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Life is magical and full of joy.

They did it. They did it again. Deja three! First Superbowl 42, then this year's regular season game in Foxboro, then tonight! Big Blue 3, Patriots 0. Eli 3, Brady 0. Coughlin 3, Evil Little Bill 0.

Hot damn. Excuse my enthusiasm. I'd be doing a salsa dance right now, but I did one earlier and I think I threw my hip out. (No, don't send get well cards, just kidding).

I do swear, though, the similarities between this one and Superbowl 42 were pretty damn eerie. Same teams. Even the same uniforms (Pats in blue, Jints in white). Close game. G-Men down late in the fourth quarter, and Eli leads a desperate, heroic drive. Instead of Tyree's miracle catch, Manningham's miracle catch. Instead of Burress, Bradshaw takes it in for the go-ahead touchdown (though this time, the Pats and Evil Little Bill let the Giants score). But there's still time on the clock for Tom Brady to answer. In 42, the Gmen shut him down in four plays... though on one of them, the third down pass, the ball was just inches beyond Randy Moss's outstretched fingers. In 46, it looked almost like a replay... but Brady makes the 4th down connection on 4th and 16, and it comes down to a Hail Mary... and the deflected pass is just inches beyond the grasp of a diving Gronk. Whew. And YAY! That sonic boom you heard was my house in Santa Fe exploding with excitement.

Football truly is a game of inches. The Giants did get several lucky bounces this time. They fumbled twice and recovered both times. A third fumble, potentially disasterous, was undone when the Pats had twelve men on the field. And SB 42 turned on Asante Samuel letting a game-ending INT slip through his hands. Well, SB 46 turned on Wes Welker letting a game-ending reception bounce off his.

Even so, the Giants deserved the win. Eli outplayed Brady. The Giants receivers outplayed the Pats receivers. Both defenses played well, but the Giants D were toughest in the clutch, when the game on the line, and the Pats D wilted in the fourth quarter.

And Coughlin outcoached Evil Little Bill. I have to say it... I understand why the Pats parted like the Red Sea to let Bradshaw score on that last Giants TD, but I think it was a bad call by Belichick. It was second and goal, sure. If the Pats stuff Bradshaw, then it's third and goal. The G-Men probably try another run. Maybe they punch it in, maybe not. Maybe Kevin Glibride tries to outsmart the defense and calls a pass. In either scenario, lots of stuff can happen. Bradshaw might fumble. He'd already fumbled once. A pass might be deflected or intercepted. If the Patriots can hold the Giants for ONE MORE PLAY, they force a field goal attempt. A chip shot, sure. But kickers have been known to miss chip shots, especially when a world championship is on the line. Which Evil Little Bill should know, seeing as how the Pats are only in this SuperBowl because THE RAVENS KICKER MISSED A CHIP SHOT TWO WEEKS AGO. Belichick could have put this game on his D and Lawrence Tynes. Instead he chose to put it on Tom Brady and the Giants D. Which is how SB 42 ended too. And we know how that one worked out.

Bad call, Evil Little Bill. Bad bad call.

I do feel sorry for Wes Welker, a great and gutsy player who made a mistake that will likely haunt him for the rest of his career, and go down in SuperBowl history beside the Jackie Smith drop, Earl Morrell missing Jimmy Orr wide open in the endzone, and Scott Norwood's wide right. Welker may play for the despised Pats, but he reminds me of Wayne Chrebet, one of my favorite all-time Jets. I hope the Pats fans won't buckner him.

I also felt sorry for Robert Kraft. I do wish the TV cameras had not turned on him so mercilessly (and so long) after Brady's last hail mary fell incomplete. He looked so heartbroken. I admit, I love seeing Jerry Jones make his Pissy Face every time the Giants beat the Cowboys, but I can't hate Kraft the way I do JJ. TV can be cruel at times.

Mostly though, I feel good for all the Giants... Cruz and Nicks played great games, Mario Manningham came through when it mattered most, Chase Blackburn (out of football at mid-season) had a key interception, Tuck and JPP were amazing...

