The anonymous ridicule was directed at Jake Ballard, criticizing him last month for a rather stoic appearance on ESPN.
But even more jarring than the texts was the culprit behind them, the Giants’ second-year tight end soon would discover: A Super Bowl MVP. An elite quarterback. And a noted vanilla interview in his own right, the publicly reserved Eli Manning.
“Him telling me to show more emotion?” Ballard asked. “Then he made fun of me for saying what he told us on the last drive [of the victory over the Patriots]. I might have added something he probably didn’t say.
“But I’m just adding to ‘Eli, The Legend.’ ”
Ballard doesn’t need to embellish.
Manning is doing fine writing his own legacy this season — on the field, as a leader and as the team’s occasional source of comedic relief.
He has been unfazed by the challenges facing him in 2011, putting together a career year despite an offense with a young receiving corps, a rebuilt, struggling line and the utter lack of a running game.
“It’s never going to be easy,” Manning said.
Although most of the attention today will be focused on Aaron Rodgers and his record-breaking season as the Packers (11-0) visit the Meadowlands, lost is just how well Manning has played.
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