EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ – The Giants’ hopes of winning a second consecutive Super Bowl were devastated Wednesday when quarterback Eli Manning suffered tears to both MCLs in a bizarre accident at his home.
The 31-year-old, wearing a bright yellow polo shirt tucked neatly into a pair of too-short khakis, injured himself in front of his bathroom mirror while practicing various celebrations he could use for future rushing touchdowns.
Listening to a “Jock Jams” tape that his big brother gave him in 1994, Manning attempted teammate Victor Cruz’s patented salsa dance, which he has always quietly admired. Vigorously pumping his arms forward and back like pistons, Manning felt he had perfected the upper-body portion of the dance, but it was the mechanics of the lower half that proved to be destructive.
Still pumping his arms, Manning hunched his back and clumsily struggled to gyrate his buttocks, but coordinating his hips for such a motion interrupted his balance, and he inadvertently lurched forward and began humping the toilet. Using the toilet as a brace, he then endeavored to incorporate the rhythmic stepping pattern, but his jagged, unorthodox stomping caused both of his knees to simultaneously buckle inward, instantly shredding both MCLs in a burst of white-hot pain.
Manning floundered convulsively on the tile floor for more than an hour, squealing “DAD! DAD! DAD!” nonstop until his father, Archie, could no longer ignore the commotion and wandered upstairs to discipline his son with a hickory switch.
Team doctors arrived shortly thereafter and determined that both MCLs sustained grade III tears, effectively putting Manning out of commission until March.
Speaking to the media later, the two-time Super Bowl MVP was inconsolable.
“I just wanted to look cool like Victor, is all,” he sniffled from inside his couch fort, where he was hiding from reporters. “I didn’t mean to get a boo-boo, and I’m sorry for being such a little stinker.”
Manning promised that he would never try the salsa dance again, and that he’d stick to the other touchdown celebration he practiced: spinning really fast in circles with his arms out like an airplane until he got too dizzy and fell down.