Eli Manning retired from the NFL earlier this year, which means he has plenty of time to tailgate. That was the case on Sunday as he hosted the largest virtual tailgate before the New York Giants vs. Chicago Bears game with the help of Frank's RedHot. The event was live-streamed via Zoom and Twitter. Manning co-hosted the event with former Giants teammate Shaun O'Hara and they were joined by another former Giants teammate, Victor Cruz, as one of the few special guests.
During the tailgate, fans got to interact with Manning one-on-one to play games via Proxy (a human being with a screen taped to his face) and ask him questions about his career. Before the tailgate, Manning tweeted out the Zoom link for fans, and many of them wore Giants jerseys. There was even one fan who showed up running on a treadmill to burn off the gameday food.
"This is my first tailgate/homegate and we had to bring some sort of experience." Manning said during the tailgate. I'm glad we got the whole crew coming back together." Manning, who won two Super Bowls during his career, was asked about winning his first championship when O'Hara was on the team. "In Super Bowl 42, Shaun and I were teammates," Manning stated. "When you win that game you just run around the field and look for someone to hug. You can't plan for that or the feeling of ‘hey we just won a championship.'"
Celebrity guests that joined the virtual tailgate were TV personality Adam Richman, Diana Falk of The Hungry Fan and model Chanel Iman who is the wife of current Giants wide receiver Sterling Shepard. Iman wore her Shepard jersey while eating wings with Frank RedHot sauce. "I got Sterling's (Shepard) jersey on, ready to support my husband," she said.
Manning talked to a number of Giants fans during the tailgate, and one fan asked about if he has talked to current Giants quarterback Daniel Jones since he retired. "I talked to Daniel throughout the offseason a little bit and I don"t have any advice for him," he said. "He doesn’t need advice from me, I just said I can be a resource for you if you want."