MIAMI – Troy Aikman retired as a three-time Super Bowl champion and became a more critical quarterback over the next five years.
Suddenly, when he competed for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, his career became an all-time pro with no time loss, with only seven of twelve winning seasons and a similar number of touchdown passes (165) and interceptions (141). ,
So if anyone understands the intricacies of two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning's Hall of Fame Falls, it's Aikman. Manning retired from the Giants last week.
"He had a great career," said Aikman, who will be the color commentator for Fox’s Super Bowl 2020 show. "These Super Bowl runs, I would use these games and these runs against anyone in the history of the game. He brought them to this point. That's why they won these Super Bowls."
Manning's last eight seasons after winning his second Super Bowl at the expense of the Patriots dynasty led to a record 48:67 (117: 117) and only one playoff game in which he moved up to 7th time in passing on yards, touchdowns and completions, he endured two benchings and never formed an all-pro team.
"Which is difficult – and I've been through it – you've had a career and you feel good about it," said Aikman. "I think Eli is excited about his career. And he should be. … I couldn't have asked for more.
"Back then there was no social media. I wasn't asked [about the Hall of Fame] on the day of my retirement. When it got closer after five years, it was almost like apologizing or defending my career. That is the part that is really annoying. I don't like it for him. I don't like the debate … I don't like the process we go through for the Hall of Fame. "
Manning will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in five years. The vote will take place on the Super Bowl weekend in a 48-member media panel that includes two former Hall of Fame players (James Lofton and Dan Fouts). Aikman was selected in 2006, his first year of eligibility.
"As far as it goes, he's a Hall of Famer or he's not a Hall of Famer," said Aikman, "I don't think a player should ever withdraw from football because he feels like a Hall of Fame player. I think it's decreasing from those who are in the Hall of Fame. If you're lucky enough to be asked, join in with the hat in your hand and feel comfortable. I've never had fun when a player complains that he wasn't inducted into the Hall of Fame. "
For more information on Super Bowl 2020, see the latest episode of the podcast "Blue Rush":