The morning after pulling off one of the greatest upsets in Super Bowl history, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning met with the national media one last time in Phoenix to share his thoughts on Sunday's 17-14 win over the New England Patriots and pick up his Cadillac Escalade hybrid as the game’s Most Valuable Player.
Still a bit bleary following a night of celebrating, Manning said he got next to no sleep but seemed none the worse for wear.
"I finally got into my room, but I had to turn on the TV and watch some of the highlights again," he said. "When I finally made the commitment to try to get some sleep, I kind of sat there with my eyes wide open and replaying plays in my head. I'm just living on … I don't know what I'm going on right now. Just emotions and excitement from last night."
Headed back to New York for a Tuesday parade, Manning said he never doubted or lost confidence in himself, even during the bad times, such as a 41-17 November loss to the Vikings in which he had three interceptions returned for touchdowns.
"When you're not playing well and when you're losing games, they're looking at everything you do and dissect it," he said. "You know, my demeanor and how I am on the sideline and my personality. But I'm very comfortable in my own skin. I am the way I am and it wasn't going to change."
Asked who his choice for MVP would have been, Manning said he would have liked to give it to the whole team. But he made special mention of a Giants defense that held Tom Brady and the Patriots' record-setting offense to its lowest point total of the season.
"Our whole entire defense, that defensive front, the way they got after Tom Brady," he said. "The way they were able to get pressure on him. No one's been able to do that all year. The Giants' defensive staff and the way those guys played, they all deserve it."