Following in the footsteps of Metta World Peace and Chad Ochocinco, Giants quarterback Eli Manning became the latest athlete to legally change his name, adopting the new moniker "Elite Manning."
"Well, the full name is Elite BetterThanPeyton Manning, but you can just call me Elite," Manning announced in a news conference Wednesday morning. "Or Mr. Elite. No, you know what. Just 'Elite' is fine."
Manning said he got the idea to change his name after Sunday's win against the 49ers, in which he helped lead the Giants to the Super Bowl for the second time in five seasons. After the game, many in the media said the younger Manning had cemented his place among the elite quarterbacks in the NFL, and Manning wanted to make sure that would never change.
"You know how people say 'you can't spell elite without Eli'? Well, you sure as hell can't spell it without Elite. And that's what I am: an elite… oh, you know what, call me Captain Elite. Yeah, I like that."
Sporting dark sunglasses and a diamond-encrusted gold chain with an "ELITE", Manning said his new name was just representative of his play as a quarterback, but of a full-on attitude change designed to convey his elite status 24/7. Most members of the media remained unimpressed.
"Elite status isn't something you can just say you have," said Giants beat writer Michael Eisen. "It's something that's bestowed and taken away countless times throughout the season by a fickle media. I mean, if Eli's just going to call himself 'Elite', then what the hell am I supposed to write about? Actual football?"
Manning said he would petition the league to have "Elite" on the back of his jersey, and to be introduced both before and after the national anthem at the Super Bowl. And while he — and his new legal name — considers himself elite, his teammates aren't on board with the "new" Elite Manning.
"I'm sure he'll go back to being the same old whiny, wussy Eli the first time we wedgie him in practice," said Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.
"Nuh-uh," Manning yelled out from across the locker room, unaware that Osi Umenyiora was sneaking up from behind to give him a wet willy.