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Life is Magical...

... when you're a Giants fan, and you get to kick some Cowboy ass and knock them out of the playoffs to boot.

Quite a game tonight at the Meadowlands. Tony Romo gave a gutsy performance, given that his hand was the size and color of an eggplant, but the Giants pass rushers came to play tonight. So did Eli, Hakeem, and especially Victor Cruz. I've been singing this kid's praises since the beginning of the season. Was I right, or was I right?

The game looked like a laugher in the first half, the Giants dominating on both sides of the ball and running up a 21-0 margin. That all started with Cruz, again, when he turned a short third-and-one pass to the flat into a 70 yard touchdown scamper. And the D did the rest. Osi, Kiwi, Canty, JPP, Tuck... they never gave Romo time to breathe.

Third quarter, though, things started to sour. Suddenly the momentum shifted, as it will in the NFL. Suddenly it was the G-Men going three-and-out and the Cowboys driving down the field. They made it 21-7, stopped the Giants, got the ball back, drove down to the shadow of the goalposts, then went for it on a fourth-and-one instead of taking the chip shot field goal. The Giants stuffed 'em and got the ball on downs, and you'd think that would have shifted the momentum back... but it didn't. The Cowboys D shut down the Giants in another three-and-out, the punt was short, a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty got tacked on, and wham, bam, Romo led them down and now it was 21-14.

At that point I was sweating bullets and moaning, especially when the Giants got the ball back and went nowhere on their first two downs. Suddenly it was third-and-ten, and it looked as though we'd have to give the ball back to the Cowboys again, with all that momentum. Falter now, and we were staring down the barrel of a tied score. Then the ball was snapped, Eli faded back, rushers came crashing in all around him, it looked dire... but somehow Eli spun away, just as he did in the Superbowl, and he heaved the ball way way downfield, and instead of David Tyree it was Victor Cruz, and the kid went way up in the air above the defenders and snatched that ball for a great catch... and just like that, the Giants had the momentum back.

There was more excitement to come. A fumble near the goal line that stopped my heart (but thankfully the Giants recovered). More Giant sacks. More great Victor Cruz catches. A couple nifty catches from Hakeem Nicks. Great play for Eli. The final strip/ sack of Romo. But that long Eli-to-Cruz bomb, under heavy pressure, just when things looks darkest... that was the fulcrum on which the game turned.

And now the Giants are in the show, and live to play another week, facing the Falcons next Sunday at MetLife Stadium. And Jerry Jones is flying home wearing his pissy face. You have to love Jerry Jones in his pissy face.

Ah, football. Nothing like it.



Jan. 2nd, 2012 07:03 am (UTC)
Aww, my cowboys lose! Ah well, your enthusiasm is awesome! And if it had been a straight beat down, it wouldn't have been as exciting, admit it. May the next game be just as exciting!
Jan. 2nd, 2012 08:20 am (UTC)
i went to pick my daughter up from the sitters house tonight after i got off work, and they were watching the game. i thought of you =]

good luck next week. rise up!
Jan. 2nd, 2012 09:27 am (UTC)
Good Call
I will verify that George has been touting Cruz all season. When I'm watching the Giants I tend to think of him as that undrafted WR that George R.R. Martin was "big on" early this season. What a great story.
Jan. 2nd, 2012 12:55 pm (UTC)
Actually got to see the second half of this game live - that was indeed some escape-and-throw by Eli. Glad one of your teams made it through the weekend!
Jan. 2nd, 2012 01:10 pm (UTC)
I'm actually kind of glad Tampa Bay lost again. I mean, if you're missing the playoffs, get the best slot you can, right?

Congrats on the Giants making it. Eli's really become an interesting QB, the kind you really don't want to go up against in the playoffs because he's got the arm and weaponry to just torch a defense.
Jan. 2nd, 2012 01:24 pm (UTC)
I apologize in advance for the drubbing the Dirty Birds are going to give your beloved Giants.
Jan. 2nd, 2012 02:06 pm (UTC)
I agree..
Cruz made all the difference in this game, especially towards the end.

When I saw the first Pokes/G-Men match up, I switched off as the former were ahead, thinking it was all over. I forgot we were dealing with Romo, who's become notorious for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory...especially towards the end of the year. I wasn't going to make the same mistake again, and I'm glad I watched this one all the way to the end.

Meantime, the Saints will face the Lions on Saturday Night (only this time the latter has "Suh-spension prone" Ndamukong Suh in their D-Line, whilst their hated rivals, the "Dirty-Birds" head to the Meadowlands. The only thing sweeter than the Saints moving on to the 2nd round would be the G-Men knocking the Falcons out of the 1st.
Andre Santiago Jr.
Jan. 2nd, 2012 02:16 pm (UTC)
I was so very, very happy. That's all I have to say.
Jan. 2nd, 2012 02:28 pm (UTC)
"ABD" in this Redskins living house has always meant "Anyone But Dallas"--so congrats to the G-men (and I'm sorry about the Jets' season--I really had hopes for them this year).
Jan. 2nd, 2012 03:39 pm (UTC)
What a quandary the Giants upper management are going to be in. Do they try pick up Norv and Spags while keeping Coughlin? Are Fewell and Gilbride adequate when the team is healthy? Would Norv or Spags have been any better given all of the critical injuries the Giants suffered throughout the season? As much as I and a whole lot of NY media and Giants fans bashed the coaching this season this team did over achieve.

