A ‘Giant’ Hill To Climb (XLII prediction)
There’s something about Super Bowl Sunday that’s just fun, regardless of whether or not your team is playing, or if you even care about football itself.
It’s the party. It’s the food. It’s the commercials. The halftime show if you’re into that.
However tomorrow, for me and most of those around me, it’s all about football.
And when it comes to sports, you play to win the game (thanks Herm).
More than playing to win the game, you play for jewelry and trophies.
You play for championships.
Tonight is the mecca of sporting events.
The Super Bowl is a one game, winner take all chance to put 6 months of hard work on the field for a chance at greatness which lasts forever.
In the case of the New York football Giants, they have a chance to become immortal.
Immortality is a phrase you don’t often hear when it comes to sports, however you can accompany the phrase to the likes of Jordan, Ruth, Montana and Gretzky. These are the names of the men who lived to win and refused to fail.
When you think of immortal you think about the ’72 Miami Dolphins and the perfect season they hope will remain immortal by itself should the Giants pull off the upset of a lifetime.
When you think of immortal you think of the ’27 Yankees and the ’69 miracle Mets who pulled off a stunning upset of the powerhouse Baltimore Orioles. You think of the ’69 Jets, led by Joe Namath who guaranteed and delivered victory over the 18 point favorites from Baltimore (how about that for irony)
Immortal are the 72-10 Chicago Bulls. Immortal are the 2004 Red Sox for ending 86 years of cursed torment.
And immortal will be the New York Giants with a win tonight.
The Giants come into Super Bowl XLII (42) as 12 point underdogs to a team which has yet to lose.
New England has challenged history with a perfect 18-0 record heading into the game, led by Tom Brady who will leave the game as one of the 3 greatest quarterbacks to ever play, and Bill Belichick, which for all the things you want to say about the guy (and believe me, as a Jets fan I have an endless supply) who is in the process of leaving his own legacy of greatness with 3 Super Bowl titles and a 4th in sight.
This Patriot team seems unstoppable, probably for no other reason than the fact that they have yet to be stopped.
The closest this team has come to defeat came against the very same team they will share the field with later.
It was back in week 17, at the Meadowlands (I was in attendance) where these teams me, completely unaware of the preview they were putting on display.
The Giants, who played all of their starters despite having already clinched a playoff birth, played a nearly flawless football game and actually led by 12 points midway through the 3rd quarter.
Quarterback Eli Manning had arguably his most effective game as a pro (maybe his career to that point) as he threw 4 touchdowns against a very impressive Patriots defense.
However the effort was in vein, as the Patriots would eventually go on to take care of business, as they had done 15 times this season prior to that night, winning 38-35, securing the very first 16-0 season in NFL history (the ’72 Dolphins went 14-0 during the regular season)
The game ended up being a huge turning point for the G-Men, as they went ahead and rolled off three straight road playoff wins, behind solid play by Eli, the running game and the defense.
Tampa Bay, Dallas and Green Bay could not figure out how to shut Eli down, and as a result, that week 17 game between these two teams get a do-over.
The Giants are in a position to do more than just win a Super Bowl.
These Giants, who many assumed wouldn’t even be part of the NFL post season after a miserable 0-2 start, have an opportunity to produce the upset of all upsets.
It’s nothing against this Giants team, which is as talented as almost any other team in the league. The problem is the team they are going up against set NFL records for points scored, and had a quarterback set the single season mark for touchdowns with 50- to only 8 interceptions. They had a wide receiver set an NFL record with 23 TD receptions. And of course as I’ve stated a few times already, nobody has been able to figure them out yet, hence the 18-0 record they carry.
It’s a classic David vs. Goliath matchup, as the 12 point underdog Giants will take on both the Patriots and history.
The Lombardi on the line. History on the line.
Immortality on the line.
and onto my pick…
As a Jets fan, I rank hating the Patriots and Bill Belichick a close second to my hatred of the Yankees.
On top of that, its not secret I’m also a big time Giants supporter, as I refuse to buy into the fact theres a Jets-Giants rivalry. There isn’t.
Placing my bias aside, I have been debating this since Larry ‘Legend’ Tynes booted the Giants to Arizona 2 weeks ago, and so without further adieu…
SUPER BOWL XXLI
Glendale, Arizona- Sunday, Feburary 3rd, 2007
New York Giants (13-6) vs. New England Patriots (18-0)
Giants 31- Patriots 30
Thats right. I said it. Deep down, gut feeling, the Giants make history and find a way to beat this machine that is the New England Patriots.
That being said, I would be more surprised if my prediction is correct than if it isn’t, but I’ve just had a feeling about this Giants team. I thought they would beat Tampa and Dallas and the beat both. I predicted Green Bay to beat them, but knew going in the Giants had more than a fighters chance to win.
And there is just something special about this Giants team. 10 consecutive road wins? Eli playing the best football of his career? The defense shutting down the explosive Dallas offense and the legendary Brett Favre?
Anything is possible.
My stepfather and his brother in out in Arizona, going to the game, and being the lifelong Giants fans they are, nothing would make me happier than for Paul to watch his team give him the thrill of a lifetime and pull off one of the greatest wins in the history of sports.
I would be lying if I said I wont be rooting for Big Blue, but as I said, all biases aside, I just have this strange feeling that the quarterback making postgame plans to Disney world won’t have the name Brady on the back of his jersey.
Here’s to one hell of a run by Eli and Giants.
Only one game separates you boys from immortal greatness.
Make it happen.
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