As the Giants well know from a particular wide receiver who shall remain nameless here (but his initials are Plaxico Burress), you can't be too careful about how you conduct yourself in public. Eli Manning basically reiterated the lesson during yesterday's open locker room, at which he was asked about the controversy surrounding 2004 draft classmate Ben Roethlisberger.
By the way, there's all sorts of stuff coming out on Roethlisberger now that the Georgia DA has decided against bringing the Steelers' two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback to court. And, just like Burress' self-shooting, there is damage beyond what Roethlisberger did to his alleged victim and himself. Looks like a few others are going to pay a price for how they handled the situation as it unfolded, too.
But back to Manning, whose idea of a crazy time involves a continuing role as the public face of the Guiding Eyes For The Blind charity golf tournament, to be held June 14 at Armonk's Whipporwill GC and Mount Kisco CC in Westchester, NY.
"As athletes, you've got to be careful about where you are and what you're doing," Manning said. "You have the right to enjoy yourself, but you've got to be careful about what's going on."
Manning said he's only met Roethlisberger a few times and doesn't consider him a close friend. Clearly, they have diametrically opposite public images, and only one seems to care about his. Also, only one of them is a sure thing, barring injury, to begin the 2010 regular season as his team's starting quarterback.
Meanwhile, Manning said he took a quick walk-through of the new Meadowlands Stadium a few weeks ago. He hasn't had a chance to gauge the wind yet, but that Tom Coughlin might schedule a practice in there in May or June so the players get a feel of the place before they face the Jets in the preseason -- and Stadium -- opener.
Manning, of course, struggled mightily on windy days in the old place, but didn't appear preoccupied with the subject.
"I haven't heard about them," Manning said. "Sometimes it's windy around this area. I don't think there's really any way to stop the wind, so you become accustomed to that.
"You might get a couple of games a year like that, and you just have to deal. You learn where the windy spots are. In the old stadium, there were certain spots that were windier than others. We'll see if this has that same trend in the new stadium."
Getting a practice in there before the games begin might or might not help.
"That day might not be windy," Manning said. "Sometimes, it takes getting into fall and November and the cold. That's when the wind tends to pick up a little bit. I might be able to learn a little bit, but I might have to just show up on that gameday and see how it's blowing in warmups."
The winds are so far getting mixed reviews. Kicker Lawrence Tynes hinted a few weeks ago that they could be trickier than old Giants Stadium, which would be saying something. Not exactly what Manning needs to hear right now. But the project executive said the seating bowl is constructed in a manner that should push the wind out the top of the stadium, making for relative calm around the field of play.
Guess Manning will find out soon enough.