And the Giants are once again world champions!

What a game. What a season. What a year.

Bring on the parade.



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Feb. 6th, 2012 12:18 pm (UTC)
Darned If He Does
Hope Coughlin can get some credit for being a great coach even if the next season starts a little slow. Seems like even though the guy wins at the highest level, the collective memory is short (like it was at the beginning of this season). On another note: can't believe we have to wait roughly 6 months for it to start again.
Feb. 6th, 2012 12:54 pm (UTC)
As a Patriots fan, I tip my hat to you. This was a good game through and through, and the Giants (unfortunately) deserved the victory.

But you're wrong about allowing the touchdown. If Bradshaw had gone down at the one, Pats call their last timeout. Manning kneels at the two, take off 40 seconds. Manning kneels at the three, take off 14 seconds and call timeout. Fieldgoal, ballgame. Pat's only chance there was to allow the touchdown.

Sadly, the game came down to (in my opinion) the Patriot's first offensive play. That safety made the score difference in the end that would have made the Pats play for a field goal instead of a touchdown...and I think they could have pulled that off. Stupid amateur mistake by Brady, and it cost them.
Feb. 6th, 2012 01:35 pm (UTC)
Wrong knights
I guess I should have given you Ser Manning battling it out with Ser Brady at the signing in Burlington MA. Congrats to your G-men. Look like there is a new rivalry about.

Feb. 6th, 2012 01:46 pm (UTC)
It was a bit tense at the end as to who was going to do what. If that last pass by Brady had been caught (and they came close) this is a total different game.

But the Giants WON! And it was a lovely thing after they were counted out half way through the season. Considering what they had to do in the latter half of the season and the play-offs, it is more remarkable that they went into the game with a full roster available to go.

Heck, Peter, who was live blogging the commercials, got into the last 5 minutes of game time. So you know it was an exciting finish.

Feb. 6th, 2012 01:54 pm (UTC)

I suspect you wrote this Superbowl ending, for the sheer amount of epicness.
Feb. 6th, 2012 01:58 pm (UTC)
Congrats to the World Champions, from a Packers fan. :)
Feb. 6th, 2012 02:14 pm (UTC)
The first (or close) thing out of my mouth once the Giants cinched it - "Life is magical and full of joy" :)

Though I have to say, some part of me was sad that the Packers didn't get in. Not because I care about the team, but Second Christmas is always horrifically fun to witness.
Feb. 6th, 2012 02:15 pm (UTC)
Congrats on your team winning. There were a lot of times where the game could have completely changed. I played about ten different "what if" scenarios in my head afterwards (What if the game hadn't started with a safety, and then we held the Giants to a field goal instead of allowing that last touchdown? What if [insert Pats player here] hadn't dropped that pass])

Anyway, it was an exciting game, and although I was rooting for the Pats, I'm happy for Peyton's brother. And you. :)
Feb. 6th, 2012 02:20 pm (UTC)
I immediately thought of you when they won. :)
Feb. 6th, 2012 02:23 pm (UTC)
The Giants were way underdog until midseason, so my hopes are good that next year will be Jets' turn at last. Two NY teams winning the Superbowl back-to-back would be a dream. Yes. Just so. ^^
Feb. 6th, 2012 02:33 pm (UTC)
I would argue that the Patriots should have let them score the TD on *first* down - it was all about saving clock at that point.

And poor Wes Welker. He is one of my favourites and does not deserve to be villified.
Feb. 7th, 2012 03:27 am (UTC)
I'd divy the blame for that incompletion 70% on Brady, that was a straight route up field and he lofted it a bit too wide and 30% on Welker. No matter what everyone is saying he does not catch that pass 100% of the time. I've seen him drop several diving attempts. Welker is much better when he keeps his feet. Making a leaping 270deg spinning catch is really asking a lot.

