Eli Manning’s pre-draft spectacle about not wanting to play for the San Diego Chargers and threatening to sit out the year was a bunch of self-entitled nonsense. He even commented that he would rather go to law school than play for the Chargers on the beautiful left coast.

I never cared much for Eli after that. When he beat the Razorbacks the previous year, it was the third loss in a row for Arkansas and the nail in the coffin that threw the Hogs out of the rankings. It wasn’t Eli’s fault that Arkansas was trending downward and the Rebels just happened to be the next game on the schedule.

It was the 2004 NFL Draft that changed my mind about him.

Apparently when your family is famous and you’re the younger brother, then acting like a fool in front of the whole world is acceptable. I never thought so.

Millions of dollars were about to be thrown his way. All he had to do was grin and bear it. Throw the football around and accept the hand that you were dealt — like all the rest of the football players in the league.

Players hold out for contract extensions or big pay raises after playing a few years and putting up some big numbers. That makes some sense. Players aren’t expected to play forever and they better get the money while they can. Once they’ve proven themselves.

Manning hadn’t proven anything in the league.

Manning was a punk kid from Mississippi with entitlement issues.

The Chargers drafted him anyways as the No. 1 pick. They eventually traded him for four other picks, but not before they had to pose with Manning and the commissioner for a picture. It wasn’t the best picture ever. The star player was less than enthused.

He eventually ended up as a Giant in New York and stopped banging on his highchair. He got what he wanted.

Fifteen years and two Super Bowl rings later, he’s fulfilling his original threat before coming into the league. He’s making millions of dollars and sitting on the bench.

He always seemed relatively quite during all those years in between. It seemed weird for a guy that made so much noise to start his professional career.

My bad opinion of the guy took a hit when the news was announced that the two-time Super Bowl MVP was getting replaced by the No. 6 pick in last year’s draft.

Eli bowed down gracefully and said, “I get it, we drafted a guy early and you are not winning games, these things are going to come up. I just have to keep working and do whatever my job is.”

Something isn’t right about this situation. He should either be going out in a blaze of glory like his big brother did or go out kicking and screaming the way he came in.

I’m reminded of when Michael Jordan retired for the second time. The next year, Arkansas native Scottie Pippen banged on his high chair, crossed his arms and pouted on the bench when Tony Kukoc was given the go ahead to take a winning shot. Pippen thought he was entitled to take that shot. He didn’t get his way.

Kukoc ended up making the shot by the way and winning the game.

Maybe the Giants will end up doing something like that. Saquon Barkley is on my fantasy roster, so now I don’t feel so guilty about wishing well for a Manning team.

Daniel Jones will now take the first snap of the game on Sunday for the 0-2 Giants, but deep down I’d rather see Eli throw a pick six and then be taken out.

Rodney Beaver is a sports writer for the Harrison Daily Times. E-mail him at rodneyb@harrisondaily.com or follow him at twitter.com/rodneybeaver .

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