Credit: Jim McIsaac

Remember last Dec. 21, when we all were 49 weeks younger and Eli Manning was the Giants’ starting quarterback?

Seems like not that long ago, and yet . . . it was. For proof look no further than a list Newsday posted that day of our top 25 New York-area sports stars.

There is a life lesson there, like the one reinforced by the news on Tuesday that Eli Manning is bench-bound. Eli! Manning!

That lesson is as follows: Stuff happens.

Before the downer portion of our program, some of our stars did make it through 2017 – so far – relatively unscathed:

Kristaps Porzingis (7), Henrik Lundqvist (8), Gary Sanchez (10), John Tavares (11), Jacob deGrom (12), David Villa (18), Jason Pierre-Paul (19), Masahiro Tanaka (20), Tina Charles (21) and CC Sabathia (24).

Also, Jack Coan (25), the Sayville quarterback we selected to represent amateur athletes, is the backup as a freshman at Wisconsin, which has yet to lose a game.

That’s 11. And the other 14? Let’s check in with our top six, shall we?

At No. 5, Aroldis Chapman fared best, merely suffering a shoulder injury and later briefly losing his job as the Yankees’ closer before returning to form down the stretch.

The rest:

No. 1: Odell Beckham Jr. — Broke ankle after playing in four games.

No. 2: Yoenis Cespedes — Shut down after 81 games because of assorted lower body injuries.

No. 3: Eli Manning — Currently a backup to Geno Smith.

No. 4: Noah Syndergaard — Started five games before a torn lat muscle shelved him for five months.

No. 6: Carmelo Anthony — Currently plays for Oklahoma City Thunder.

But wait, there’s more!

No. 9: Matt Harvey — Injuries, a suspension, 18 starts, a 5-7 record and a 6.70 ERA.

No. 13: Jeremy Lin — Played in one game, blew out knee.

No. 14: Brandon Marshall — Cut by Jets, signed by Giants, caught 18 passes, injured ankle.

No. 15: Darrelle Revis — Currently plays for Kansas City Chiefs.

No. 16: David Wright — DNP.

No. 17: Derrick Rose — Currently plays for Cleveland Cavaliers. Sort of. Maybe.

No. 22: Curtis Granderson — A free agent after being left off Dodgers’ World Series roster.

No. 23: Victor Cruz — Not currently employed as a football player.

That’s all, folks. Remember: Life comes at you fast. Tune in this December for our new top 25, as there could be a few changes since last year.

For example: Aaron Judge might make it this time.

Top Stories


Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months