Here’s To The Giants

I have been blessed as a sports fan.  I had the good fortune to be born in New York City and to have the majority of the teams I root for win championships.  Tonight’s win by the Giants makes it ten championships for clubs that I actively watched.  That’s a pretty fortunate run for me and I am very thankful to have witnessed all of it.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about the game a bit. The first thing that struck me tonight is how different the NFL of today is from the NFL of my youth.  I think the Giants are the perfect example of this.  In 1986 and 1990, the Giants were clearly one of the two best regular season teams in their conference.  The 1986 team was unquestionably the best team in the league.  The 1990 team was second-best to the 49ers.  Back then, you had to be the #1 or #2 team to have a chance at the Super Bowl.  Contrast that with the 2007 and 2011 Giants.  These were deeply flawed clubs that snuck into the playoffs but came together and ran the table.  The 2010 Packers did the exact same thing. I think it is free agency that has changed the game.  The talent around the league is distributed almost evenly and in this NFL any team can emerge as a champion from any playoff seed.

A lot of people laughed when Eli said he considered himself an elite quarterback.  I don’t think they are laughing anymore.  If Eli doesn’t throw another pass in the NFL he has two Super Bowl championships and two Super Bowl MVP’s. That’s probably enough to put him in Canton. Eli is the perfect Giants QB. He has a Jeteresque ability to drown out the noise around him and produce when the pressure is on. Tom Brady is a wonderful QB, so are Aaron Rogers and Drew Brees.  I wouldn’t trade Eli for any of them and thanks again to Ernie Acorsi for going out and getting Eli.

And Tom Coughlin should now have a job for life. The thing that struck me the most was when the Giants were up on the podium and all the players were cheering for Coughlin.  He may be old school and a hard ass, but so was Bill Parcells.  Mr. Mara and Mr. Tisch should sit down with Coughlin and figure out a way to keep him in the organization for life in some role.

You really have to wonder what Peyton Manning feels tonight.  As great as he is, Eli has proved to be the better big game player.  Peyton is going to Canton and he has won a Super Bowl, but he is in danger of ending up as the second-best Manning in NFL history.

Mario Manningham made a great catch.  (Eli also made an amazing throw.) But please don’t compare it to David Tyree’s catch four years ago.  For one thing, Mannigham is a real receiver while Tyree was a special teams player who had four catches in the regular season that year. Secondly, Tyree caught a pass on third-and-four with just over a minute left.  Manningham made his catch on first down with over three minutes left.  Again, it was a great play, but comparing it to Tyree’s is silly.

Five plays stick out to me as pivotal in this game.

1- Nicks fumbling the ball late in the third quarter and Hynoski falling on it.  The Giants kicked a field goal to make it 17-15.

2- Chase Blackburn’s interception in the fourth quarter.  How great is Blackburn’s story?  This is a guy who was undrafted, started for a number of years for the Giants at middle linebacker, but got cut before the 2011 season.  The Giants went back and signed him essentially off his couch at the end of November.  Probably their best personnel move of the year.

3- Chris Snee recovering Ahmad Bradshaw’s fumble deep in Giants territory.  As big as Blackburn’s interception was, this turnover probably would have cost them the game.

4- Welker not making the catch with 4 minutes left. It was a huge play because not only was it a first down, but the incomplete pass stopped the clock.  Before you criticize Welker, do this.  Stand about 10 feet away from someone and have them throw a ball a bit over your head and try to catch it.  It isn’t easy to do.

5- Bradshaw’s touchdown with a minute left. NBC killed Bradshaw for not kneeling down at the 1, but why would he?  If he knelt, the Giants would have forced the Pats to use their final timeout.  Maybe they convert the third down into a touchdown, but maybe they don’t.  And can you assume that the field goal attempt would be successful?  By scoring, Bradshaw made it a four-point game with 57 seconds left.  If he knelt at the one, you probably have a one-point lead with 20 seconds left.  A big runback on the return or a big completion probably gives the Pats a field goal attempt to win it. Bradshaw did the right thing.

And so the Giants have won their fourth Super Bowl.  Four is a big number in the NFL.  For years, the Steelers were the only team to have achieved that level of success.  Then the Niners joined them followed by Dallas and Green Bay.  The Giants are the fifth team to reach that level and now we have a parade to look forward to on Tuesday!

