Eli Manning Hoping To Get His Accuracy Badge At Football Camp This Year

Eli Manning is about to head off to New York Giants camp for the sixth time. And as much as the young quarterback looks forward to his time in the upstate New York countryside each summer, he admits he is motivated to get the one camper badge that has long eluded him.
"I have most of my badges," said Eli, beaming. "I have my badge for starting quarterback, my badge for being team captain, look — I even have my Super Bowl badge! But, golly — I still can't get my accuracy badge, even though I try my darnedest," he added, kicking at a pebble.
"Eli is one of our camp regulars," said Tom Coughlin, leader of the New York Giants. "He comes from a good family — and he's been coming here since he was a little boy, back when he was even more innocent than the fella you see today, if you can believe that. So I'm hoping he gets that elusive accuracy badge this year. He tries hard and he wants it really bad. But, you know, I bet I want him to get it even more than he does."
Despite getting all the way up to a Super Bowl badge, Manning has a 55.9-percent career completion percentage and has thrown 74 interceptions in 73 career games.
"Even the best pass he ever threw, it was so off-target, one of the other campers had to catch it with one hand off the top of his helmet," said Coughlin. "That makes for a great memory — something I'm sure they both told all their friends about later on when they got home — but it's not what I'm looking for here. Eli's parents send him here to learn how to throw, not hit receivers in the helmet with passes or try to kiss girls."
When Manning's parents drop him off at camp this week, they will leave him with encouraging words.
"It's hard for the little guy, and not just because he misses us a lot," said Olivia Manning. "We always sent his big brother, Peyton, out to camp in Indiana, and he got his accuracy badge from early on. So that only put more pressure on Eli. I think people expect Eli to be accurate, too, because it came so easily for his brother. But he just isn't. Eli is special in his own way, you know? And he claims it doesn't bother him, but I know he's just saying that. The tears tell me the truth."
Eli's father, Archie, says he'll be rooting for his son.
"Getting that badge means a lot to Eli," said Archie. "And I think he can do it this year. And once he does, I'll bet the bed-wetting stops immediately."


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