NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Former Giants quarterback Phil Simms called in Wednesday to WFAN’s “Boomer & Carton” show, defending comments he delivered Monday about Eli Manning, which made headlines Tuesday.

Got all that?

Simms insisted during CBS Sports Network’s “NFL Monday QB” that Manning “is not one of the elites.” Not everyone — OK, practically nobody — agreed with Simms, including Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Fouts.

Comments on this website were mostly negative: “I now officially hate Phil Simms,” “This is the kind of claim that will turn a fan base on you,” and “Shut up Simms” just to give a few examples.

“I can say with all honesty, as it was coming out of my mouth I went, ‘Oh boy, this will really create some controversy,'” Simms told Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton. “But I still said it. You know, I could have — like I’ve done — could have said ‘You know, let’s redo that,’ because at that time we were taping a little segment.

“But I do stand by how I meant it.”

LISTEN: Simms with Boomer & Carton

(You can download the entire clip HERE.)

And how would that be?

“When I think of elite, I think of great accomplishments with unusual, very good, incredible skills on the field,” said Simms. “I didn’t even think about who it would be, but when I was saying — you know, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and I think Aaron Rodgers kind of fits in that mold. The rest we’ll see about.”

Simms said “elite” is a new football term — sort of like a souped-up “franchise” — made popular by the Giants quarterback sticking up for himself in a radio interview last year.

Manning went on to win his second Super Bowl MVP, quieting many who pooh-poohed the elite talk.

“We’re splitting hairs here,” said Simms. “I get it asked all the time, ‘Is so and so elite?’ I go, ‘Oh my gosh, please, somebody stick a needle in my eye.’ I’m just tired of answering it and hearing it. So I said it. Sorry it’s caused a little firestorm, but that’s the context I said it in.”

Simms eventually made another proclamation, albeit one far less controversial.

“Sorry Boomer, you wouldn’t be in my top 10 of all-time,” he said.

From one fair-haired, retired New York quarterback to another, Esiason responded: “Well you’re not elite either.”

Let’s get more comments on the Eli elite debate — sound off below!

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