Was Eli right to diss draft?

Paul Schwartz: I always get disgusted when people get high and mighty whenever sports and tragedy become intertwined and the talk is all about "putting everything into perspective.'' If you need a natural disaster to remind you that sports isn't the most important thing in life then you're out of whack to begin with.

Kenny, I know you heard the same things I did when it came to the Giants-Saints game originally scheduled for the Superdome in New Orleans but moved to Giants Stadium because of the hurricane. Unfair! The Giants get an extra home game, the Saints are forced to play a road game. From a purely competitive sense that's all true, but the NFL had to find a place for the game in a hurry and also find a venue where the seats would be filled in order to generate as much money as possible for hurricane relief. It would have been absurd to put this game in some neutral site, like Memphis for instance, and then play in front of thousands of empty seats. We both know that painting one end zone in the colors of the Saints or allowing the Saints to wear their home black uniforms didn't change the fact that the Giants had a distinct advantage playing at home. To those other NFC East teams that quietly grumbled about this disparity, I say "Get over it.'' Sure, the Giants benefit from playing a ninth game at home but, as GM Ernie Accorsi reminds everyone, it's not as if the Giants in recent years have been a sure thing at home. It's not fair that the Saints had to pick up and move their base of operations to San Antonio. They've dealt with it as best as possible. So should everyone else.

Ken Palmer: Believe it or not, Paul, you make a lot of sense. However, you really can't blame the Saints or Jim Haslett for being upset about having to travel to New York unnecessarily. They figured out fast enough that they could play their games in San Antonio and Baton Rogue. One of those venues is really where this game should have been played. There's no doubt that was the only reason this game was played here – New Yorkers usually get their way. No way the game is switched to Kansas City if it were the Chiefs the Saints were supposed to be hosting last Sunday. One other quick thing – for all the folks that have asked you and I for tickets through the years, they ought to be ashamed. A golden opportunity to see Big Blue with tickets as easy to get as ever and yet there were still more than 10,000 seats available a day before the game.

PS: You agreeing with me on such a weighty issue gives me the creeps, so let's move onto another matter that I'm sure we'll see differently. What a crock it was that Tom Coughlin was ticked off at Will Peterson after Peterson couldn't play in the season opener. Peterson, coming off a strained knee ligament, tried to practice the week prior to the game, said he experienced a few physical setbacks and by the end of the week saw his reps decreased, a sign that the team was likely not to activate him. Three hours before the game, he was put through a workout by defensive coordinator Tim Lewis to test his knee and Peterson determined that he couldn't cut the way he needed to. He didn't think he could help the team and in fact thought he might hurt it, so he informed the coaching staff he didn't think he should play. Coughlin, who two days earlier pretty much stated that Peterson would play, gets all bent out of shape as if this is a startling revelation. Then Coughlin goes on about hoping that all players have an excitement to play, as if Peterson was dogging it. The coach can't have it both ways. He wants his players to be truthful with him and when they are he can't handle the truth. (Cue the Jack Nicholson imitation). Your take, Mr. Palmer?

KP: Must be the full moon…I agree with you again. Coughlin's inconsistency in that case sends a really bad message to all his players. If you don't think they're capable of determining on their own if they can play or not, then don't let them decide. If you're going to leave the ball in their court, then zip the lips afterward. We both know that Coughlin, not usually all that subtly, does pressure his players to play through injuries, although he's not as bad in that department as most people think. There's no doubt that Peterson, with whom he had a run-in late last season, is not Coughlin's favorite player, and there's no way to believe that didn't also factor into this mix.

PS: This is all much too civil. So far, no shots from me about Penn State, the Phillies, your eating habits, your wacky opinions or your hatred of my beloved Albany. Maybe we're getting soft in our old age. Anyway, we've got the Chargers game coming up next and that reminds me, didn't Eli Manning look a little bit like a spoiled kid when he pulled that "I won't play in San Diego'' stunt before and during the NFL Draft? Call me old fashioned (I'm sure you will) but wouldn't it be nice for a kid going first in the draft to actually be proud of that achievement and feel so confident in his ability that he could say "They might have been a losing team before but those days are over when I get there'' or something to that effect. What, he doesn't like a perfect climate? You know the only reason this game is an ESPN Sunday night affair is because of the soap opera elements it contains. Manning is persona non grata in San Diego and now he gets to play there for the first time. Hostile is a tame description of the reception he'll receive. From my experiences with Manning, there's nothing not to like about the guy but instead of forcing a trade, it would have been nice for him to go to the team that took him in the draft.

KP: No way, you bozo (there, that's more like it). In today's society the rich get richer. If you're Eli Manning, you should be able to choose whatever the heck you want, where you want to play, etc. Manning had all the right in the world to tell the Chargers not to draft him, and the Bolts can say all they want about how he would have been better off there last season. In the long run, Manning's desire to play in New York will pay off for him big time. It's not like he's a moron like J.D. Drew, who sat out a whole season just because he didn't want to play baseball in Philly.

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