During Super Bowl week, I wrote this story about the relationship between New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter. Specifically, it was about the ways in which Jeter's example as a low-key star New York athlete has helped inspire Manning, who has modeled himself after Jeter in some ways. I don't know if you remember it or not, but hey, it's baseball season now, so go ahead and read it again.
Anyway, the reason I thought of this was that I read this post by Art Stapleton of The Record, who spoke with Jeter over the weekend and asked him what advice he'd give Manning for his upcoming (May 5) stint as the host of Saturday Night Live. Jeter hosted the show in 2001, and he had this advice to offer Manning, per Art:
"Enjoy it," Jeter told me in an exclusive interview with The Record Sunday night. "I tried to have fun with it, but I was nervous. It's a tough week. It's a lot to do. You'll gain a lot of respect for those actors and actresses on that show. It's a lot of work that goes into it. I enjoyed myself."
"I had fun with it," Jeter said with a smirk. "I dressed up like a woman, man. I had fun and I just went with it."
Obviously, it remains to be seen what kind of fun the show's writers will devise for Manning -- and whether he'll pull it off as well as Jeter did or as well as his brother Peyton Manning did when he hosted the show in 2007. But no matter how the show comes out, Jeter remains an admirer of Manning's:
"Eli's done a great job," Jeter said. "I really like the way he handles himself, especially here in New York. He's done a great job in dealing with everything, and he's had a lot of success. He's going to have a lot more success, too."
In the meantime, though, Manning's going to try his hand at some comedy. I understand the skepticism, but I promise you, those of us who were covering Jeter in 2001 were skeptical about him in the same role. You never really know about a guy...