Yes, Bill should have decided to let them score once Hakeem Nicks got the first down. Conversely, Tom Coughlin should have had Eli kneel and center the ball on second down instead running Bradshaw. I only just heard that tactic and it made sense. That way they could have milked the clock and setup for the field goal on third down.
Feb. 6th, 2012 02:38 pm (UTC)
Letting the Giants score was his only option. He couldn't rely on them missing a chip shot field goal, and actually it was terrible coaching by Coughlin not to have Manning taking knees before the kick - do we not remember Joe Pisarcik and The Fumble? It gave Brady a chance to move them with time on the clock and timeouts, and desperation heave or not that was pretty close at the end.

Still, I'm happy our Giants won.
Feb. 6th, 2012 02:45 pm (UTC)
Nah, Wes made me a mistake but we (I speak for the reasonable Pats fans) can't hate him - he delivered a hell of a season. Eli played a great game, so congrats. No hate here (except for the Giants fans who pulled the emergency brakes for fun on the subways last night... ughh).
Feb. 6th, 2012 08:56 pm (UTC)
I agree, and I don't think Wes will be vilified. He's just done too much for the organization for that. Still, you look at the TD catch David Patten made in Super Bowl 36, somewhat similar type of catch (though that was a fade route and this was a seam) and if you can't make those types of plays, you can't win. Feel awful for Welker, watching him on the podium almost made me cry.
Feb. 6th, 2012 02:49 pm (UTC)
So what did you win from Stego this year?
Feb. 6th, 2012 02:50 pm (UTC)
Well played Giants
Another excruciating superbowl for a patriots fan. All I can do is tip my cap to the Giants. They made more plays to win the game, yet again.
Feb. 6th, 2012 02:55 pm (UTC)
Congrats George!
Giants are only 2 Superbowls behind the Steelers now.
Feb. 6th, 2012 06:46 pm (UTC)
But two ahead on championships.
Patrick DiNino
Feb. 6th, 2012 02:59 pm (UTC)
Timeout, George
I'll give it up for the Giants, they played a great game, but I would have thought a fan of your experience would have realized letting the Giants score was pretty much the only option for the Patriots. On 2nd down, with only a single timeout remaining, even if the Patriots hold the Giants for one more play, they'd be lucky to get the ball back with 15 seconds remaining.

I'm sure you'd agree that you'd rather have the ball and 1 minute on the clock as opposed to 15 seconds. I fully expected Coughlin to have Eli take a knee and run more time off.

I also hope you're not implying the Patriots shouldn't have been in the game with all your CAPITALS, because there are a whole lot of bitter people out in CA that can say the exact same thing about the Giants. I seem to remember a coach we might have both rooted for in the past saying something to the effect of 'You are what your record says you are'. Both Baltimore and San Fransisco learned that lesson quite clearly the other week.

Regardless, congratulations George, on (one of) your team's success. I know the Patriots will be right back in the mix next year, I suspect you know this as well, and I can only hope to be entertained again like I was last night. If not, well, Rex always seems to have something funny to say.
Feb. 6th, 2012 03:01 pm (UTC)
Giants fans should love Jerrah Jones
Keeping the Cowboys down for the last 15 years. They should be drinking toasts to his health.
Feb. 6th, 2012 03:13 pm (UTC)
I believe the first actual words that came out of my mouth (following the long groan and sigh of loss) after the game were "Damn you George RR Martin." ;) Congrats to the G-Men, they played really, REALLY well.

The one that killed me was Brady's other hail-mary attempt- to NO ONE. Why he didn't just run it forward a few yards, and start again on a 2 and whatever attempt really confuses the crap out of me. There was a hole in front of him big enough to drive a fucking car through. I do feel terrible for Welker as well- I like to think Pats fans are more forgiving than Sox fans, but you never know.

Again, congrats to the G-Men.. see you next year! ;)
Feb. 6th, 2012 03:22 pm (UTC)
The first thing I thought once the score was final was "George must be so happy!" - does that make me an ASOIAF geek? :)
Feb. 6th, 2012 03:33 pm (UTC)
Congrats on your win. Next time...
Feb. 6th, 2012 03:34 pm (UTC)
While I am not particularly a football fan I am very happy "your team" won - Ser Martin happy - me happy lol!!!