Finally, I think the best commercial was the Doritos one where the dog buried the cat. “You didn’t see nuthin”  But we certainly did.

 

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Comments

  • blmeanie  On February 6, 2012 at 7:38 am

    Tom Brady is a wonderful QB, so are Aaron Rogers and Drew Brees. I wouldn’t trade Eli for any of them

    If trading for Brady in his prime, yep, I pull that trigger.

    The sheer good bounces the Giants had won the game. Every loose ball ended in their hands. The penalties, wow, none bigger than the defensive offsides late before the 38 yd pass. Drops all over the place by the Patriots.

    Congrats.

    Time for the Patriots to stop hording the draft picks they acquire and continually trade down with, year after year. Time to load up on talent. Clock is ticking. Want one or more before Brady is done.

    • nysportsfanatic  On February 6, 2012 at 1:06 pm

      BL- Thanks. And I recognize that Brady is the better QB, but Eli is the perfect QB for the Giants.

  • Mitchell  On February 6, 2012 at 7:49 am

    Peter –

    In the 2008 game, the Jints were strongly expected to get crushed by the unbeaten Putz – sorry Pats and Tyree’s catch was considered a freak play by a “no-hands” guy.

    This game satisfies me in that I get a chance to let every Putz fan in the eye and ask them how that “Time for a Giant Payback” thing is workin out for them. Oh yeah, good to be a Jints fan. And yes, that was me standing in my driveway yelling my lungs out after the win …

    I thought it was funny the way Bradshaw tried to stop himself on the 1 foot line, then tumbled backwards into the end zone for the TD. And yes Peter, I agree that he HAD to take the 6 points. I have watched both The Fumble and The Crumble – I know that this team can find ways to blow a game and break your heart. I honestly thought Brady’s Hail Mary pass was going to crush us again with no time left …

    Now we have Aaron bleeping Boone, Bucky Bleeping Debt, David bleeping Tyree, Mario bleeping Manningham and Eli bleeping Manning.

    Honestly, this game was even more satisfying to me than my Wolverines beating Ohio and going on to win the Sugar Bowl ….

    When I say, “Go Blue” – it just works for me … 🙂

    • nysportsfanatic  On February 6, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      Mitchell- You are a Michigan man I see. My best friend lives out there and has adopted them. He is also a Patriots fan and I received a seven second congratulatory phone call from him last night.

      I assume you have the shirt from four years ago that says “Eighteen wins and one GIANTS loss”? The best one I have seen today is “Deja Blue” I imagine that would really please your neighbors.

  • blmeanie  On February 6, 2012 at 9:58 am

    Mitchell – in the spirit of ‘bleeping” Eli doesn’t fit. None of the others from Boone, Dent and Tyree had the talent to earn respect. Lucky perhaps to be in the right spot and have an incredible play/result fall into their otherwise undeserving laps. Eli is no stiff.

    Enjoy the mountaintop. In the NFL it is tough to repeat as you know.

    • nysportsfanatic  On February 6, 2012 at 1:11 pm

      Repeat? Way too early to even think about that and the 2008 Giants were the first team in franchise history to actually make the playoffs after being in the Super Bowl. Of course that team had a receiver who liked guns a bit to much….

    • Mitchell  On February 6, 2012 at 5:54 pm

      BL – based on the comments I am hearing here in sunny New England, none of the local fans seem to care to differentiate between talented or not – they just like to add gerunds of the “base” word for fornication as a middle name to players who defeat their team.

      The most popular t-shirt the last few weeks “up heah” proclaimed that it was time for a GIANT payback. Uh yeah …

      As far as enjoying the mountaintop – I sure am and will continue to do so as long as my memory works. Remember: I have know the Fumble and the Crumble and can honestly say that I sat through TOO MANY games singing “good bye Allie” while waiving a white cloth. None of us is immune to crushing or humiliating defeats – ceratinly not me. But, to be honest: right now it’s your turn in that particular barrel. 🙂

      Yes, Eli is a great QB and he’s a perfect fit for his teammates and for Coughlin. You and I can agree about another thing and that is: Tom Brady is a class act, but that is expected from Wolverines. Gisele, however, is not a class act, unfortunately.

      Go Blue !!!

  • blmeanie  On February 6, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    I disagree about the humiliating part, nothing humiliating about the loss last night…crushing, yeah.

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