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My thoughts on Super Bowl XLVI champion New York Giants February 19, 2012

Posted by Mike C. in Commentary, Football, Internet, Media, News, Personal, Radio, Sports, TV, Video.

(Starting with the Giants’ first win against the Cowboys, I link to highlights from Dial Global Sports‘ coverage of each win.)

Two weeks have passed since the New York Giants of the National Football League won Super Bowl XLVI at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.  So, I thought I’d take this time to share my thoughts on their win and their season.

I became a Giants fan in the early ’90s, but didn’t make an effort to watch the games until the 1997 season.  I was too young to appreciate the Giants’ Super Bowl championship seasons of ’86 and ’90 and only saw it through retrospective clips and documentaries.  I thought 2000 would be the year I would see them win a Super Bowl, which was held in Tampa that year.  My dad and I were in the area the week of Super Bowl XXXV.  We saw some NFL and media personalities at the Innisbrook Resort, where my grandparents lived, and went to the NFL Experience outside of Raymond James Stadium two days before the game.  We watched the game back at Innisbrook, but it was very depressing.  It left such a bad taste in my mouth I couldn’t watch highlights until after the 2007 season.  Why?  The Giants did the improbable, beating the undefeated New England Patriots to win Super Bowl XLII.  I was finally old enough to see my Giants win a Super Bowl and appreciate it.

In the seasons after ’07, the Giants would get off to a hot start and then slack off in the second half.  They symbolized that in one game, a collapse in a December 2010 game against the Eagles.  It was devastating.  They still could have made the playoffs by winning their last game of that season two weeks later, but the Packers had to lose.  They didn’t, and Redskins fans made that known as they chanted for the Giants and visiting Giants’ fans: “Green Bay won!  Green Bay won!”  And the Pack went on to win Super Bowl XLV, but I was proud of them because they knocked out the Eagles in the Wild Card round.

The 2011 season started on a down note, a loss to the Redskins in the same venue where eight months earlier, the G-Men learned they had been eliminated from playoff contention.  But then, three wins a row.  After a loss to the Seahawks, they won three more.  The first of those games, against the Bills, was a result I had to keep under wraps as the game was in progress.  I was at the baptism (and post-baptism party) of a friend’s daughter and the brother-in-law was a Bills fan that DVR’d the game.  The third of those games was a very satisfying win in New England against the Patriots.  Unfortunately, past history repeated itself after that.  The Giants lost four in a row to fall to 6-6.  In the middle of that losing streak, I wrote the following status update on Facebook:

This second half collapse will cost [head coach] Tom Coughlin his job on January 2.

After the third loss in a row, a blowout loss to the Saints, I wrote:

If the Giants finish 8-8 or 9-7, I’ll be amazed. 6-10 seems likeliest.

Despite the losing streak, at 6-6, the Cowboys were not far behind at 7-5.  The two teams played each other the following week at Cowboys Stadium.  The Giants came from behind to win that game and led the NFC East on a tiebreaker.  (Dial Global highlights.)  But then they lost to the Redskins a second time, which led me to write this update:

Today was dream-killing day for the Giants and Jets [who lost to the Eagles while the Bengals won their game].

The Giants’ next game, the second-to-last of the regular season, was a “road” game against the Jets at MetLife Stadium.  The Giants usually beat the Jets in their regular season match-ups every four years, but I couldn’t see a Rex Ryan-coached Jets squad lose to the G-Men.  So, thirteen hours before the game…

My prediction: The Jets will beat the Giants and the Cowboys will beat the Eagles a few hours later.

The opposite happened: the Giants trailed early, but stormed ahead and won 29-14.  (Dial Global highlights.)  The Eagles nearly shut out the Cowboys and won 20-7.  The stage was set for a winner-take-all season finale between the Giants and the ‘Boys at MetLife Stadium.  The result:

The Giants beat the Cowboys 31-14, win the NFC East, and will face Atlanta next week.  [Dial Global highlights.]

The Falcons blew out the Buccaneers in their last game of the regular season, so I expected the same against the Giants.  Instead, it was a Giants win 24-2.  An intentional grounding safety was the only Falcons score.  (Dial Global highlights.)

There was no way the Giants could beat the 15-1 Packers at Lambeau Field, but they did 37-20.  (Dial Global highlights.)

Then, history repeated itself again in the NFC Championship in these ways:

  • 1991 (’90 season): Giants beat 49ers 15-13 at Candlestick Park on Matt Bahr field goal; Steve DeOssie was the snapper; Jack Buck called the game for CBS Radio (now Dial Global)
  • 2008 (’07 season): Giants beat Packers 23-20 at Lambeau Field on Lawrence Tynes field goal
  • 2008 (’07 season): Patriots are the Giants’ opponent in Super Bowl

Joe Buck called this year’s NFC Championship for FOX TV.  Before the game-winning kick by Tynes in overtime, Buck listed the snapper (Zak DeOssie), holder, and kicker.  The kick was good.  The Giants won 20-17 and were off to Super Bowl XLVI, a rematch with the Patriots.  (Dial Global highlights.)

The next two weeks were tough because I feared a revenge-fueled blowout by the Pats, which came to me in a dream, sort of:

[1/27, 11:23 PM]: I had a dream last night that I hope isn’t an omen. The Giants were playing somebody–I don’t remember who– and got blown out.

Four hours before Super Bowl XLVI:

My pessimistic Super Bowl XLVI prediction: Patriots 45, Giants 10. I would love to not only get the outcome wrong, but the team that wins wrong. In other words, I want the Giants to win.

I didn’t watch the game live until 9:30, when there were about four minutes left in regulation.  (Dial Global highlights.)  The Patriots led 17-15, but only for a few more minutes.  Ahmad Bradshaw’s accidental touchdown put the Giants ahead 21-17.  I breathed deeply and my extremities grew numb as I watched the Pats’ final drive.  Then, at 9:53, seconds after Tom Brady’s incomplete Hail Mary pass, I swiveled my desk chair to the left and typed:

Oh, baby! They did it! The New York Giants win Super Bowl XLVI! My hands are numb from anxiety.

I was both relieved and excited.  About $80 later, I was the proud owner (through online purchases) of the championship cap, locker room t-shirt, parade t-shirt, and DVD.  There was also the matter the following day of getting the Monday newspapers, which I posed with in the guest bedroom:

Tuesday was the day of the Tickertape Parade along the Canyon of Heroes and the Victory Rally at MetLife Stadium:

The Super Bowl XLVI DVD doesn’t come out until March 6.  I’ve watched the following to hold me over while I wait:

There you have it: the Giants’ 2011-12 championship season as I saw it.  Thank you for reading.  To paraphrase the team’s playoff catchphrase, I’m all out.



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