Tag Archives: Giants

What’s Your Favorite Sports Day?

Some of my favorite sports days of the year have happened in the past few months. The opening day of March Madness with 16 games is a personal favorite. Opening Day of the baseball season, especially when it is combined with the end of March Madness like this year, is another. It got me thinking, what other days merit inclusion on this list?

For my list, I am including two rules. First, the day has to be a day. You can’t say the first week of the NFL season for example, or the World Series. Second, it has to be a national event. Patriots’ Day in Boston is cool, but it isn’t really known outside of Boston. Here are a few of my favorites.

Fathers’ Day- You get the final round of the U.S. Open and plenty of baseball.

The NFL conference championships- I prefer these games to the Super Bowl because there are two of them and they are usually better.

Belmont Stakes Day- Often you get a triple crown bid, but even without it you also have a NBA final or NHL final game to watch as well, plus plenty of baseball.

Thanksgiving- Turkey and plenty of football.

New Year’s Day 2015- This was awesome with the college football semis, but the powers that be won’t let us enjoy it again until 2018 because they are dumb.

How about you?

 

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Who Do You Root For?

I can usually find a team to root for in the Super Bowl, but this matchup has me perplexed.

On one hand you have the 49ers, a team the Giants have had a long and bitter rivalry with. I don’t think any Giants fan can root for them.

But on the other hand you have the Ravens, the team that humiliated the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV. That may have happened 12 years ago, but the wound is still there for me. How could I ever root for Baltimore?

It’s not that a Falcons-Patriots matchup would have excited me, but I could have found someone to root for in that matchup. I don’t like either of these teams and I am really struggling with what to do.  At this point I am seriously considering going to the movies in two weeks.

How about you Big Blue fans, where will your rooting interests lie in two weeks?

2013

Happy New Year! Instead of doing predictions for the upcoming year or a recap of the previous one, I thought I would look at some questions I have for the upcoming year in sports.

January- Can Notre Dame really stay on the field with Alabama?  Maybe I am missing something, but this seems like a colossal mismatch.

February- Will we have another dark horse team win the Super Bowl? The Packers and Giants showed the advantages of being a hot team come playoff time. Well, Washington has won seven-straight and the Colts have won five-of-six.  Could one of them make it to the Super Bowl?

March- How quickly will my bracket implode? Traditionally, I lose a Final Four team before the first weekend of the tournament starts.

April- Is this the team the Yankees are going to field in 2013 or will Cashman pull off another late winter surprise?

May- How deep will the Knicks go in the playoffs?

June- Will we see the Stanley Cup this year and if not, what is the future of hockey?

July- If the Yankees aren’t really in the midst of a pennant race would Brian Cashman do the smart thing and trade away the present for a better future when the trading deadline comes around?

August- When the Giants take the field again for a game, how many new faces will be there and how many old ones will be gone?

September- How will the US Open’s decision to play the men’s final on Monday play out?

October- Who will win the World Series? I just don’t see one team that is clearly better than all the rest right now.

November- Are the Giants playoff contenders? There are plenty of questions that hang over this team right now, but the biggest one has to be how to find more consistency.

December- Will I be celebrating the final season of the BCS or cursing the powers that be for forcing me to endure this final season of its existence?

Whatever the answers, I am sure that 2013 will bring the usual array of upsets, surprises and great stories in sports. I’m really looking forward to it.

Strange How Things Work

Consider this for a moment.

The Baltimore Colts drafted John Elway out of Stanford, but Elway refused to play for them and he was traded to Denver. The Baltimore Colts then moved to Indianapolis where they floundered in the standings and considered moving from there before they lucked into the #1 pick in the draft and selected Peyton Manning.

Meanwhile, in Denver, Elway takes the Broncos to five Super Bowls and wins two of them, earning a spot in the Hall of Fame. In early 2011 he becomes Executive VP of the Broncos.

Back in Indy, Manning starts breaking all sorts of records, takes the Colts to two Super Bowls and wins one of them. He becomes such a force in the league that many suspect that his younger brother, Eli, is made the first pick in the draft simply because of his last name. Eli, refuses to play for San Diego, and they work out a draft day trade with the Giants. Ernie Accorsi, the Giants GM, is widely criticized for the move at the time.

Peyton ends up having neck surgery and the Colts end up bottoming out in the standings, securing the #1 pick and chance to take a QB from Stanford, Andrew Luck. They cut ties with Manning and he ends up in Denver when John Elway signs him.

It almost sounds like a Hollywood script, doesn’t it?

 

 

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.

 

Doesn’t Anyone Believe In Karma?

It seems that supporters of both teams are doing their best to jinx their respective clubs.  Yesterday, the Giants website posted that the team was Super Bowl champs.  Today, Dicks Sporting Goods is running a commercial proclaiming the Patriots are Super Bowl champs.  I fear both sides have angered the Football Gods and we will have a miserable game tonight that will end with a score of 2-0.  Hopefully, I am wrong.

For those of you looking for the quiz answers. I will publish them shortly under the comments section of the quiz post.  Enjoy the game!

Factual Errors

Two mistakes are being made a lot around the New York City sportsworld today.  One is trivial, one is most certainly not.

The trivial one is that Rooney Mara, nominated for an Oscar for her role in “The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo” is the granddaughter of the Giants founder. It’s an easy mistake to make because everyone thinks Wellington Mara founded the Giants, but he didn’t, his father did.

There are a few nuggets of Giants history that don’t get a lot of press.  It is widely known that Tim Mara, the founder of the Giants, bought the franchise in 1925 for $500.  It is not as well known that he was a bookie.  I should note that bookmaking was legal at the time, but think about that one for a minute.

When Tim died in 1959, he left the team to his two sons, Wellington and Jack, each receiving 50%.  The brothers got along and worked well together, but Jack died in 1965 and left his share of the team to his son, Tim.  Tim and Wellington did not get along at all and the Giants fell into disrepair in the late 60’s and 70’s as the two owners feuded.  Things got so bad at this point that fans hired a plane to fly a banner reading- “Fifteen years of lousy football, we’ve had enough” over Giants Stadium and Pete Rozelle, the NFL Commissioner to put the Giants back on the path to winning.  It’s been a pretty happy time from there and while it may seem to current Giants fans that it all started with Wellington, we have to remember his father was the guy who actually bought the club 87 years ago.

*****

As for the more serious item, a lot of column inches are being devoted today to the idea that the Yankees treated Jorge Posada badly by not offering him a contract in 2012.  Before I argue that idea, I would like to link to my post on another site praising Jorge yesterday.  Please don’t take the following as a critique of Posada’s career, it is simply acknowledging the reality of where he is now.

Jorge hit .235/.315/.398 last year.  That would be above the league average for catchers in the AL, but Jorge can’t catch anymore. So, you stick him at DH where AL hitters went .266/.341/.430, far better than Jorge’s numbers.  Some will point out that Jorge exceeded those numbers when hitting against righties, and he certainly did (.269/.348/.466) but he is 40, can’t run or really play anywhere other than first and made $13 million last year. I simply can’t knock the Yankees for not wanting to offer him a new deal.

Even if you assume that he would perform at the same level as last year, how much would you offer him for that?  A couple of million at most I would think and what would Jorge think of that?  I think it is far better to do what the Yankees did.  They didn’t string him along, they made a smart business decision.  Jorge should understand that, don’t forget that he got the Yankees to go to four years on his last deal by flirting with the Mets. There’s nothing wrong with that and there’s nothing wrong with what the Yankees did.  They showed the respect they should for Jorge’s career with yesterday’s retirement ceremony and they showed baseball sense by not bringing him back for 2012.