Eli Manning’s benching marks excruciating end of an era

On the day nearly two years ago when Tom Coughlin bade farewell to the New York Giants, Eli Manning sat in the auditorium in tears. Manning is famous and oft-criticized for his even-keeled, even laconic, public disposition. But Coughlin’s words that day — saying Manning is what you would want your son to be made of, that Manning thought it was his fault Coughlin had lost his job, that Coughlin knew Manning would be back at work the next day starting to work on the next season — overwhelmed Manning as he watched the only coach he had known in his professional life leave.

Coughlin had given voice to what people around the Giants felt about Manning, from the very top down to the last man on the roster. He had been so steadfast, so reliable, that his consecutive starts streak was not even talked much about until it reached 209 a few weeks ago, topping his brother Peyton. It was taken for granted that Manning would be there on Sundays, from the moment he took over during his rookie year from Kurt Warner in 2004 until last week.

Article source: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000000884933/article/eli-mannings-benching-marks-excruciating-end-of-an-era

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