What to Know
- It's going to be a weekend to remember for acclaimed former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.
- Not only will the two-time Super Bowl winner be inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame on Sunday -- via a virtual ceremony, but a returning craft beer by Source Brewery will honor Manning's legacy.
- Manning will be among this year's inductees into the New Jersey Hall of Fame, alongside Grammy Award-winning singer Cissy Houston and “Good Times” actor John Amos.
It's going to be a weekend to remember for acclaimed former New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.
Not only will the two-time Super Bowl winner be inducted into the New Jersey Hall of Fame on Sunday -- via a virtual ceremony, but a returning craft beer by Source Brewery will honor Manning's legacy.
Source Farmhouse Brewery on Route 34 in Colts Neck that has concocted its ELIte Tribute Imperial North East India Pale Ale, which was created in honor of Manning.
According to the brewery, the ale has notes of joo-see, tangerine and a berry medley.
"Imperial NEIPA that we brewed as a tribute to future Hall of Famer, Eli Manning. It is bursting with notes of tangerine, blueberry, red Starburst candy, ripe peaches, and roses. The mouthfeel is super mellow and soft and the bitterness is restrained to accentuate the fruity interplay of hop flavors," the brewery says on its website.
Manning will be among this year's inductees into the New Jersey Hall of Fame Sunday, alongside Grammy Award-winning singer Cissy Houston and “Good Times” actor John Amos.
Others known as the state's best and brightest include Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway, author Fran Lebowitz and Fairleigh Dickinson, benefactor of the university named after him.
Manning announced his retirement Jan. 22, but it was during the press conference he held Jan. 24 that he formally announced his retirement after 16 years with the Super Bowl-winning team.
The event kicked off with a video highlighting Manning's career and accomplishments — both on and off the field.
John Mara, the Giants' president and chief executive officer, said the day was one of "very mixed emotions."
"It's sad in one sense because we are seeing the end of a very incredible playing career and saying goodbye to someone who is everything you hope a player could be -- both on and off the field," Mara said, calling Manning one of the best players in franchise history and the "ultimate Giant."
Mara, fighting back tears, told Manning "know this: no Giant will ever wear No. 10 again."
Mara then gave the stage to Manning, who listed all that he will miss as he steps away from professional football.
"It's hard to explain the satisfaction -- actually the joy -- I've experienced from being a Giant," Manning said. "From the very first day, I did it my way."
Manning went on to say that he had no regrets and chose to leave the game with "only positive memories" -- although he would have loved to have won more games and championships.
"I'll miss the people and I'll miss the life experiences we shared," he said, adding that "when you win championships you have a special, unbreakable bond with teammates."
Many of those teammates, he said, will be life-long friends.
Manning ended his speech with these resounding words: "Once a Giant always a Giant.
"For me, it's only a Giant."
When answering questions from reporters he shed a little light into why he decided to retire -- and it all came down to family.
Manning said that instead of trying to uproot his family and play for another team, "this was the right decision. I know it is. I'm at peace with it. That's what has made this day a little bit easier."
News of Manning's retirement came Jan.22, and while it was a blow for die-hard Giants fan, rumors had swirled for a while that he would retire following his contract's expiration -- even though he never said whether he would play another season or retire.
"For 16 seasons, Eli Manning defined what it is to be a New York Giant both on and off the field," said Mara when the news broke Wednesday.
The Giants acquired Manning from San Diego on draft day in 2004 after the Ole Miss quarterback told the Chargers he did not want to play for them and forced the deal that general manager Ernie Accorsi gladly accepted.
It was a game-changing deal for the Giants, and started a major turnaround for a team that was 4-12 the previous season.
Manning replaced Hall of Famer Kurt Warner as the starter for then-new coach Coughlin after nine games. They won the NFC East the following season.
Within three seasons, the Giants won their first NFL championship since the 1990 season and Manning got his first Super Bowl MVP award, knocking off the previously unbeaten New England Patriots. The second came after the 2011 season when Manning and company again beat Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Pats.
In both games, Manning hit a clutch late pass on game-winning drives. He and David Tyree hooked up on the helmet catch in the first one and he found Mario Manningham on sideline go pattern in the second, igniting an 88-yard drive.
Manning was named Most Valuable Player in both Super Bowls.