Once news broke that Giants quarterback Eli Manning would be benched in favor of his backup Geno Smith on Sunday, Tom Brady Sr. sent Manning’s father, Archie, a note to express his support.
“He wrote me a beautiful message about what Eli has meant to the Giants and to the league,” Archie told ESPN’s Ian O’Connor. “His email summed up the way Eli has carried himself during all of his years with the Giants and how that type of thing is important in our league at a time when maybe some of those things are breaking down. It was very meaningful to us.”
After starting every regular season game since 2005, Eli was informed by former head coach Ben McAdoo that he would be sidelined for New York’s Week 13 game against the Raiders. The 36-year-old was noticeably upset about the decision.
— Pat Leonard (@PLeonardNYDN) November 28, 2017
While Brady certainly has a stronger rivalry with the elder Manning brother, Peyton, Eli has also proven to be a thorn in his side. The former No. 1 draft pick was responsible for the only two Super Bowl losses of his career.
Archie told O’Connor that he’s met Brady Sr. just one time: at the Super Bowl in San Francisco. Archie didn’t specify which year, but the last Super Bowl held at Levi’s Stadium was between the Broncos and the Panthers in 2016.
“We finally sat down and had a cup of coffee together,” Archie said. “Tom [Sr.] is a very nice man, a real gentleman. Peyton and Tom [Jr.] have had a special relationship. They don’t go off and vacation together, but they’ve been together at different things through the years, and they have a lot of respect for each other.”
Brady wasn’t surprised by his father’s gesture, telling Westwood One’s Jim Gray that it sounds like something he would do.
“He’s such a caring and thoughtful man,” Brady said of his dad. “Fathers care deeply about their sons. There’s a lot you go through, and a lot of things you keep very private emotionally because you don’t ever want it to be a distraction to anyone.”
“My dad’s a great supporter,” he continued. “I know Archie’s a great supporter of his sons. They definitely have that in common. I thought it was a very nice thing to do at a very appropriate time.”