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Eli will be on Letterman Wednesday


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Eli Manning tells Letterman his theory for Belichick's early departure


Feb 06, 2008


NEW YORK (AP) - Turns out Eli Manning has his own theory behind why Patriots coach Bill Belichick left the field with one play left in the Super Bowl.


"Trying to beat traffic, I guess," the New York Giants quarterback told David Letterman, during an appearance on the "Late Show" Wednesday.


Letterman replied, "That's why he's a professional. It never occurred to me that the coach was trying to beat traffic. Must have been murder that day in Arizona, for God's sake."


Two weeks before the Giants upset the previously unbeaten Patriots, Letterman was welcoming Lawrence Tynes to his couch after a game-winning kick in the NFC championship game against the Green Bay Packers.


This time it was Manning - much maligned for so long - reveling in the adulation of New York fans.


"I don't know if you know this or not, but people in New York City have opinions about their sports teams," Letterman said.


"And every day I would think, I'd say, 'I wouldn't give Eli's troubles to a monkey on a rock.' And they were unpleased with you, with the team, with everybody. And you must have had a sense of this unrest at some point in your four years here in the city."


Replying quite diplomatically, Manning said, "Yeah, well, I knew you were always on my side."


Letterman played the clip of Manning's throw to David Tyree on the go-ahead drive late in the game, in which the special teams player and backup receiver caught the ball against his helmet.


Then he asked about the touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress that finally gave the heavy underdogs a 17-14 lead with 35 seconds left.


"It really looked so easy, and it was so beautiful," Letterman said.


"A spiral," Manning replied. "That's rare for me."

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