In 2011, Giant's quarterback Eli Manning said in an interview that he thought he was a "top 5 elite" quarterback in the NFL. His comments set off a firestorm of debate about whether or not Eli was truly a top 5 quarterback, and more importantly, what makes a player in the NFL stand out.
I'm passionate about football, and Eli's comments really got me thinking. Was Eli Manning just being prideful by telling the media that he's an elite quarterback? What pushes someone into the top 5 in their profession? Compared to other quarterbacks, is Eli Manning really that good?
I finally decided that it really is a meaningless question. Is Eli Manning a great quarterback? Yes. Is he one of the top 5 quarterbacks in the NFL? Debatably. What matters is Eli is really good at helping his team win. (He wears two big Super Bowl rings on his fingers to prove it, something only two other quarterbacks in the NFL today can do.)
Eli has been lucky enough to find the perfect place where his set of talents are maximized. He's a natural leader, and he has coach that let's him lead. He's not particularly fast by NFL standards, but he has a great line to keep him from having to outrun linebackers.
Like Eli, we all need to learn to find areas where are skills shine. And where our weaknesses don't cripple everyone around us. It's not necessarily that you have to be the most talented person in your profession- you just have to have the right talents in the right places.
When I was first getting interested in football, their was a very talented quarterback for the New York Jets named Vinny Testaverde. NFL scouts had called him one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play at the college level- in all of the skill competitions, he could throw farther, run faster, be more accurate, and generally kick the butt of every other quarterback in the NFL.
He never once took his team to the Super Bowl.