The Giants, St. Jude, and Casey

I’m not gonna lie. I gave the New York Giants very little chance of defeating the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

With that in mind I turned to St. Jude (my Catholicism only occasionally appears on the Clipboard). You see St. Jude is the Patron Saint of desperate cases.

I said a prayer earlier in the week for the G-Men. Maybe I said a couple. Okay, all right, enough already I SAID NUMEROUS PRAYERS TO ST. JUDE.

Ya feel better now that you dragged that out of me.

Yeah, yeah, yeah I know there are far more important things to pray for: world peace, world hunger, new roof on the house…

I just thought that if for some reason St. Jude thought a Giant victory could comfort someone else in need that I was tight with that decision.

Yeah, I realize that Don Shula and Mercury Morris were probably one of the few who were actually comforted by last night’s result.

Of course I knew full well if St. Jude had something else in mind I’d have to accept it.

So there I was, ninety minutes prior to kick off, standing in the aisles of my local Fortune 500 grocers (yeah, I was there twice yesterday – I said yesterday was the ‘unofficial holiday’) feeling conflicted. I was simultaneously wondering if this is how a lamb feels before being led to slaughter and wanting to yell at the top of my lungs: GO GEEEEEEE-MEN!

Twenty years ago and a couple of libations I would have done the latter.

Instead I quietly made my way to the drink aisle (realized about two hours prior to kickoff that we had invited a few of the daughters’ friends for the game, and we only had pop – soda for those of y’all outside of Western New York- to offer. I liken the consumption of pop to the ingesting of anti-freeze. The only responsible thing to do was to get some juice / sports drinks) and proceeded to the cashier before heading to the pizza shop.

In one of those rare occurrences of life I was actually early to pick up the pizza. I had been listening to ESPN radio and their pre-game coverage. I started getting butterflies. Yeah, you read that right – I started getting a little anxious.

What if the G-Men came all this way to implode again?

I didn’t know if could handle it and with the couple extra minutes I had while waiting for the pie, I phoned Evan (some know him as Cleef). He is my oldest living Giant friend- just needed that reassurance that if the Giants went down, I had someone with me. I’m sure Evan is happy that I called him and used the word oldest to describe him.

Of course I’m early and the pizza…er…scratch that…the wings were late. Any chance that I have overcome my inability to hide impatience was dismissed when the kitchen worker came out and said: “Sorry, man I know you’re in a hurry; I can tell.”

I gotta do something about my ‘look’.

Didn’t matter I made it home in time.

In case anyone was wondering Doug Gottelieb was doing an NCAA Hoops show on ESPN radio during the Super Bowl. Any takers as to how many listeners he had?

GIANTS WIN THE TOSS! GIANTS WIN THE TOSS! GIANTS WIN THE TOSS!

Okay, so it didn’t have the same effect as Bobby Thompson’s home run.

Troy Aikman and that spooky post-coin toss – pre-kick off intro to the game gave me the willies. I know he’s good announcer and all and of course the females all find him dreamy, but a friggin’ ex-Cowboy is doing the intro? This could be a bad omen.

First possession – Brandon Jacobs lowers his shoulders and takes on a posse of Patriots. I love that guy…er…I love his running style.

The Giants are using Ahmad Bradshaw on the first possession? Guess that kills one of my few predictions for the game.

Doesn’t matter – one indelible image that will stick with me forever – the five foot nine inch Bradshaw getting in the face of six foot six inch Richard Seymour. Hah! The bigger they come; the harder they fall! I love it.

Snap is good; hold is good; the kick is up….Good! 3-0 G-Men. As an aside – funny how no one commented about the snaps in Green Bay. Both Tynes’s misses were the result of less than acceptable snaps.

Audi commercial with the Mo Green was great.

Randy Moss open and Tom Brady didn’t see him? Hmmmm…what’s up with that?

Better Half: “Can we sack him?” This is why I love her. Never been a Giant fan, but she is there for me in my time of need.

The gang has now arrived. Yeah – I kinda broke one of my rules. Usually don’t like watching games of this magnitude in a large group, but this group was worthy of the exception: the daughters, couple of friends that are girls, couple of friends that are guys, and…yeah…’boyfriends’. To add a little barley to the soup the friends that are boys and ‘boyfriends’ are also students at the school in which I work. So, Steve, Josh, Louie, Rich, and The Rock joined the gathering. Can’t leave out Fattie and her randomness and Gabrielle.

