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Why Eli Manning is breaking his promise about visiting Philly

January 17, 2023

Eli Manning hasn't hid his disdain for Philadelphia's passionate football fanbase over the years.

A few years back, as his career wound down, Manning (cheekily) complained about the obscenity of Philly's youth during his visits to the city for road games:

"You go there, and that 9-year-old kid is giving you the double finger," [Manning] said. "Not a thumbs-up. Not, 'We're No. 1.' And he said something about my mom; I had to Google what it was. It's just different. It's a different culture.

"[...]

"Now I see [that 9-year-old] and he's got his 9-year-old kid with him," Manning said, smiling. "Same deal. It runs in the families down there."

It's a different culture alright.

Manning visited Philadelphia 16 times during his playing career, and it seems he'll be coming back to the scene of the crime this weekend for the Eagles' divisional round matchup vs. the Giants - even if he once promised himself he would never attend another game in the City of Brotherly Love.

Here's what Manning himself said on Monday night in conversation with his brother Peyton Manning:

"PEYTON: We made it through a whole season without shooting two birds, but you might see it live in - are you going to Philly next weekend?

"ELI: I was trying to keep that quiet. I said when I retired I would never go back to a football game in Philly, but I think I have to break my promise. I think I have to go there. I can't wait to see the amount of double birds I get. We could break a record."

You heard it here first, folks: Eli Manning will be at the Linc next Saturday night. 

If you see him, flip him off. We're going for five figures. If you have a kid, give them carte blanche to give Eli the finger for one night. They'll think you're the coolest parent ever, while you'll get to remind Eli that this city owns him on the football field: Manning went 10-23 against the Eagles during his career, including 0-2 in the postseason.

In all seriousness, Eli is a goof but his post-playing career has been pretty endearing. He's funny, he's a great foil to his brother on the Manningcast, and he beat Tom Brady in the Super Bowl twice so who can really get mad at the guy?

I'm thinking the Eagles score 30, the Giants score 20, and Manning sees 1,000 middle fingers before he walks into the stadium. Go Birds.