As Eli Manning announces his retirement from the game of football Friday morning, the debate on whether the two-time Super Bowl Champion and Super Bowl MVP deserves to make the Hall of Fame rages on.
His brother and fellow quarterback Peyton Manning recently weighed in on the debate.
"To me, it's the time to look back and reflect. Everybody else wants to look ahead and have this debate. And I understand, that's just the world we live in. I know Eli doesn't think like that, and I don't think like that, either. But I certainly have my strong feelings and opinions on it," Peyton said while talking with the Broncos media team. "When you're the Super Bowl MVP twice against the greatest dynasty of all-time, the New England Patriots, Tom Brady/Bill Belichick, and you join a list that includes Terry Bradshaw, Bart Starr, Tom Brady and Joe Montana, Eli Manning as the only (multiple) Super Bowl MVPs.
"I don't really know what that term, 'drop the mic' is, but I guess if there was one. … There really is no 'yeah, but' after that. That kind of ends it. But if you want a, 'yeah, but,' yeah, but he also started 220-plus consecutive games. He's sixth or seventh all time in touchdowns. It wasn't like he just played those two seasons."
"He answered the bell, played his butt off, won some huge games for his team. I have strong opinions on it, but I'm gonna pull an Eli and live in the present and kinda look back if you will and not look too far ahead, get too worried about it."
Peyton looked at those two Super Bowl runs -- and whom the Giants defeated on those runs in particular -- as the surefire evidence needed for Eli to be voted into the Hall of Fame.
"They were the real deal," Peyton said on the Patriots of the last 20 years. "They had it all, and you talk about playing against this monster. You got Tom Brady, Bill Belichick. … They had all these other great players, this supporting cast. He was so in control the whole game, and then, the famous escape play, which, the word unbelievable is overused, but it truly was unbelievable how he got out of there."
"I got to play in four Super Bowls. I got to be on the winning side of two. And I think people don't really believe me when I say that my favorite Super Bowl memory was watching my little brother take the New York Giants down the field in the two minute drill and beat the undefeated Patriots and all that came with that. Maybe I wasn't as happy as the '72 Dolphins … but I was pretty close."
Peyton, who looks to be a surefire first ballot Hall of Famer in 2021, tagged in one of the biggest names in Giants history in sending Eli to Canton.
"He did it. There's that famous Bill Parcells quote after he tells their team: 'Don't let anybody ever tell you that you couldn't do it because you did it.' He did it, and he did it the right way for a long time."