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Happy Birthday To Me

Today is my birthday. Yes. Today I am eleventy-one years old.

(Well, no, not actually, though some days it feels like that).

I got some wonderful gifts to mark the day... from the New York Jets, the New York Giants, and Tony Romo of the Dallas Cowboys.

In the morning game, the Jets defeated the New England Patriots, long the bullies of the AFC East, who had been pushing Gang Green around on their own field for more games than I care to remember. But not today. A win is always swell, but a win over Evil Little Bill and his minions is especially sweet, since they have been so scarce this past decade. The game did not begin well for the Jets, who came out, looked terrible, and shot themselves in both feet in the first couple of series. But after that they settled down, and before long they were actually dominating.

The defense was amazing. Blitz, blitz, blitz. The last time I have seen so much pressure on a QB was when the Giants beat the Patriots in the SuperBowl, but these were the Jets. Tom Brady will usually eat you alive if you blitz too often, but not today. He looked dazed and lost by the final series. And Darryl Revis just OWNED Randy Moss. (Though once again Vernon Gholston's name was never mentioned. Did he even play? I'm not certain).

My brother in law was at the game. He's been a Jets season ticket holder for years, and he tells me he has never heard a Meadowlands crowd make so much noise. Rex Ryan gets credit for that as well. All hail Rex!

The defense won this game, but the offense also performed well, especially Mark Sanchez. I know, I know, he's only played two games, but right now trading up to grab him in the draft is looking like the best move the Jets have made since drafting Joe Namath.

As for the evening game... what can I say? Aside from the fact that I sufferered several heart attacks during the closing minutes. It was not, by any measure, an especially well-played game, but it sure was an exciting one... and how sweet it is to be able to open the Jerry Jones Palace of Excess by handing the hated Cowboys a loss!

It had to be one of the weirdest games I have ever watched, though. There were times I thought these must be teams from the Bizarro world. For most of the game the Cowboys stifled the vaunted two-headed Giants running attack by stuffing Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw again and again. That's not supposed to happen. On the other side of the ball, they gashed the Giants D with their own ground game. Felix Jones and Marion Barber kept breaking free for long runs. That's not supposed to happen either. The huge, slow, ponderous Cowboys offensive line kept the Giant pass-rushers at bay through the whole game. We failed to record a single sack, and Tony Romo always seemed to have plenty of time. That's DEFINITELY not supposed to happen. The Giants red zone offense sucked too, just as it did last week. We had first and goal on three or four occasions, and came away with field goals every time. We had one interception TD taken away by the ref's whistle, and our field goal kicker missed a gimme kick at one point, so a good drive ended with nothing.

With all these calamities, you would have to figure the game was a Dallas blowout. And, hey, maybe it should have been. But thankfully, we had Eli Manning and they had Tony Romo. Tony must have known that it was my birthday, since he kept giving the Giants gifts. Three interceptions, I think. (There was a fumble too, so there were four Cowboy turnovers). Two of the picks were just awful throws. The third was a freakish thing where the ball bounced off the back of Jason Witten's ankle right into the hands of Kenny Phillips, who ran it back for the TD that the refs took away.

And that wasn't even the most freakish play in the game. That had to be Eli's long TD pass to Mario Manningham, which MM dropped, juggled, and somehow managed to catch again while sliding on his butt through the endzone. Not exactly classic form, but hey, it counted for six points just the same. Manningham had nine other catches, for ten total, and The Other Steve Smith had ten as well, the first time in the long and storied history of the Giants that they have ever had two receivers both catch ten balls in a game. Plaxico who? I think the Giants have found their starting tandem... and when Hakeem Nicks comes back from his injury and Ramses Barden gets a bit more seasoning, we could have one of the most dangerous receiving corps in the league.

The other great thing in the game was Eli Manning. With the running game shut down, it all fell on his shoulders, and he came through magnificently, especially in the fourth quarter.

