Training camps are underway for both Big Apple/New Jersey teams, with the New York Jets in Cortland, N.Y., and the New York Giants in Albany, N.Y. All of the talk and media attention has centered on Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow, which begs the question: Why is two-time Super Bowl champion Eli Manning the least talked-about quarterback in his own city?
Money. Tim Tebow sells. It's the same reason he's all over the airwaves and Internet. Tebow sells. He drives newspaper sales and page views. He sells tickets and draws attention, which is a primary reason that the Jets wanted him in the first place.
Eli Manning is steady, which is not sexy. Fans can complain about it all they want, but they are the ones who respond to Tebow coverage.
Why do we only hear about Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez? Easy. The Giants are boring. And I mean that in the nicest way possible. They don't have a quarterback controversy. When their players say crazy things, they back them up. Manning isn't controversial or brash, so even if he makes an eye-opening comment, like when he called himself elite, the public treats it in an "Aw, shucks -- isn't that cute?" kinda way. Then he goes out and proves it.
The Giants, actually, have no storylines. They are just a really good team with a fantastic quarterback who isn't going anywhere. The spotlight doesn't find those places. My guess is Eli will hang in the shadows, right up until playoff time.
That is easy. There are a lot of questions surrounding the Jets' quarterback situation. Can Mark Sanchez become more consistent? What is Tim Tebow's role going to be? Will the Jets rebound from a playoff-free, 8-8 season?
With Eli Manning, you know what you have: a stud QB and a fine leader. He is going to be the same in his approach to the games and the media. Also, the Giants as a team are a big story, not only because of their two Super Bowl wins in the past five seasons, but also their consistency from year to year.
I don't know -- it seems like a loaded question. And when you start thinking about it too much, it gives you a migraine similar to the one you get trying to explain why the Kardashians are so popular. And maybe that's your answer right there. America has a weird affinity for a good train wreck. Seriously, how else could "Big Brother" continue to be a summertime hit, year after year?
Eli Manning doesn't provide such opportunities, outside of an appearance on "Saturday Night Live." Eli seems more content to spend a Saturday night at home with his family, more content with acquiring Super Bowl titles than beefing up his modeling portfolio. And that just doesn't make for good headlines.
- Jason Smith NFL.com
Sex sells -- simply winning and living a quiet life off the field doesn't
What did Carrie Bradshaw teach us? Sex sells. (Though I always was, and still am, a Kristin Davis fan.) Eli Manning is so the opposite of what sells in sports: He simply wins, while making zero headlines off the field. How far can your discussion with friends go about Eli?
"Wow, Eli won his second Super Bowl. He's really good." [PAUSES TO EAT A CHEESE STICK AND LOOK AROUND THE BAR.] "Hey, did anyone see who got off the team bus first in Cortland?! Was it Sanchez?!"
Think about all the great players in sports -- the truly great ones -- who simply go about their business. We don't talk about any of them because it's boring. They're boring. Conversations about them come to a grinding halt. Here are all of Eli's big off-the-field headlines:
• In 2004, he forced a trade to New York.
• Before last season, he said he was a top-five quarterback.
And that's it. Over the last eight years, that's it. You can't force interest in someone who doesn't give you anything to sink your teeth into. All you can do is say how great they are. And then eat another cheese stick.
There's not much to be talked about regarding Eli Manning. He had a great season and the Giants are trying to repeat. The stories that get clicks and attention are those that include controversy and dissension, like a quarterback battle. It's not totally the media's fault, as patterns of public consumption have proven time and again that controversies and public issues garner more interest than feel-good stories.
Regarding Manning, the lack of attention proves the truism that "no news is good news." There's not much of a sound bite to be had there. Yet Tim Tebow is a lightning rod, joining a Jets team whose fans are clearly underwhelmed by the former top-five pick sitting atop the depth chart (Mark Sanchez). Basically, there is much more to report than the typical "Can they win it all again?" stuff. Tebow-Sanchez gives the media a controversy to sell to drama-obsessed fans.