One of the most shocking Super Bowls in history transpired last Sunday. And, the New York Giants upset the heavily favored and undefeated New England Patriots 17-14. We are out there, but there are very few of us Big Blue Rootin' Crew that actually thought that the Giants could do it.
I pulled out all the stops, doing everything I could think of that might help the team. I wore Giants clothing to work all week, sported at t-shirt/Eli jersey/Giants sweatshirt combo at church Sunday morning (which was spent in intense meditation and visualization and pleading to God to allow the Giants to beat the unbelievably dangerous Patriots), and other rituals not fit to mention on this family blog. It all paid off, especially the church.
The game that unfurled was BETTER than when the Giants upset the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXV 17 years ago. The Patriots were UNDEFEATED. But the Giants could call their playoff run 'The Revenge Tour'.
The Dallas Cowboys had beaten the Giants twice this year, surely the #1 seed would handle these Blue Upstarts one more time.
OK, they managed to squeeze out the win against Dallas. Lucky. But now the Giants would have to go up to frozen Lambeau Field in Wisconsin, in which the legend of Brett Favre only got better as the temperature went down. Game time conditions were at -20 below zero, there would be no way the young, inconsistent Giants QB would fare better than Favre in those conditions. Tack on the spirit of the Packers playing to get Brett Favre to the Super Bowl and there was no way the Giants could win this game. The Packers also had beaten the New York in Giants Stadium Week 2.
Oh my God, the Giants are going to the Super Bowl. To face the never-before-done 18-0 new England patriots, who had set NFL offensive records all season long on their determined march to their place as the best team in NFL history.
It would take a Herculean effort for the Giants to pull off, what I consider a bigger upset than Broadway Joe Namath and the NY Jets beating the formidable Baltimore Colts in 1968. The Colts that year were not an undefeated team in a very competitive and complex era of salary caps and free agency. The Patriots were.
The Defense would have to play lights out and get to Tom Brady the way no other team had all season long.
How long, Jet fans, have you waited for images like these this season? August? September?
How about Jerry Reese, GM of the Giants? Not only did his last four drafts pay off in spades with all the contributions from young players this year, but he signed versatile D-lineman Justin Tuck to a 30 million dollar contract before the Super Bowl. All of it was worth it on this image alone:
Tom Brady got NAILED all game long. 5 sacks, a fumble, and 18 other knockdowns. When Brady tried to throw deep he got creamed on the step into his throw. He didn't complete a pass longer than 20 yards, so the big play was taken away from the best offense of all-time. Wes Welker did some damage with 10 or 11 catches but he kept out the end zone. The Giants defense did a great job with the Patriots screen game, and Lawrence Maroney had a grand total of 39 yards rushing.
The game was extremely close. That Patriots had a capable defense full of smart veterans. One play could break and the Patriots would run away with it. The game was 7-3 Patriots heading into the 4th quarter. And in the 4th quarter, a player known only in Giants circles as a stout Special Teamer, QB Eli Manning had to check down to his 2nd, 3rd and 4th options on most pass plays. The 4th option is a guy named David Tyree, who caught a TD in that critical 4th quarter to put the Giants up 10-7. However, Tom Brady is on the other sideline and there were 4+ minutes left in the game. Sure enough, Brady to Moss with 2:40 or so to go.
This is the stage that a QB dreams about. And Eli Manning, so often crticized for not being his brother, not being fiery enough, lived it. Manning to Tyree could go down as one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history: 3rd and 5 at the Giants 40-yard line, the pocket collapses on manning, he is jostled around by various Patriot defenders as the pull at his jersey, SOMEHOW Eli gets out and scrambles to his right and heaves a desperate 32-yard pass upfield to Tyree who SOMEHOW trapped the ball to the top of his helmet while up in the air and hanging on despite a scratching and clawing Rodney Harrison :
And, is this an emotional enough QB for all the critics? Here he is after tossing the game-winning 13-yard pass to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds left in the game.
After Brady threw 4 desperate heaves that went nowhere and the clock expired and it all hit me: the Giants won the Super Bowl! My knees got weak. Then came the shower for the much-maligned head coach Tom Coughlin.
Look at Murph over to the left. Awesome. I don't know if it has all the way set in yet. The victory parade in New York City is on the NFL Network and I will watch the game again on NFL Replay Wednesday night.
I know that I have been on an island the last four years, defending Eli, Giants management, Coughlin, the Defense, one thing after another. And now to have them as the Super Bowl 42 Champions with none other than QB Eli Manning as the MVP (sorry Defense) I think all those years on my heels are over. It's in the books, the Pats were the best team of all-time and Eli pulled off the biggest 4th-quarter comeback of all-time.
Thanks all you jet fans for giving me this tribute on the blog the last couple of weeks. I know you are happy that the Pats finally lost, and it was really worth waiting all season for that loss, because it is when it really, really counted.
There is one media member I would like to send a Giant 'ha-ha' to:
How comical are those leadership skills now dumbass? Lets' call into questions YOUR decision-making. We are the best team WITHOUT you. YOU were the whole problem. F' off Tiki Barber, sit in it.
Posted by Figgythemick at 2/05/2008 10:54:00 AM