Much to the chagrin of Giants’ management, Eli Manning has decided to play the Giants’ season opener in Washington without a helmet so he can “be injured just like Peyton.”

“It’s so annoying,” said Eli during a press conference Thursday. “Peyton gets all of this attention because of his stupid neck. I have a neck too! I can get hurt too! You watch. I know I can get hurt. Barry Cofield messed a lot of people up when he as playing for the Giants, and now he’s playing for the Redskins. I told him to go ahead mess me up, too. You’ll see, I can get hurt just like my stupid big brother.”

In what is now becoming a regular occurrence when Eli speaks to the press, Archie Manning stormed onto the field to set his son straight.

“For Christ’s sake, boy, what the heck is wrong with you?” shouted Archie. “You’re trying to get injured? I’d wring your neck, but I can’t! I need your dumb ass to play ball.”

“Leave me alone, dad,” Eli said. “Cooper and I know you like Peyton better. You let Peyton get injured, but I have to wear extra pads and Cooper can’t even play. I don’t want to be ‘active’ anymore, I wanna be on the I.R.!”

With that, Eli rushed away in tears and left his befuddled father to field further questions. Giants management would only say that they expect Eli to play in a regulation NFL uniform on Sunday and considered any refusal to wear his helmet a breach of contract.

Wompah Keiner