It’s August and there’s very little that’s newsworthy happening in the professional or college football world. Fall camps are underway, yes, but news hits and tweets about this or that player looking hungry or in the best shape of his life are real downers. You don’t care, we don’t care, whatever.
BUT! There are highlight-worthy moments among the relative detritus of fall camps. We’ve seen Quincy Adeboyejo make tremendous end zone grabs. We’ve seen Damore’ea Stringfellow clown the Falcons’ (second-string) secondary. We’ve admired Laquon Treadwell’s bucket hat.
On Monday, August 14, 2017, however, the New York Giants’ longtime quarterback — and former Ole Miss Rebel — Eli Manning solidified his place in the history books with one of the greatest touchdown passes you’ll ever see. Just look at the accuracy and touch he achieves here:
That’s filthy stuff from the younger brother of Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning. We’re not entirely sure who’s on the receiving end of this thing, but, really, it doesn’t matter. Only Eli’s man is in a position to make this grab, because only Eli’s man is the target of Eli’s spectacular toss. You could make this catch. Your grandmother could make this catch. Rasputin could make this catch, and he’s been dead for nearly 101 years.
But only Eli can make this throw. The former Isidore Newman product almost certainly learned that in the front yard of his New Orleans home while playing catch with his father Archie manning, further proving that he's the best overall talent to come out of the private New Orleans high school.
This incredible pass deserves closer scrutiny. Let’s go to the tape. Behold as our hero accepts the snap with perfect form.
And we should of course acknowledge his perfect field vision. He and he alone knows exactly where this thing’s going.
There’s no need to look off a safety here, because this is money all the way down the line.
Look at his teammates on defense, stunned at this perfect release.
[overcome into stunned silence]
LOOK AT THIS SPIRAL.
[weeping tears of utter joy]
And finally — finally — a return to terra firma. The culmination of this great, grand story arc meets with the only conclusion it could have had. A touchdown. An easy, wondrous touchdown.
What splendid beauty. The Platonic eidolon of a touchdown pass into the corner. There will never be another Eli. There will never be another pass such as this. Emboss this on Mount Rushmore and Stone Mountain and every lithographic monument in between. This pass — this soaring, perfect throw — is America and American. It’s you, it’s me, it’s us. And it’s beautiful.