In the end, though, it all came down to a field goal try with four seconds left. The Scottish Kicker (theater folk always refer to Macbeth as the Scottish Play, since it is thought to be bad luck to mention the actual name, and I have decided the same rule should apply to the Giants kicker) had missed a field goal earlier, so it was no sure thing. And sure enough, his kick only cleared the goal post by inches, stopping my heart for a second before the refs raised their arms to signal it was good... and then he had to do it all over again, since Wade Phillips had called a timeout a split second before the kick, a bush league move that has become popular with some coaches these last couple of years. Wade deserved to lose for that alone. And thankfully he did: the Scottish Kicker's second attempt was dead straight down the middle. Giants win, 33-31!

Life IS magical and full of joy. At least today.



( 201 comments — Leave a comment )
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Sep. 21st, 2009 05:57 am (UTC)
Wishing you a happy birthday, good health and many more successes.
Sep. 21st, 2009 05:58 am (UTC)
May your day be filled with magic, love and happiness! Happy Birthday!
Sep. 21st, 2009 05:59 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday Mr. Martin. :D
Sep. 21st, 2009 06:03 am (UTC)
Happy birthday! :)
Sep. 21st, 2009 06:04 am (UTC)
I see that you had a nice gift for your birthday - awesome! Happy birthday to you :)

My bf doubted that the Jets could win - we didn't have the match aired here, but he kept following the results, when he suddenly told me - hey, they're actually winning! I'm glad to see that it was a good win, and not one about miracles ;) Even if those are always good as well, it's always best when it's a strong one :)
Sep. 21st, 2009 06:04 am (UTC)
happy birthday
wish you long and happy life
Sep. 21st, 2009 06:05 am (UTC)
Ya take your victories where ya can get 'em. In this case -- the Cowboys losing in their brand spankin' new stadium in front of a record crowd is mighty pleasin'.
Sep. 21st, 2009 06:06 am (UTC)
Happy birthday!

And a very, very fine day of football!
Sep. 21st, 2009 06:11 am (UTC)
Happy birthday
Best wishes!
Sep. 21st, 2009 06:15 am (UTC)
Happy Bday George!!!!!
Due to a lack of tv for the evening, I tried finding an online radio to catch the giants game on but all my attempts were frivolous. I ended up playing computer games til about now(2am) and on a whim decided to check out your blog. I am quite glad I did. GO BIG BLUE! and hell, go jets, as a Giants fan in New England I feel obligated to hate the Pats for being so damn pretentious and taking on all of New England rather than just Mass. I just picked up Revis for my fantasy team(Plaxico's Gun Show), hopefully he will keep up this level of performance all year.

It sounded like Romo was competing with Brady tonight based on your description. Glad to hear it, and most importantly I am glad that the Giants were blessed with the opportunity to Christen the cowboy's new stadium. May the cowboy's home record stay this great all season.
Sep. 21st, 2009 06:24 am (UTC)
Autumn is a magical time for a number of reasons...
Right about the end of August I get excited for so many reasons - the heat of summer starts to fade and give way to cold crisp mornings... and FOOTBALL season rescues me from a long summer of baseball highlights on sportscenter. Its my favorite time of year! Theres nothing better than frost on the ground, leaves changing color, and football on the tv. I love to hear what an avid football fan you are - here's to a lot of great games this year! So are you a bigger Jets or Giants fan? You always seem to talk about them equally. Great time of year to have a Birthday - hope you had a great day!

Sep. 21st, 2009 06:25 am (UTC)
Happy Birthday!
Sep. 21st, 2009 06:33 am (UTC)
I think it's no longer your birthday any more, even in the Mountain timezone, but I hope it was great. Sounds like it was!
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 21st, 2009 06:35 am (UTC)
Heh. I was in the car with Parris and Dave as the clock ticked down. We were following the game on my cellphone, and with the Cowboys leading by a point right up until the last few seconds we were on the edge of our seats (except Dave, hopefully, because he was driving). Parris called as soon as we got confirmation of the final score. Happy birthday! =D
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( 201 comments — Leave a comment )


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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