Quickest first quarter in my recent knowledge ends with the Pats knocking on the door, but the Giants lead, 3-0. There is some solace here – the Giants leading after a quarter. St. Jude, thank you. If this is all we get, it was worth it.

First play – second quarter Pats score and lead 7-3.

Uh oh a Patriot mistake? Kickoff goes out-of-bounds? I was waiting for Belichik to throw the challenge flag. Something out-of-the ordinary had to cause that.

Great catch by Amani Toomer. On the ‘sweet meter’ he ranks with Domino Sugar.

Arrggghh…interception. Throw was too low for Steve Smith to adjust. Coach Coughlin appears rather calm – looks like his skin has recovered from the frost bite.

70’s movies must be en vogue – first the Godfather and now Rocky.

Better Half: Football coaches have signs like baseball coaches?” Come to think of it – when did that start? Maybe it’s always been there, and I just never took notice. That wouldn’t be like me.

Now punting: Chris Hanson. How did that happen? That guy gets as much use as a vice cop in a convent.

$2.7 million to remind us of Michael Jackson during the Super Bowl. Like Brother Reynell said: “One of the creepiest moments in half time history has gotta be Michael Jackson on stage with all those children.

Anyone needing a visual representation of the word unabated should refer to Kawika Mitchell getting to Brady.

Justin Tuck gets to Brady.

Back to back sacks of Brady. The last time that happened Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky were…were…well you know.

Second Patriot punt.

Moss is sweating, and he hasn’t even caught a pass. Somewhere Al Davis is asking for his money back.

I could do without the camera focusing on Eli when he is staring at the sideline with his mouth open. I do not get a feeling of assurance when I see him looking a little distant.

One of the kids: “Who’s Tom Petty?”

Now my mouth is wide open.

Many more Wes Welker receptions and Moss is gonna sign else where.

Giants call timeout. WOW! What a shift. The Giants are not content to go into the half down four.

The Planters commercial receives rave reviews.

’86 Bears and the ’08 Giants have held teams to the lowest offensive output at half. Did I see that right?

Degrees of Kurt Russell and my age:
Me: “Was that Kurt Russell in the luxury suite?”
Better Half: “I think so.”
Daughter #2: “Who’s Kurt Russell?”
Better Half: “He’s married to Goldie Hawn…or at least he used to be married to Goldie Hawn.”
Daughter #2: “Who’s Goldie Hawn?”
Better Half: (after a brief delay) “She’s Kate Hudson’s mom?”
Me: (thinking to myself) Who’s Kate Hudson?

Fumble – I try explaining the Raiders ‘Holy Roller’/ Fumblerooski play to Rich and Josh. Can’t find it on You Tube.

Half time – how did I NOT predict “Running Down a Dream”? I blew it. I’ll do better next time.

I went to a Super Bowl gathering and a Euchre tournament broke out.

Gabby and I are the only ones not playing cards.

Rich and The Rock are making me nervous – neither like losing, and they are not on the same team.

Louie proves that chivalry is not dead. He defers his spot in the first game to the Better Half. Second game picks up soon after.

Video Review – this can’t be good.

Giants have too many on the field. Patriots retain possession. Coughlin still maintains his composure.

Wow! That was quite a close up of Coach C. Did they put make up on his face? What do they call that stuff that makes one’s skin look even in appearance?

Somehow the Giants D stiffens. Pats had their first big break and failed to convert.

Amani Toomer!!!!!

Can someone please slap Asante Samuel. Eli throws into triple coverage and Samuel happens to deflect the pass. Now he is posturing like he made a game-saving interception.

Grocery stores in Glendale are still open – the bananas have arrived.

7-3 at the end of the third quarter? St. Jude, I owe you big time.

WHAT IS SHOCKEY DOING IN THE LUXURY BOX? IS HE DOWNING BEERS? I’M NOT EVEN DOWNING BEERS. Everyone say after me: trade-bait, trade-bait, trade-bait. Get rid of him.

Tyree for 6!

This can’t be happening. St. Jude what exactly do you have in mind for repayment?

Hail to John Johnson! – Keeping Giants healthy since 1948.

9:30 left and I am fighting myself. The Giants are leading, but I don’t want to set myself up for the ultimate letdown.

Sure enough the Patriots rally.

2:30 remaining.

Steve is at level 3 of Dino Puzzle (I have no idea. I am simply reporting what was going on at Edgemere Drive).

ELI! ELI! ELI!