I have a new found respect for Tony Romo. He may not have Eli's magic, but he is definitely not the problem in Dallas. The Jets would be lucky to have him.

Dallas got a gut punch when Cruz ran for the touchdown. You could see the doubt creep into their minds and stay there for most of the first half. Dallas came out with renewed life in the second half. They seemed to be a step faster on both sides of the ball. For a while that Tynes missed field goal seemed like it would come back to haunt the Giants and us fans given that these two teams seem to always play each other tooth and nail. And then we saw Tuck hurt his shoulder...

But, like you pointed out, that Manning/Cruz third down play kinda dazed the 'Boys. Cruz a unique talent. I hope he can keep a level head and continue to develop. It was nice to see Hakeem Nicks make some critical receptions and no drops too.

Despite the lopsided victory, I'd say the Giants were as much lucky as good. The ball bounced their way, and for the first game in a long while they didn't have to be concerned about any controversial plays/calls/no-calls. If they are to go on to the Superbowl they'll have play less sloppily and not rely upon magic. Or, maybe they should keep relying upon it.

Well, as the TV crew alluded to, bring on the next Ryan.

As for me I'm going to take up Salsa.
Jan. 2nd, 2012 03:59 pm (UTC)
As long as they've prevailed over the team I will always think of (thanks to the greatest player the Giants never actually had) as "the dog-ass Jets," it's all good by me.
Jan. 2nd, 2012 05:14 pm (UTC)
Go Falcons! Sorry, we'll have to be on opposing sides for this one. :-)
Colby Clark
Jan. 2nd, 2012 05:53 pm (UTC)
Winter Classic
GRRM, I'm shocked you havn't mentioned the New York Rangers playing in the Winter Classic today! It's going to be a great game!

You think football is exciting, give hockey a try!
Jan. 2nd, 2012 06:29 pm (UTC)
It was a very exciting second half. I'm really happy the Cowboys got beaten. I hate seeing them in the playoffs. Cruz really helped the team big time.
Michael Henry Perez
Jan. 2nd, 2012 06:38 pm (UTC)
Not as magical as a Niner franchise that brought in another former Stanfurd coach. History repeating? [Forgive the intentional misspelling of the junior university across the bay from Cal.]
Jan. 2nd, 2012 09:42 pm (UTC)
Glad you have a team to root for in the playoffs. For my Chargers, I had to take solace in the fact that their win kept the hated Raiders out of the playoffs.

I'll be rooting for the Saints (love ex-Bolts Drew Brees and Darron Sproles) and the San Francisco 49ers, whose quarterback, Alex Smith, is a San Diego product and whose mother was my boss when I lived there. Funny thing: she's maybe MAYBE 5-foot-1 and 100 pounds, but he son is about 6-5, 225. I guess he took after Dad.

I'm with you on Victor Cruz, too. That play against the Jets two weeks ago was, as the kids say, sick.

Mr. Martin, your love for football is well-known, but do you follow any other sports? Pitchers and catchers report in six weeks, after all...
Grant Moon
Jan. 2nd, 2012 11:49 pm (UTC)
Falcons will win
Proud and dignified with great courage and fight, the Falcon never drops it's prey. It's deadly...
Jan. 3rd, 2012 07:59 pm (UTC)
Re: Falcons will win
Falcons are deadly, it's true, but if we're talking awesome birds, then Ravens have the brains.
Jan. 3rd, 2012 07:16 am (UTC)
One thing almost every football fan can agree on: seeing the Cowboys lose is a wonderful thing!
Jan. 3rd, 2012 08:29 am (UTC)
> Ah, football. Nothing like it.

Sir, is there any chance to get you interested in rugby? ;)
Chris Thomas
Jan. 4th, 2012 04:05 pm (UTC)
These comments are almost enough to make a devout Cowboys fan stop reading your books ;)

The event of Sunday were CERTAINLY enough to close the book on this season for me, doubtful I'll be paying attention anymore unless the hated Giants fall.
Jan. 4th, 2012 11:29 pm (UTC)
Being an existentialist....
....I always stick with "Life is Meaningless", even when my teams do make the Playoffs. Given that my teams are the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Bills (the closest NFL team to us), Life has been meaningless for a loooooong time.
Greg Miller
Jan. 9th, 2012 04:34 am (UTC)
Speaking of magic......
Another great win for the Gmen....but I couldnt find your email and Ive been really trying to ask if were going to see or find out anything more about Coldhands? I know this isn't the place to ask but I'm just weird.
Jan. 10th, 2012 12:08 am (UTC)
JPP is a beast. Everytime I see that guy he does something that I just go "wow".

Yeah, I'm an offence first kind of guy, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate great D. And JPP, man, I would love to have that guy on my team.


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

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