Patriots legend Tom Brady joined the ranks of stars to congratulate Eli Manning on his career as he retired from the game after 16 seasons, and the connection between the two is like no other.
Congratulations on your retirement, and a great career Eli! Not going to lie though, I wish you hadn't won any Super Bowls.- Tom Brady (@TomBrady) January 24, 2020
Manning and Brady of course met in Super Bowl XLII and XLVI, as the Giants and Patriots faced each other twice just four years apart in 2008 and 2012.
In both championship bouts, the Giants came out on top, using drives in the final two minutes to cap off improbable victories over the favored Patriots -- including defeating a then-undefeated New England squad in XLII.
"I've been around Tom a number of times and you see how competitive he is. We joke around it a little bit, but I think it's not real funny to him," Manning said at his retirement press conference Friday morning. "When you think about the great moments in your career, those are going to be at the top of the list, when you win championships, and both of them two minute drives to go down there and win it -- and one against an undefeated team that hadn't lost all year. ...Those are special."
But although the starting quarterbacks are typically the leading story, Manning made sure to point out that things in those Super Bowls were far from just about them.
"I think everybody wants to make it me versus Tom Brady, but you know it was the Giants versus the Patriots. Our defenses played outstanding, guys made plays -- David Tyree, Mario Manningham, Plaxico Burress in the corner of the end zone," Manning said.
"So you just cherish those moments, you cherish those relationships that you have with those teammates and coaches when you win those games and that's obviously what you play for. You play for the opportunity to win a championship, you realize how hard it is, how difficult and all the breaks that have to go your way and that you have to overcome to get to get to those scenarios. So those are special ones that fortunately you get to relive those moments through your friends."