Eli Manning won his second Super Bowl with the Giants, giving him one more than brother Peyton and two wins in championship games over Tom Brady. Peyton Manning and Brady are locks for the Hall of Fame five years after they retire, but is there a place in Canton for Eli?
The answer would be "yes" if based on the euphoria sweeping over the Giants and their fans, but it's not that easy when you consider where Eli fits in history. He has been terrific in big games with an 8-3 playoff record and twice was named the Super Bowl's most valuable player. That puts him in an elite category, but it hardly makes him an elite player.
He's hardly a lock.
In his eight NFL seasons, he's never finished higher than fourth in yards passing and four times didn't crack the top 10. His career completion average is 60th all-time. He's 41st in passer rating in NFL history and his 69-50 record as a starter doesn't exactly blow away people. Ben Roethlisberger has a better completion average, passer rating and record.
Both have won two Super Bowls and been named to two Pro Bowls.
The two Super Bowls are huge, but Eli has some work ahead if he's going to have an eternal place with the best who ever played in the NFL. For now, he's a very good quarterback in a league designed to make passing easier than it was in other eras. Big Ben is in the same category.
Tickets are $5 each or three for $10. A great lineup of prizes include: a Jim Kelly autographed football; a Dan Marino autographed mini-helmet; a Ryan Miller autographed goalie stick; a framed Masters print from Augusta National; a Buffalo Bills golf bag and a $50 restaurant gift certificate.
The drawing will take place at the golf tournament on July 27 at Holland Hills (participants do not need to be present to win).
If you would like to purchase tickets, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those from out of town can place an order with me, mail me a check and I'll monitor your tickets to see if you have won on Wednesday.
We've been fortunate that a number of people have taking a block of tickets to sell to their own group or organization -- if you are interested in doing so, send an email as well.
Reed is one of 15 modern-era candidates for the Hall. A maximum of five of those men can get elected. The vote takes place on Feb. 5. Here's your chance to weigh in. Vote for five - and only five - of the 15 below. ---Mark Gaughan
Bills great receiver Andre Reed was named as one of 15 modern-era finalists for induction to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This is the fifth straight year in which Reed has made the finals. He is one of three receivers in the final group, with former Minnesota great Cris Carter and former Raiders great Tim Brown.
MIAMI – Buffalo Bills receiver Andre Reed was among the finalists Saturday who did not get elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Reed, however, made it farther in the process than he had the previous three years he was among the list of 15 finalists.
The Hall’s Class of 2010 was chosen during a seven-hour meeting of selectors. The 15 modern finalists are whittled first to a list of 10 and then to a list of five.
Reed was one of four receivers up for induction. Two of those receivers, Reed and Jerry Rice, made the cut-down to 10. Reed was eliminated in the vote down to five finalists.
Reed, who played for the Bills from 1985 to 1999, caught 951 passes for 13,198 yards. He ended his career ranked third all-time in receptions and fourth in receiving yards. Reed's 87 touchdown catches put him 11th on the all-time list. Reed is third all time in playoff catches and fourth all time in receiving yards in the playoffs.
Eliminated in the cut-down from 15 to 10 were receivers Tim Brown and Cris Carter, running back Roger Craig, defensive end Charles Haley and coach Don Coryell.
Those eliminated with Reed on the cutdown to five were defensive linemen Richard Dent and Cortez Kennedy, center Dermontti Dawson and tight end Sha on Sharpe.
Bills great receiver Andre Reed made the list of 15 modern-era finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame for the fourth straight year.
The other finalists are: receivers Jerry Rice, Tim Brown and Cris Carter; coach Don Coryell; running backs Emmitt Smith and Roger Craig; center Dermontti Dawson; defensive ends Richard Dent and Charles Haley; guard Russ Grimm; linebacker Rickey Jackson; defensive tackles Cortez Kennedy and John Randle; and tight end Shannon Sharpe.
Bills great Steve Tasker was on the list of 25 semifinalists but did not make the cut to the final 15.
CANTON, Ohio -- The Pro Football Hall of Fame conducts an annual contest for NFL photographers and picks winners in news and features categories. The features winner this year was a shot of Terrell Owens walking toward the sidelines and "playfully" (we think) squirting water from a water bottle at quarterback Tony Romo, who is two steps ahead of him. It was taken by Sports Illustrated's Al Tielemans. Below is the link to it. The photo was taken last September at Dallas' season-opener at Cleveland.
CANTON, Ohio -- During a roundtable discussion held by the Hall of Fame Sunday afternoon, Bruce Smith was asked to comment on late Chiefs great Derrick Thomas and the fact that in Smith's best sacking season, Thomas outdid him by one. (Bruce had 19 sacks in 1990 and Thomas had 20.)
"Derrick Thomas was a very dear friend of mine," Bruce began. "I might add I also had 101 tackles that year."
The audience gave a big laugh over Smith's competitive nature. (Thomas, in fact, had significantly fewer tackles (63) that season.)
"But Derrick was special," Smith said. "He was a special athleetic talent, but he was a better person. He spent more time than most giving back to the communitiy and individuals who were less fortuante."
Woodson, who starred for the Steelers from 1987 to 1996, acknowledged he and his teammates were hoping the Houston Oilers would defeat the Bills in the wild-card round of the playoffs in the 1992 season. (The Bills, of course, won that game in the greatest NFL comeback ever.)
"We were waiting for the Oilers to beat them so we could beat the Oilers and go to the Super Bowl," Woodson said. "We couldn't beat them (the Bills) in the playoffs to save our life."
The Steelers lost to the Bills the next week, 24-3. The Steelers did knock the Bills out of the playoffs in 1995, but Woodson did not play in that game due to a knee injury.
Class of 2009 Hall of Famers Bruce Smith, Randall McDaniel and Rod Woodson participated in a roundtable discussion today at a lunch in Canton. At the end, moderator Andrea Kramer of NBC asked the three to name one man they think should be in the Hall of Fame.
"I can't say one guy, there's two," Smith said. "There's Andre Reed and Steve Tasker, the best special teams player I've ever seen."
Woodson named five: pass rusher Kevin Greene, center Dermontti Dawson, former Browns owner Art Modell, Lions defensive back and Steelers' assistant coach Dick LeBeau and quarterback Ken Stabler.
McDaniel named three Vikings - center Mick Tingelhoff, defensive tackle Jon Randle and receiver Cris Carter.