Not long after the team announced Manning's lengthy starting streak would end in favor of Geno Smith III, the new starting quarterback's father, Geno Smith Jr., received a disturbing phone call from an unhappy fan.
"I was just at work," Smith Jr. told Dan Duggan of NJ Advance Media. "I answered and he was like, 'Geno?' So I just listened and he was like, 'Is this Geno?' I was like, 'Yeah.' He was like, 'Your son better not start or we're going to kill you.' I kind of just laughed and then he hung up."
Smith Jr., 43, was monitoring workers who were aiding relief efforts by FEMA in South Florida when he got the call from an unrecognized number with a Missouri area code. He was not particularly alarmed by the threat.
"If someone was going to kill me, they ain't going to call me and tell me," Smith Jr. said.
His son, who will be backing up Manning this weekend, was a little more rattled by the call, but took comfort in how his father dealt with it.
"I think my dad handled it well," the Giants quarterback said. "He kind of just hung up the phone. It's just kind of shameful that would be happening because of someone doing their job. When he told me that, I was like, 'What?'
"But you kind of get a sense of comfortability from him. He was like, 'Man, it's nothing, don't worry about it. Just do your thing, play your game.' So that was why I was able to be easy with it."