TYREE! TYREE! TYREE!

PLAXICO! PLAXICO! PLAXICO!

When Eli lobbed that pass in the air, there was a moment of silence in the room. For the first time in I don’t know how long I felt that magical moment of satisfaction in cheering for the Giants. Nothing else mattered. All the dropped passes, false starts, and over thrown passes that were all too common earlier this year seemed like distant memories. I leapt from my chair and kinda had a Jim Valvano moment – looking for someone to hug. I quickly recomposed myself. Josh and The Rock had a ‘deer in the headlights look’ when they saw me coming at them. Kinda like – yo Mr. G – we enjoy coming to your crib and all, but we are not at the hugging level yet.

I settle for a few high fives.

4 and out for the Pats.

Eli genuflects.

Someone pinch me…OW! Not that hard! 

The hairdo on the trophy platform was scary.

I’m a Giants Fan – I have no more misery.

Thank you, St. Jude.

21 Responses to "The Giants, St. Jude, and Casey"

  1. Wally   February 4, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    Had to be an awesome experience for you, Paul. Congrats!!! Our party at the house was practically all pro-Giants (aka “anti-Pats”), so there was quite a bit of electricity in the air even at our place. Lots of jumping and high-fiving when Manning tossed it to Burress in the endzone.

    You probably feel as I did when the White Sox won it all in ’05. Again, congrats!!

    Wally

  2. Mike   February 4, 2008 at 8:24 pm

    I called it right here on the clipboard, Giants Win! I gave each team credit for 7 more points, who wouldn’t have given the Pats at least 21 in the game, but the outcome was just what I thought it would be.

    Defense wins championships.

    Given all of that, as game time drew closer I began to wonder if the Giants would come all of this way and choke in the big game as well. But then I saw Eli, and I believe I saw some of that ice in his veins. He just had a look about him. Not nervous, not overwhelmed, just ready. After the Giants converted 3 3rd down conversions in a row on their first drive I finally forgot about them choking and began to believe they could win. What followed was perhaps the most exciting 7-3 half of football ever played.

    The biggest shock at half time:
    “What is Kurt Russell doing in Robert Kraft’s sky box?

    In the second half Eli Manning “came of age” for the 100th time in his life (so I guess he’s like 108 years old) And by “came of age” I mean morphed into Montana’s arm, Elway’s desire, Farve’s improvisation, and Michael Vick”s escapability to form a MEGA QUARTERBACK, like used to happen in classic episodes of Transformers. After Randy Moss scored his touchdown late in the 4th quarter I could see all of the headlines: PERFECTION. BRADY DOES IT AGAIN, THE PERFECT SEASON.

    I wanted to puke.

    But then it happened, something I’ve been asking for ever since the Patriots began their incredible run of Super Bowl victories in which they won each game by the slimmest of margins. Someone actually stood up to the Patriots and answered the call. Mega-Eli took over that game. It almost seemed poetic, that the team to finally play like a champion against the “Greatest team Ever” should be the Giants. It couldn’t have gone any better for a Giants fan than it has. Eli is the new darling of the NFL, proving all of his critics wrong, Coughlin is a great coach, and a Giant great, Michael Strahan, is now a NFl great and a hall of fame lock.

    I am in hog heaven, actually Big Blue heaven.

    All I have to say is, “Eat it up Tiki.”

  3. Wally   February 4, 2008 at 9:37 pm

    Mike —
    Please know that I’m not picking on you specifically, nor do I want to be offensive … but this is one of my pet peeves: The all-too-popular cliche that “Defense wins Championships!” is not really true, or at least it’s only partially true. At best, it’s a misguided simplification. What wins games, and ultimately championships, is simply the ability to score more points than the opponent in the context of a particular game or match … which is not to say that “offense wins championships” either. It’s all about point differential, whether it be in a 17-14 “defensive oriented” game like the SB we just witnessed or a 44-41 shootout, which may have been the approximate score when Texas beat USC a couple years ago for the CFB chan’ship. No defense there, right?

    So for every example anyone can toss out where a team’s success was based primarily on defense, I can probably find a counter example where it was based on offense (e.g. St Louis Rams). These are team sports, afterall, so credit must go to both sides. What we all witnessed last night was a terrific Giants defense that kept the score down, but we also saw a very efficient, if not clutch, Giants offense move the ball, the chains and the clock … and scoring at very critical junctures of the game. So I’m merely saying that great offense wins championships, too. And you don’t have to have a great D to win a chan’ship … I suppose that’s where the cliche “the best defense is a good offense” got started.

