Earlier this week, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning was named to the The Times-Picayune's All-Time Top 51 Athletes from Louisiana list, ranking No. 41 overall. He joined former Giants kicker Morten Anderson on the list and wasn't quick to dismiss the honor. Rather, Manning, who was speaking from the annual Manning Passing Academy, said he was honored to be named at all given how many talented and successful athlete's have been produced by the state.
"There have been a lot of great athletes in the state of Louisiana," Manning told The Times-Picayune. "I don't know if I truly deserve it … But it is an honor to be part of this group."
The ever-humble Manning was also asked about the recent string of heavy criticism he's faced and, in a rare moment of candid discussion on the topic, said it's something you just have to tune out regardless of how overwhelming it may appear to be at times.
"You just have to be yourself, treat people nicely and don't try to be someone you're not," Manning said. "You can't buy into what the papers might say, whether they're praising you or whether they're on you. You just have to listen to your coaches … and do your job to the best of your ability.
"People are trying to catch you doing something wrong, and you have to be smart. You have to know when there's time to enjoy yourself and let loose at times but you have to always be aware of your surroundings and who's watching."
Manning's comments served a dual purpose, as he also meant them to be a bit of advice to rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., who had joined him at the Manning Passing Academy this past Thursday.
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