The better half: “The Giants are in the playoffs?!?!?!”
Those six words said it all. It was Sunday morning. We had just finished grocery shopping and were sitting down to a quiet cup of caffeine when she brought me back to reality. Last she knew I expressed my confusion about whether to cheer on the G-Men versus the ‘Skins. I didn’t want to risk the possibility of them qualifying for and experiencing another ultra-embarrassing playoff defeat. I had tried to avoid the fact that the Giants were on national television that afternoon in the wild card round of the playoffs. I had tried to avoid it so much that she didn’t even know until looking at television listings in the paper. Does that tell it all? I hadn’t once mentioned the Giants all week.
After having to face my fears head on I decided that I would NOT watch the game. It was the four o’clock broadcast. I play hoops on Sunday night. I leave the house around five thirty. I can find something to distract me for ninety minutes.
Then I got a case of the what-ifs?
What if…Burress actually plays to the potential of his six foot, five inch, 232 pound frame?
What if Tiki “the two-timing, double-crossing, I want to go out on my own terms, set the club rushing record in my last start, how much can we pay you to come back next year?” Barber has another performance for the ages?
What if instead of looking like a deer in the headlights, Eli looks like…like…a king of the jungle?
What if the entire defensive unit decided to tackle for an entire game?
What if? What if? What if?
All right, I guess I’ll watch. I swear if they rip my heart out again, I am never watching another Giants’ game.
Hours before kickoff I mention to the better half that just for giggles I should write the blog now and see how close I come to predicting the game. (I would have come up with the same result).
Giants get the kickoff. I am in the family room. I can’t even face the television. I am aware of what is happening in the game, but I can’t bring myself to fully get involved. Giants run seven plays, go sixty-seven yards and somehow scored a touchdown. Begs the question: is this the same team I have been watching for the last six weeks? Of course I can’t count last week due to the NFL Network blackout!?!?!?
The joy in Muddville does not last long. As I am driving to the gym, the Eagles convert a field goal to make it ten to seven. I find out later they scored on their next possession, and I can hear those punk kids in school tomorrow: “how ‘bout dem G-Men, Mr. G?”
I am in the gym and now I have gone from not wanting to watch the game to trying to find a tv. I am nuts. No luck. Nothing to be found.
After an hour or so of running baselines I head home just in time to catch the microcosm of the Giants’ season. I turn on the radio. Roughly seven minutes remain in the game. The announcer uses the phrase ‘the Giants are driving.’ I must admit my heart raced just a tad. Giants have the ball inside the Eagles ‘ thirty, and it is third down and …I think two. Of course the play clock almost runs out, and the Giants are forced to take a timeout. After the stoppage they run Tiki, and the ball is marked short of the first down. But the call is miraculously reversed in the Giants’ favor.
First down and ten at the Eagles’ twenty-three. False start.
First down and fifteen at the Eagles’ twenty-eight. False start.
First down and twenty at the Eagles’ thirty-three. (You think I’m lying…look it up). Manning completes a screen to Tiki. He runs nineteen yards…but wait there’s a FLAG on the field. Holding on the Giants.
First down and thirty at the Eagles’ forty-three.
After completing an eighteen yard pass the Giants have third down and twelve. Before they can run a play, they are again forced to take a timeout. Jiminy Crickets!!!!! Did they attend the Bob Davie school of clock management?!?!?!
Somehow the Giants score. Eli hit an open receiver?
The game is tied with a little over five minutes to play. Time for the Big Blue Wrecking Crew to step up and play some D right? Right?
Not a friggin’ chance. The Eagles on successive plays gained 11, 6, 7, 5, and 5 yards. Time for the two-minute warning with the ball on the Giant thirty-seven. Needless to say the Giants can’t take a timeout because they burned them all trying to get to the line of scrimmage on the previous drive. The Eagles milk the clock until only three ticks remain.
Dorenbos to Detmer to Akers, doesn’t sound like Tinkers to Evers to Chance, but it works just the same. Game over. Lights out. Giants season extinguished.
As a precursor to my New Year’s Suggestions part II- to the Giants: fire the players!!!!
What a week: first the Irish get blitzed in Nawlins’, the Sabres lose two out of three, Greg Paulus forgets how to dribble, and Duke loses to Virginia Tech, and now this.
I could have written this before the game began: I am not watching another Giants’ game as long as I live…or at least until next September.