    Wally

  4. SeanMC   February 4, 2008 at 9:38 pm

    Congratulations on the big win. Eli Manning, Super Bowl champion….what the heck is going on?

  5. Mike   February 5, 2008 at 10:05 am

    Wally –

    I understand “defense wins championships” ois a cliche. I also understand that the team which scores more points will win the game. A simplification, yes. Misguided, I disagree.

    However, I believe the cliche began because teams that play great at both ends are the teams that win. Yes, I agree, the Giants offense was CLUTCH, especially in the 4th quarter of that game. But I don’t think we’ve seen a team win a champoinship in professional sports without a good, if not great defense. Take the Suns or Mavs in basketball for example? Or even the Yankees in baseball (however much it pains me to say it). You cannot simply socre your opponent to death. It doesn’t seem to work out in the end. If you have an example that does please enlighten me. That Rams team only scored 23 points to beat the Titans. I’d say that’s far from just scoring points to win.

    I believe the cliche you were referring to is actually “the best offense is a good defense”. it may be the other way around, or both.
    Does anyone know where that quotation started?

  6. Wally   February 5, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    Mike —
    How about the “Showtime” Lakers with Magic, Kareem, Worthy, et al? They certainly weren’t known for their defense.

    That St Louis Rams team may have scored “only” 23 in the Super Bowl, but along the way, they were offensively prolific the entire season. Give the Titans credit for being a very good defensive team and holding the Rams to 23.

    The 49ers dynasty was carried by their offense … although I’ll be the first to admit that their D was under-rated and probably didn’t get enough credit. But their offense was innovative for its time featuring a lot of short passes and using the RBs as receivers (“West Coast” offense). They moved the chains, ate up a lot of clock and scored lots of TDs. Very efficient … and demoralizing to opponents.

    For baseball … let’s go to the Big Red Machine. A prolific offensive team (for that era) with several Hall-of -Famers that put up great offensive numbers such as Rose, Bench, Morgan. Tony Perez, Dave Concepcion, and George Foster weren’t too shabby either. Can’t remember any stud pitchers on that squad. Don Gullet was decent, but that’s about it.

    I could go on … there are several examples of offense-dominated champions. Anyone remember the ’27 Yankees (Murderers Row)? Who pitched for those guys anyway?????

    Wally

  7. Chas   February 5, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Well, in fact, Hall of Famers Waite Hoyt and Herb Pennock pitched for the ’27 Yankees, but I think you have to keep this discussion current anyway.

    I think you’re both right. It does seem that in modern-day football, teams that have dominant defenses and just above average offenses win more championships than the flip side of that, and the same goes with baseball teams that have great pitching, but underwhelming hitting. But, the concept that “defense wins championships” or “pitching wins championships” can be over-stated.

  8. Casey   February 5, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    I lean toward a strong defense having more influence over a game.

    Wally look at your Bears. Walter Payton was a GREAT running back toiling in the ‘Black and Blue’ until the inception of the ‘Monsters of the Midway.’ Suddenly a guy like Jim McMahon, who was supremely talented but as equally a loose cannon on deck, could take chances with the offense because he knew his defense would hold serve.

    Then there’s the Steelers – Bradshaw, Swann, Stallworth, and Harris were great. Well-deserving of any accolades they receive. But it had to be nice for them to go out on the field with the security blanket known as ‘The Steel Curtain.’

    I love the Giants and have much respect for Phil Simms, but those two Super Bowls were about Lawrence Taylor, Harry Carson, George Martin, etc. Yeah they had ‘The Drive’ to beat the Bills, but that defense held the ‘K-Gun’ to a wide right less than 20pts.

    It might be too easy to get caught up in the offensive prowess of the ‘Show Time’ Lakers. Michael Cooper was a nasty on-the-ball defender. Not many were gonna out rebound Jabbar. I don’t recall Kurt Rambis doing much offensively, but his presence was still felt.

    Chas is right – you need a balance to be successful. It’s just that there are nights when the offense isn’t on. To be a champion defense always needs to be on.

    The G-Men holding the Pats to 17 allowed Eli and crew a chance to work things out.

