Forgotten Player of the Moment – LIONEL MANUEL

By Phil Rippa
Requested by Pieman

I heart the New York Football Giants. I mean I love them like no other. Like they were my third born child. So writing about Lionel Manuel should be a breeze. Yeah… sure. I mean Lionel Manuel was good. Real good at times. But wasn’t LT. And he wasn’t a short, pudgy running back. Nor was he a Tight End… my ever first love and secret mistress. And he has two first names that I know how to spell so I doubt his family will be finding this by random Google searching. You know people, not every single player resonates with you for all eternity.  I mean I can look at the 1984 roster and come up with one or two lines on everyone. Some of them even humorous.

Billy Ard (G) – Tried to get out of jury duty because he had “personal appearances and speaking engagements” that he made because the Giants had won Super Bowl XXI. Yeah… that didn’t get over too well.

Carl Banks (LB)

Kevin Belcher (G) – Someone already basically wrote his FPOTM. “Offensive lineman for the New York Giants, who played two years for the team in the early 80’s before a car accident ended his career in 1985, who was involved in a racial controversy in 1991 when he was arrested at the Dallas airport for “fitting the profile” of a drug-courier (a black man carrying a great deal of cash), died June 28 of undetermined causes in El Paso, TX at age 42.”

Brad Benson (OL) – If I stay in the VA area, I am buying my next car from Mel Gray. If I go back to NY, I am totally buying my car from Brad Benson.

Jim Burt (NT) – Was dead to me when he started playing for the Niners. His boy is in the Mets organization. Since the Burt’s are the least Latino family you will ever find, I doubt Jim Jr. is ever making the show.

Rob Carpenter (RB) – All you heard during the draft was that Bobby Carpenter HAD TO BE GREAT. HE IS ROB CARPENTER’S SON!!!! Obviously none of these people every watched Rob play.

Harry Carson (LB) – That would be HALL OF FAMER Harry Carson. Sweet sweet slight moment of justice.

Frank Cephous (RB) – Giants throw a curveball by wasting a pick on a RB out of UCLA. I guess someone from Michigan or Syracuse must have pissed them off.

Bill Currier (DB) – He returned a pick for a TD once. Yup, that was it.

Kenny Daniel (DB) – Aww… sweet sweet USFL alum.

Larry Flowers (DB) – Liked to distribute the cocaine.

Tony Galbreath (RB) – Man, the more I think about it, if any personifies a FPOTM its Tony Galbreath who was ridiculously good but gets overshadowed because he was a fullback and because the Giants acquired someone by the name of Maurice Carthon. Yup – gonna end up with 48 guys from this team having them done.

Chris Godfrey (Warm Body) – Godfrey played about a 1000 positions… none of them particularly well but he played in the NFL which I never will. I suck.

Conrad Goode (OL) – Oh has a far far better career path than I could ever dream of.

Earnest Gray (WR) – I seriously could write the Lionel Manuel FPOTM and just find and replace Lionel Manuel with Earnest Gray and be done. 4 TDs IN A GAME!!!! 10 MADDEN TOKENS!!!

Ali Haji-Sheikh (K) – So very tempted to punt his impending FPOTM right here in this very space. Maybe I will do a combined Haji-Sheikh, Bijon Nittmo and Raul Allegre one.

Dee Hardison (DE/NT/DT) – His career year, of course, came his first year out of New York.


Andy Headen (LB) – I nearly spit soda through my nose when some doofus on Page 2 claimed that Andy Headen could have started for any defense in the league, it was just because he was stuck behind so many great players on the Giants D.

Kenny Hill (DB) – Yeah the Giants and their love for the Ivy League confuses me. No, I will not write about Keith Elias.

Byron Hunt (LB) – Byron Hunt is definitely a person my sister would stalk and I would pretend to be related to her.

Dave Jennings (P) – If Sean Landeta never existed or the USFL hadn’t failed, Jennings would be the best punter in Giants history. Take that for what it is worth. If you live in the Tri-State area, Jennings will still annoy you every week during football season.


Robbie Jones (LB) – Jones is just another number that the University of Alabama can add to their list of “Tide who played in the NFL” list.

David Jordan (G) – Thank God the draft was shortened to 7 rounds. I grew weary of the parade of SEC offensive linemen the Giants would draft.

Terry Kinard (DB) – Terry Kinard now can cover better than either Will. There I said it.

Lionel Manuel (WR) – Duh… everything that isn’t this giant space filling list

Leonard Marshall (DT) – Leonard Marshall absolutely mauled Joe Montana. He could crash a bus full of kids and I would have a tough time hating him.

