12:40 p.m.: Eli Manning addresses the elephant in the room in Indianapolis. That would be his older brother Peyton Manning, whose future, you may have heard, is somewhat uncertain. Eli Manning spoke of how much he’s learned from Peyton, just as you’d expect. “He’s been a great big brother and supporter of me and I know he’ll be rooting hard for the Giants.”
Eli was asked what winning a second Super Bowl would mean for his legacy. “As a player, I don’t think you think about your legacy...All I’m thinking about is what this woull mean for the New York Giants and their fans and certain players...what it would mean for Deon [Grant] or Victor Cruz or Hakeem [Nicks] to win a championship. I think you put it above yourself and ask what it would mean for them.”
Brandon Jacobs recovered from the shock of being interviewed by a guy in a ginormous fur hat in time to admit he might not be able to spell “Umenyiora” and to discuss his quarterback. “I believe in Eli. I’ve believed in Eli my whole seven years [with the Giants]. I’ve watched him put in the work, I’ve watched him grow. He’s going to continue to be a successful quarterback the rest of his career.”
Then, it got a little stupid. In a movie about Tom Coughlin — a movie that would start 15 minutes ahead of the posted starting times — Manning would cast Gene Hackman in the title role. And, asked to name other famous Elis, Manning came up with Lilly and Whitney.
12:37 p.m.: Antrel Rolle says “I think so” in a confident way when asked if the Giants’ defense can stop Tom Brady. “We may not be able to stop everything, but we think we can stop a lot of what they can do.”
He was more confident about the outcome of the game — “We’ll bring it home.” — and the Giants’ ability to stop the Patriots’ two tight ends — “I don’t think it. I know it.”
Rolle delivers the Official TMI Moment of Media Day. He says likes Madonna’s “Like a Virgin,” then adds, “but I can’t say that because I’m not that.”
12:32 p.m.: Jason Pierre-Paul was just asked if he likes pizza or chowdah better. Hoo boy.
12:21 p.m.: Offered the chance to clarify comments about Julian Edelman, Mario Manningham passes on the opportunity, saying he still intends to expose him.
12:15 p.m.: Justin Tuck reminds reporters that this isn’t Super Bowl XLII and stresses that the Giants believe their defense holds the key to the Patriots on Sunday: “It’s all about what we do.” This Media Day is looking up. The crowd — fans paid $25 each to get in — just booed Maria Menounos (a Patriots fan).
12:11 p.m.: Let’s go with Osi Umenyiora first. He is immediately reminded that his season began with a holdout. He’s glad it’s over and, sidestepping controversy, “I’m here.”
He sounds the Giants’ defensive mantra: get to the quarterback. Told that Patriots offensive lineman Matt Light is “under the weather,” he wished him a speedy recovered. Guessing the fruit basket is on the way.
11:50 a.m.: The second part of the journalistic soulsuck that is Super Bowl Media Day begins at noon EST when the New York Giants follow the New England Patriots to the various podia in Indianapolis.
The big takeaways from the Patriots’ session? Tight end Rob Gronkowski is out of his walking boot, Josh McDaniels has been a big help to Tom Brady and so has Gisele Bundchen. Oh, and Pick Boy is in the house. So there’s that.
As for the Giants, what are the chances the enormous presence hovering over Indianapolis is likely to be mentioned repeatedly during Eli Manning’s session? He’s already answered questions about big brother Peyton and his future in football, but that doesn’t mean they won’t all be asked again. (Especially since the NFL Network is running a lengthy feature on Peyton just before the Giants step to the mics.) And Eli will probably have to talk about his status as an elite quarterback, too.