EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Before Eli Manning met the media following Sunday's last-second loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, he had to wait a few minutes. As is apparent in a video circulating on ESPN and on the Internet this week, the media room was empty as the quarterback stood near the podium.
But this wasn't a slight by the media or a case of reporters ignoring Manning, who didn't have to wait too long. And it was nothing unusual. Following every game, Manning and other Giants stars such as Justin Tuck conduct their news conferences at the same time as the rest of their teammates are talking in the locker room.
Reporters in the locker room are alerted by the Giants public relations staff multiple times when Manning is heading to the podium. Although the players can walk directly to the podium area from their locker room, reporters have to take a roundabout route.
And Manning typically walks into a near-empty room at the start of his postgame news conferences and patiently waits for reporters. On Sunday, Giants coach Tom Coughlin's news conference went longer than normal, with the media grilling him over the circumstances of the Giants' 38-31 collapse.
By the time several reporters went from Coughlin's presser to the locker room, many players had scattered. Some reporters interviewed rookie punter Matt Dodge outside the locker room as he was leaving. Dodge had conducted an interview inside the locker room for the few reporters who did not go to Coughlin's news conference. The rest of the media interviewed defensive players such as Antrel Rolle in the locker room to get the story of the day.
Manning got dressed and was ready for his news conference while reporters were still interviewing defensive players and special teams players about the Giants' unbelievable defensive collapse and DeSean Jackson's touchdown return. Oftentimes reporters have to make a choice to stay in the locker room and talk to a player they need or go ask Manning or another Giant in the podium area a question. On this day, the story was more about the special teams and defense than Manning, whose answers also would be provided on a quote sheet for reporters afterward.
Manning didn't really conduct a one-man news conference, as one might think from the video. Several people showed up during the course of his presser.
And credit the always classy Manning, who stood and patiently waited after one of the most difficult losses of his career and understood the circumstances.