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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 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).
Feb. 6th, 2012 03:56 pm (UTC)
A Manning win!
Congrats to the Giants. Indianapolis & its Colts fans are happy Eli(te) beat the Pats in the house Peyton built.
Feb. 6th, 2012 03:59 pm (UTC)
I've been following this Notablog for as long as it's been around, but I just had to create an account for this. I'm from Europe and know *a lot* more about soccer than football, but I support the Colts, for which reason I'm happy that Eli won it (and that it was played in that beautiful stadium) ... and also the Patriots, as I lived in New Hampshire. But there's no hatred in American sports, and I can offer my heartfelt congratulations not only to GRRM (thanks for the Theon update! Theon all the way!!) but to all who celebrate the Giants' success.

But the REAL reason why I'm leaving this comment is to share something that a friend from NH wrote on Facebook today:

"The Mannings are the Lannisters to my Stark."

Priceless. And by the way I also got the impressions that refereeing had an unnecessary influence on the game, starting from that 12-man penalty in, IIRC, the first quarter.

Watch out for the Colts next year y'all!

And by the other way... my first contact with GRRM's writing was the Rag with Igor Kordej's illustrations, and I decided, many years later, to buy a paperback "Game of Thrones" purely on the strength of that book. Cheers y'all!
Feb. 6th, 2012 04:39 pm (UTC)
I take consolation that at least George will be in a good mood and maybe knock out some extra pages on TWOW.
Feb. 6th, 2012 04:59 pm (UTC)
This season proves how fickle sports can be and how being a dedicated fan can really pay off (at least, every once in a long while.) Many Giants fans were ready to write off Coughlin, Eli and Co. after they nearly went 0-for-November and then suffered that loss to the 'Skins in December. Talk about going from the lowest of the low to ecstasy in just six weeks. I must admit, I'm jealous of your joy.

And this just a few months after the Cardinals sneaked their way into the postseason and then got on a run to win it all. Man, sports can be magical.

Even if my teams never win, I'm still buoyed by the hope of my boys coming through against the odds...
Laura Clayton Johnson
Feb. 6th, 2012 05:09 pm (UTC)
Well, I am a first time poster here but just had to tell you Congratulations on your teams big win. I thought of you last night while watching that game. I am a University of Alabama fan (Roll Tide Roll) and so I know that amazing feeling you get from your team winning it all. Here is hoping that you can take a few days, replay it on DVR 13 times and buy all the commemorative magazines that you see. Congrats again, really happy for you.
Ian Haughton
Feb. 6th, 2012 05:20 pm (UTC)
I'm happy for you that your team won but always bugs me how you guys over the pond call is world championships etc as no one participates outside of America.

We have rugby in the UK though, its pretty much the same but without the girlie padding ;)

*teasing off*

Go Giants!

Your faithful reader

Feb. 6th, 2012 05:21 pm (UTC)
Manngham is a free agent...
I am not sure how the giants can resign him. A few teams will throw money at him. He can start for most teams and is a 1000 yard receiver for most teams with a good quarterback. The giants cap is tight already. Plus he probably won't want to be the 3rd guy again. That would be a huge loss. If Steve Smith is healthy (which is a big if) they could bring him back. However, the Giants have been killed with injuries and Manningham never gets hurt. Then there is the Osi situation. He has 1 year left on his contract. Again, I am not sure if the Giants can pay him. His 2 knee surgeries lower his value, but he can get more than the giants paid. He missed half the season. If they keep him and he walks they get nothing. So they may trade him. Best they may be able to do is a 3rd round pick due to all his injuries. Adding Osi is what makes the defense good. It is that extra pass rusher. Brandon Jacobs is probably gone. ESPN said the Giants will target Michael Bush (raiders backup who averages 5 yards/carry) and can use Jacobs money to pay him. not sure how much that will help, their offensive line is terrible. They have to upgrade their. Positive side, they have several key guys who were out all year. One of them (their top Corner... forgot his name) is a free agent, but due to a knee injury, he shouldn't be expensive. Hopefully he is the same guy. The DT Austin who they got in the 2nd round went out in training camp. They also have that Safety from 2 years ago who got into a car accident. Goff will be back. If they lose Manningham and Osi it will be HUGE. And they have to upgrade the offensive line. It is TERRIBLE. They can't run block at all.
Feb. 6th, 2012 07:06 pm (UTC)
Re: Manngham is a free agent...
Manningham made the big catch when it mattered most, and for that he deserves a huge amount of credit. It was clutch catch, and one that will be forever a part of Super Bowl lore.

That being said... Mario M also messed up twice earlier in the game. Once on a long sideline play when he ran too close to the sideline and could not stay in bounds (something he does frequently, he has never been especially good at getting his feet down), and once on a key third down when he went up, got both hands on the ball, and dropped it (on a much less difficult catch than Welker's).

And that is Manningham in a nutshell. He is inconsistent. He makes great catches, and misses easy ones. He's big, he's fast, he has all the tools... but he underachieves. Whereas Cruz, with far less talent, always overachieves.

Would I like the G-Men to keep Manningham? Sure. Will be a tragedy if they lose him? No. Let some other team overpay for him, if it comes to that. I think Reese has more sense.

And hey, Wes Welker is supposed to be a free agent as well, I seem to recall. Maybe we can pick up him... heh....
Re: Manngham is a free agent... - nycfalcon - Feb. 8th, 2012 03:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
Chad Cottle
Feb. 6th, 2012 05:24 pm (UTC)
Football and Westeros
I'm thinking George's love of football has translated into really, really great Ice and Fire novels.

An inch here, an inch there, a word here, a word there, and heads roll. A Football game turns on the nearly instantaneous flick of a wrist, a slippery finger or a momentary pivot of one of the players.

Ned Stark says "No" to Renly and the world shifts forever.

Thank you, George, for translating your love of the game of inches into the fictional world we all love to lose ourselves in!
Sean Morris
Feb. 6th, 2012 05:26 pm (UTC)
Glad to see G-Men win, got to say Nicks had play of the game!

Brady looked lost and Lil Bill looked dumbfounded. Two more things Eli(te) can be proud of.
Feb. 6th, 2012 05:33 pm (UTC)
Having no dog in this hunt, I was just pleased to watch an exciting game. The play call at the end can be debated forever, but it was certainly an LOL to watch!
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