George Martin (DE) – I adore George Martin but I think he was kept around just to make all the other guys on the team feel young. I mean he started playing for the Giants the year I was born.

Phil McConkey (WR) – Yup… another pending FPOTM.

Curtis McGriff (DE/NT) – If you have the cash, I am sure Curtis McGriff will attend whatever function you are having. I PLAYED IN THE NFL!!!!

Joe McLaughlin (LB) Oh… wait… wrong Joe McLaughlin. Oh… wait… wrong type of football.

Casey Merrill (DE/DT) – He is one of those guys that Parcells really fired up. Heck, he had 8.5 sacks one year. Of course, he leaves the Giants the year before the win the Super Bowl.

John Mistler (WR) – I don’t think there are any statues of John Mistler at Arizona State.

Joe Morris (RB) – NFL CLOTHES NAZI!!!! Poor poor Joe. Did you really need a paycheck that bad?

Zeke Mowatt (TE)

Tom Mullady (WR) – One could argue that Tom Mullady is the best product that Rhodes College every produced. HEY! A school with a worse athletic history than AU. Sweet.

Karl Nelson (T) – Is it wrong that learned about Hodgkin’s disease because of Karl Nelson? God, how am I not functionally illiterate?

Elvis Patterson (S) – If you close your eyes, you could pretend Patterson is still playing for the current secondary. Poor poor Toast.

Gary Reasons (LB) –

William Roberts (T) – Oh yeah, do a William Roberts image search on Google. Nine pages in you will get to Grant Roberts first before you get to William Roberts. But then type in “William Roberts” new york giants and stare at the football players’ package. Yeah – the internet amuses me.

Jeff Rutledge (QB) – In 1984, the Giants drafted Jeff Hostetler. This made both Jeff Rutledge and Ed sad.

Jerome Sally (NT) Bill will weep when he sees Charles Way’s photo at the top of the page. Apparently athletes don’t like sex.

Pete Shaw (DB) – Phil McConkey called Pete Shaw the most underrated player he ever played with. I am uncertain why this made me giggle so much.

Phil Simms (QB) – With every game he announces, my love of Phil Simms dies just a little bit more.

Lawrence Taylor (LB) – Tombstone Packer BABY!!!

Rich Umphrey (C/G) – Got some starts at Center. And… well… umm… Yup, started at Center.

Byron Williams (WR) – Jesus. How many questionable wide-outs did they have?

Perry Williams (CB) – This was the good Perry Williams who played in the secondary. Not the crappy one who tormented the Packers as a running back.


Come on people. I’M OLD!!! AND DUMB!!! GET THE HELL OFF MY LAWN!!! Yes, I am rambling. Anyway, my point is that to write a few pages of memories on Lionel Manuel is tough. So clearly Pieman wanted to point out that he is older than me and make me try and remember any of the wacky things that Manuel might have done.ManuelAlright alright – let’s talk about L-Train. Coming out of the University of Pacific (of course the Giants waited to the 7th Round of the ’84 draft. Though I can’t club them too bad because some of the people the Giants were picking in front of him were Banks, Hostetler, and Reasons) Manuel ended up being something the New York Giants had almost never seen… a competent wide receiver. That is really impressive considering that the Parcells coached Giants were run first, run second, throw to the tight end third, run fourth, dump off out of the backfield fifth, run sixth, punt seventh. (This yet again was reflected in Tecmo where… yes… Manuel was in the game… but I mean the Giants had 3 running plays and the one pass was like a flea flicker.)

Manuel’s story was the usual story – good player whose body hated him. Missed 4 games in 85. 12 in 86 (BUT GETS A RING!!!). 4 in 87. Finally healthy again in 1987, Manuel breaks out for a 1000 yard season. Which makes him the first Giants’ receiver ever to have a 1000 yard season. Yup, the New York Giants who were around forever didn’t have a 1000 yard man until 1987. And you wonder why I love the running game and defense.

Manuel’s body craps out on him again and he is gone at the end of the 1990 season. (BUT GETS A RING!!!). The Bills clearly think they are striking a blow back at the Giants by signing him… and he never plays for them. Ralph Wilson. I’M OLD!!! AND POOR!!! IT’S COLD!!! AND THERE ARE WOLVES AFTER ME!!! Manuel does however play for the Barcelona Dragons and if that jersey ever existed I would wear it ever other day. My Nick Johnson jersey does need to be washed.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *