Eli Manning shook Tony Romo’s hand before he shook Dak Prescott’s hand after the Giants’ 10-7 victory on Sunday night. The order of post-game congratulations was decided either by proximity and familiarity or immense pettiness, depending on who you ask.
More measured observers will note Manning and Romo have been battling for NFC East superiority for over a decade and, during that time, forged a relationship built on mutual respect. Meanwhile, this was only Manning’s second game against rookie Prescott and the Giants quarterback fell into an old habit.
Drama enthusiasts will have a different take. In their version of reality Manning shaking Romo’s hand before Prescott’s, the actual starter, was a diabolical plan to send a message of disrespect. Why? Because Monday morning NFL conversation is driven by controversy, real or contrived.
Outside of that … who knows?
Consider me firmly in the first camp and not only because Manning is one of the most milquetoast, inoffensive athletes to ever put on a uniform in any sport. But also because there is nothing to gain by “snubbing” Prescott. Why motivate a player your team has beaten twice when the rest of the league is 0-11 against them?
Maintaining equilibrium would seem to be in the Giants’ best interest.
What probably happened — and this theory is as backed up by as much evidence as the drama-filled one — is that Nice Guy Eli saw his old buddy Romo and shook his hand. He then continued his tradition of good sportsmanship by shaking another quarterback’s hand. Hell, he probably shook some other non-throwing hands on the way off the field.
Perhaps someone with a tinfoil hat wants to get to the bottom of those post-game confabs as well.