Retired NFL quarterback Eli Manning celebrated his former coach's birthday on Monday and asked a favor from his former teammates. He called out the New York Giants that won Super Bowls XLII and XLVI and asked them to donate to Tom Coughlin's charity, the Jay Fund. The longtime coach founded the charity in 1995 to provide financial and emotional support for families of children with cancer.
Manning posted the video on Twitter Monday and explained that it was Coughlin's birthday. He said that the coach is passionate about his family, his faith, football and the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund. He said that bringing attention to the charity is a great way to celebrate the coach's 74th birthday. Manning specifically mentioned those that helped him defeat the New England Patriots in 2007 and 2011, but he also opened up the invitation to anyone who spent time under Coughlin.
"The best gift we can give him is bringing attention to the great work he's been doing for the last 25 years, in helping families that are struggling as they deal with a child that has cancer," Manning said in his video. "So, it's a little challenge to anyone who played in Super Bowl XLII and XLVI." He also called out anyone who played for Coughlin during his time with the Giants.
While the challenge mainly went out to the New York Giants, Manning also challenged a member of the media. He specifically mentioned ESPN's Chris Mortensen, who continues to face Stage IV throat cancer. "Mort, you have to donate or I will post all the videos I took of you attempting to hit a golf ball at The Jay Fund golf event," Manning tweeted on Monday. The longtime ESPN insider responded and said that he is "always in" but also teased some stories from the golf tournament.
According to PEOPLE, Coughlin launched the Jay Fund in 1996. In the years since, the foundation has granted $13 million to "more than 6,000 families with children suffering from cancer" in both the New York City and Jacksonville, Florida areas. Prior to coaching the Giants to two Super Bowl victories, Coughlin also spent time with the Jaguars.
The head coach previously told the outlet that the average family faces $833,000 in costs when dealing with childhood cancer. This includes medical costs and lost wages. "Can you imagine how a regular family can handle that?" Coughlin asked during a 2019 interview. The Jay Fund strives to offset some of these costs, and Manning is on a mission to provide assistance in honor of his former coach's birthday.