Would have loved to have seen that salsa dance - how about a reenactment and post on youtube - wait was that a salsa dance or a queso dance............

Happy Day - now you can relax on Saturday's and Sunday's and not stress over football until fall!!!

March Madness is Coming!!!!
Amy Frey
Feb. 6th, 2012 03:47 pm (UTC)
Congrats on your team's win!!
Love the references to "Evil Little Bill" and the game analysis and just the joy of a fan. We Eagles fans seldom fly so high, ironically, considering our mascot is bird of prey! Ah, well...we're in the Maybe Next Year club. Congrats and Enjoy!!!
Feb. 6th, 2012 03:48 pm (UTC)
Firstly, good call refs on that safety. Who'd a thunk it. The refs finally did right by the Gints.

I was glad that they let the Giants score the TD... especially since they thought about it one play too late. Belichick knows all about clutch kickers. That wasn't Billy Cundiff on the other sideline. Tynes had proven himself and had made two in the game, so his mind was locked in. Weatherford showed that he could handle bad snaps all season and even in high pressure situations. It was better for the Pats to do something where they had the opportunity to win the game rather than hope for the opposition to screw up.

That defense Bill Belichick came up with reminded me of '90. Bend but don't break. I remember quite clearly seeing the Giants playing a similar D that season with their safeties deep. Without Gronkowski, the Giants should have had a walk over. Fewell called a decent game. I would never have dropped JPP back into coverage. He was always just a bit out of position when he did. I felt that Gilbride should have done better against that D. He had the weapons and the O-line was playing brilliantly even with the ticky-tack hold called against Boothe and the consistent mugging the Giants' receivers were getting.

Ultimately, the game was won and lost by the players. The Giants' players simply out performed the Pats'.

Welker won't become a Buckner. Regardless of what he or the media said about him catching that pass every time, I've seen him drop easier ones. That catch was not a gimme a la one to Branch and one to Hernandez on that final drive.

Weatherford was brilliant. I'm glad that Michaels (I think it was he) mentioned Dodge. Ugh. We have Tynes' friendship (those guys are so different that it's humorous to see them together) and Jerry Reese to thank for that.

Tuck... He's playing with some really annoying/nagging injuries. Yesterday, he uncorked a gem. Another two sacks in the biggest game. And of course, Blackburn. Chase's re-signing has been along with getting healthier proved to be the medicine that this defense needed.

Eli. I used to hope that he could be our next Phil Simms. He's turning out to be that plus more. He is one of the most unique athletes that I've ever seen. I feel so very fortunate to have witnessed his personality and professional growth. Itzhak Perlman said that he'd rather teach the good students with potential than the prodigies. I can finally see why.

I like that this wiser and gentler Coughlin will have the right to finish his career with the Giants. His steadiness and willingness to adapt his main approach of discipline and preparation makes him the best for this team. His loyalty to Gilbride... well. If loyalty to his coaches is his greatest flaw, then I can learn to live with that.

I am really looking forward to the parade. And, next season. *knock on wood*
Feb. 6th, 2012 03:53 pm (UTC)
I think Belichick's decision to let Bradshaw in was the correct call. In fact, I think he should have done it the previous play to have two time outs instead of 1.
The odds of a fumble or missed FG are tiny. The Giants were going up in the score at least 95% of the time there. In that scenario you have around 15 to 20 seconds left with not time outs for the Patriots. The chances of Brady leading them to a FG is tiny. So in the case where they don't let Bradshaw in, the Giants win something like 90 to 95% of the time (closer to 95 than 90). However, by letting Bradshaw in, you give Brady over 50 seconds with a time out and 80 yards to go. I haven't look at the raw numbers, but I think the Patriots would have been a bit higher than 10% of winning in that case. The Pats were essentially toast. The Belichick decision improved their chances a bit, but the Giants had the game.
Even if you go by philosophy instead of raw numbers, the decision is favorable. If you wait for a missed FG or fumble, you are relying on the opposition's mistake. Whereas by allowing them the TD, you rely on your best player (and one of the best QBs of all time).
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George R.R. Martin
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