothers Brothers act. It’s corny and stale.

  2. The media totally blew this up. I remember hearing Eli say this, getting a small chuckle, and moved on with my life.

  3. Eli is jealous of Russell. Thinks Russ doesn’t deserve it. Well, guess what? Deserve ain’t got nothing to do with NFL contracts. This is a business. Eli knows that every bit as much as Russell.

  4. Overanalysis is why we cannot have nice things anymore. Its a joke, not personally insulting, and created a guffaw. Nothing to apologize about.

  5. OBTW, the punter’s performance was the equivalent of a $235 M QB for his position. He was OUTSTANDING for the Broncos. His play kept them in the game.

  6. It was funny… Don’t back down. Be real. There’s a reason Shaq and Barkley work. Good people being real. It’s ok to take a shot at another player and kind of hold them accountable. Wilson hasn’t done much. Call it out. It’s fine.

  7. It’s my belief Russell could remove all of his protective equipment and he would not have sustained a bruised ego from that brutal hit from Eli,… 🙂

  8. The punter was more valuable than Russell, if you get paid that much, you have to perform. The stress, jokes and expectations all come with taking the money….

  9. Can’t joke around anymore. There is always someone whose gonna be offended. What great times we are living in.

  10. Haven’t watched the show, but what Eli said seems to me to be on target. Wilson is NOT worth what they’re paying him. He’s an okay QB, but so far what has he done to warrant what he’s getting paid? If it was YOUR money would you be happy with what he’s done for you so far? I sure wouldn’t!

  11. Another opportunity for Russel Wilson to seethe.

    I still laugh when I think about the comment someone wrote a few weeks back:
    “Russel Wilson is seething. He & his camp seethe a lot.”

    Funny & so true. Who wants to be known for that?

  12. That was a good one by Eli. If I was Russ I would take some of that 235 million and hire a team of comedy writers to roast Eli when the media put foolishly puts him in the hall of fame.

  13. We need a bit of irreverence now and again and I don’t think Eli and the Omaha Kid had any malicious intent.

  14. it’s obviously staged. There was no reason to apologize and Russ wasn’t offended. The purpose was so that we would keep talking about the show on Wed. Here we are

  15. If you consider any of this a big deal, you wouldn’t want to golf with me.

    And I suck.

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