Oh, John… don’t worry buddy. I blame you. We all fucking blame you. Because this whole “class organization” charade… this coasting on the respect and good will Wellington and Ann Mara earned with the New York fans and throughout the league… it is fucking done. Ka-fucking-put. Finished.
You can pull the strings on Goodell as concussions are ignored and money is stolen from the players. You can rob the fans with PSL’s and make Tom Coughlin fall on the sword for the shortcomings of your guy Jerry Reese. But Eli… Eli is our guy.
Eli is our little brother to praise and to punish. He’s flawlessly imperfect. Impossibly infuriating in his inconsistency while immortally endearing in his stability. From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, one constant of the last fourteen years is having Eli Manning right there in the middle. Always there, never imposing himself on anything but the game. Holding down the single hardest job in sports with an unrivaled run of availability.
As a Giants fan the only thing you knew ever week is that Eli was there, that he gave a shit, and that no matter how good or how bad he played he’d never disrespect the game or the franchise – a sentiment that a lot of fans and a lot of people in the Giants organization from top down seem to care so much about when discussing certain players.
And how is that rewarded? It’s rewarded with this. With an unceremonious benching executed and encouraged by a bunch of cowards.
When it came time to do right by Eli… to let him play out this lost season and continue his streak before giving him the opportunity to move forward to a new team or a new career in the offseason with the same dignity he always treated the team with… John Mara shit the bed.
He kept McAdoo and Reese on for far too long in a desperate attempt to maintain the guise of organizational stability and a refusal to admit his mistake with Coughlin. It backfired as things got worse and worse. He left McAdoo with one last bullet to fire. And rather than step in and do right by Eli at the expense of admitting his own failures, John Mara sat there with his dick in his hands believing there would be a scapegoat in either scenario. Either 1) the Giants win and Eli becomes the natural scapegoat for this miserable season rather than the front office and the staff. Or 2) the Giants lose and McAdoo becomes the scapegoat for a decision on Eli that Mara clearly supported but did not want to take the backlash for.
And you know what’s the most infuriating part? HE LITERALLY ADMITTED THAT TODAY. This isn’t some insane conspiracy I’ve cooked up because I hate John Mara (by the way I hate John Mara). He said today that firing McAdoo has been discussed for weeks AND that the firing was not due to the backlash over the Eli benching.
He is literally telling us that he okayed Eli’s benching to give McAdoo one last shot before firing him this week in one last desperate attempt to save face.
At best… giving Mara the highest benefit of the doubt here… it would mean that winning a few meaningless games in a lost season/selling tickets was more important to Mara than showing respect to a franchise icon who’s done nothing but represent the Giants with dignity. Along with which comes the sheer incompetence of believing Geno Smith was the guy to do that.
That’s giving Mara the highest benefit of the doubt, which he’s in no way earned. And it’s still a pathetic, self-serving, and just plain shitty fucking move. Any other plausible scenario… again, according to his own account of the situation… only makes him look even more like a gaping four-eyed asshole.
Ben McAdoo was an awful coach. Jerry Reese was an awful GM. Most knew that by Week 4. Everyone knew that by Week 10. And thanks solely to John Mara, the one person who had to suffer because of that was the one person who had too much respect to say anything about it at all. I’d say it’s all pretty befitting of the guy who’s been captaining a ship that swept concussion research under the rug, hid money from the players, and got paid for patriotism.
And with each and every day this reaction he engendered from Tom Coughlin makes more and more sense.