The Rush: Eli Manning talks pranking and the best QB class of all time

Two-time Super Bowl winning quarterback Eli Manning joins The Rush to discuss thee Manning pranking gene, the Manning acting gene and whether or not the 2004 draft class is the best of all time.

Video Transcript

ELI MANNING: would avoid doing any pranks on like a punter or kicker. And I made the mistake of getting our punter, Jeff Feagles.


LIZ LOZA: I am here with two time Super Bowl champion, Eli Manning. How are you, Eli?

ELI MANNING: I'm doing great, Liz. Nice to see you.

LIZ LOZA: To see you as well. You were a notorious prankster in the NFL. So in honor of April Fool's Day, I'm curious, who is bearing the brunt of that in retirement for you?

ELI MANNING: Unfortunately, my kids are kind of getting some of those pranks. And I was so proud earlier this fall. It was kind of a hot day and I was driving my daughter to school. And all of a sudden I was like, God, it's so hot in this car.

I'm sweating and turned out she had turned the heated seats on in my car. And I was so proud. I was, you know, a little mad at her, but so proud that she kind of has the prankster gene in her.

LIZ LOZA: What was a prank that maybe was the least well received?

ELI MANNING: I made the mistake of getting our punter Jeff Feagles. You know, I can't remember what I did to him. Something very innocent, not too bad. And so when I came back from practice and a late practice, I get to my car at 8:00 PM.

I found all the air had been let out on my tires and he left me a bike pump to basically try to pump it up. Pump up my tires just enough to get it to a gas station. So don't mess with the special teams, people.

LIZ LOZA: No. They will retaliate. My goodness. It seems like the acting gene is part of the Manning family too. Who has the better acting chops, you or Peyton?

ELI MANNING: That's tough. You know, I think he's had more experience than me. I mean, I feel like every time I turn on the TV, he's in a different commercial and on something.

So, you know what? It's a lot of-- it's all a lot of fun and, you know, especially when you get to do one with your family. You know, I got to do one with my dad just recently for BBQ Guys.

LIZ LOZA: What are you doing with BBQ Guys?

ELI MANNING: Yeah. You know, really excited to do it my dad And to, you know, join BBQ Guys and be a part of their first ever national advertising campaign. They've been around for 20 years and are experts in the grilling and outdoor living, but really feel like they've been like a well-kept secret.

And it's our job to tell the world about this little secret and what they're doing in the grilling and outdoor living space. And so they're based out of Louisiana. And like any partnership or relationship, you know, you want to really you get along with their core values and believe in their values, believe in their products. And that's the way we feel about BBQ Guys.

LIZ LOZA: Your fellow Louisiana legend, Drew Brees, just announced his retirement. What's something that you can tell him that surprised you about retired life? Maybe something you didn't expect.

ELI MANNING: You know, I coached three of my girls' basketball teams this winter and they don't listen. You know, it doesn't change whether you're a coach or the dad. They still don't listen to me and my coaching. So that's good to know. And I think Drew, I'm sure he's coaching some of his kids. Don't just assume that you're the coach now, they'll listen to you, because they wont.

LIZ LOZA: You celebrated a rather big birthday recently. So I'm going to ask you if you have had a this is 40 moment yet?

ELI MANNING: You know, I started playing some new sports. Started playing paddle ball, which is kind of a north-eastern sport. Where it's like a mini tennis, but it's on this hard court. And we kind of had a two-a-days game.

I played with Zak DeOssie. He was my partner in this league, former teammate of mine with the Giants. And so we had to play two matches in one day. And I remember waking up the next day my back was like, totally shot.

I'm walking, I'm limping around and I'm just like, you know, I guess this is 40. This is what happens. I can't do two-a-days anymore.

LIZ LOZA: OK, Eli. Let's end the debate once and for all. Is the 2004 QB draft class the best of all time?

ELI MANNING: Well, I think it's-- we've got a strong-- we've got a strong case. We've got a strong case. Obviously, going against the, you know, several tough-- tough competitors. But I think as a quarterback, you do kind of take pride in your draft class.

And obviously for me, with Phillip and Ben, you match, Matt Schaub. You know, he kind of gets left out of the mix a little bit, but had a great career. But, you know, Phillip had Ben obviously kind of get linked together. So I've enjoyed following them on their careers and rooting for them, competing against them.

And obviously, you know, Phillip retired this year. We'll forever be linked because of the Chargers and Giants and the trade on draft day. But also Ben who's still going. You know, he's still going strong, had a great year last year. And, you know, definitely root for him and wish him all the best going on into his future.

LIZ LOZA: The Giants just made a very large investment in Kenny Golladay and getting Daniel Jones. Speaking of the Giants and help, how would you personally build rapport with a new receiver?

LIZ LOZA: You know, I don't know what they're going to do with OTAs and mini camps and those types of things. I read today that they're kind of debating on those things. But I think that time is so important for a young quarterback and receiver to get together.

Because you can work on back shoulders, you can work on throwing guys open. You can, you know, if you miss the throw in practice, you can watch it on film together and say, hey next time, you know, I want you to throw in here. OK, I can do that too.

You know, it's just those little conversations that maybe, you know, don't happen again for two, three, four or five months. And all in a game or a critical third down it does happen and you make that throw and they make that catch. And, you know, that's a difference to maybe winning and losing games.

LIZ LOZA: Eli Manning, thank you so much for taking the time to be on "The Rush" today. We wish you the very best in retirement and in any future pranking endeavors.

ELI MANNING: Thank you so much. It was a lot of fun.