    Casey

  9. Chas   February 5, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    Don’t pull a Plaxico here and disrespect the Giants defense, Casey. The G-Men held the Pats to 14 (not 17) points. 😉

    By the way…was that the greatest defensive performance in Super Bowl history? Obviously, teams have been held to fewer points, but none of them were the ’07 Patriots. I guess, just like another comparison that’s no longer relevant, it’s hard to put them ahead of the ’72 Dolphins who gave up zero points (not including the Garo Yepremian gaffe).

  10. Casey   February 5, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    Chas –

    Great catch – I might still be a tad delirious from Sunday night – 17 points – what was I thinking?

    And to pull out the Yepremian reference – great stuff.

    Casey

  11. Casey   February 5, 2008 at 6:57 pm

    Chas-
    The most enjoyable aspect of the defensive performance was that at one point in the game (correct me if I’m wrong) the Giants D had sacked and knocked Brady down more times than he had completions.

    Did you get the feeling when watching Brady get up a little slowly at the end, that he was thinking: Man, I’ve had it good. Now I know whatthe rest of the QBs in the league go through?

    Casey

  12. Wally   February 5, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    I think the greatest defensive performance in SB history might be … you guessed it … the ’85 Bears walloping the Pats in Jan ’86 (46-10). Pats scored a gimmee TD in the 4th quarter, but take a look at these stats:

    Avg gain per play 2.3, Rushing yards 7, first downs 12, total net yards 123, 7 sacks.

    But those Ray Berry Pats were not these Belijerk Pats. Here are the Pats stats from Sunday vs G-men:

    Avg gain per play 4.0, Rushing yards 45, first downs 22, total net yards 274, 5 sacks.

    Same stats from Dolphins over ‘Skins in Jan ’73:

    Avg gain per play 3.5, Rushing yards 141, first downs 16, total net yards 228, 2 sacks.

    One more impressive performance … by the Ravens over the Giants in Jan ’01:

    Avg gain per play 2.6, Rushing yards 66, first downs 11, total net yards 152, 4 sacks.

    On paper, the Giants defensive performance was not quite as good as the Bears; but as it’s been pointed out, this year’s Pats were one of the best offenses ever, so it’s got to be one of the best 🙂

    Wally

    p.s. — you should see the stats from the games in which the ’85 Bears pitched shutouts in the NFC playoffs that season. Incredible.

  13. Casey   February 5, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    And defense doesn’t win championships?

    Casey

  14. Casey   February 6, 2008 at 2:37 pm

    It is like I just got off the Mind Eraser at the nearby Six Flags. The 85/86 Bears had the most impressive defensive performance in SB history because they amassed impressive numbers against the Eason/ Grogan-led Patriots? Surely you jest. Pat Patriot just started smiling. Wasn’t Stanley Morgan the primary receiver for that NE team? Morgan over Moss?

    Wally,
    You mentioned something about how the ’08 G-Men played the ’08 Pats just like ’86 Bears would have. Not to burst your bubble or anything, but if the Giants and Pats played 10 times, they would probably split. The ’86 Bears would not dominate the ’08 Pats. Notice I said dominate. Yes, I realize I just did two things: there is a huge snowbank outside Wally’s window that just melted because he is going ballistic, AND all the Pats fans are loading up to fire on me.

    The ’08 Giants holding the ’08 Pats to 14 points in the SB is a more impressive SB defensive performance than the ’86 Bears holding down the ’86 Pats. Geez the ’07 Bears could have beaten the ’86 Pats for crying out loud.

    Just in case you are wondering – the ’86 Bears had a better defense than the ’08 Giants. But the ’08 Giants defense played like the greatest defense ever in that SB. I counted one missed tackle all game.

    Casey

  15. JD   February 6, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    If, I as a coach had the choice between a team with a great defense and a so-so offense and a team with a great offense and a so-so defense, I go with the superior defensive team. Great defensive teams always give you a chance to win. Great offensive teams are fun to watch or coach but inevitably seem to fall apart at the most inopportune time. Great defense is sometimes ugly (this years Giants are a prime example – I knew not to talk to Casey on Monday after another ugly Giant performance this year), but it keeps you in games. That is what I think happened last Sunday. Great defense kept the G-men in the game and a very fortunate play allowed the Giants to get in position for the win.

  16. Smitty   February 6, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    If we are going to talk about defensive performances, let’s not forget Dallas’ defense in Super Bowl XII versus the Denver Broncos. The Doomsday Defense rose to the occasion and I believe Randy White and Harvey Martin were Co-MVPs.

    Sorry, but the ’86 Pats were not that good of a team. Looking at that roster, I wonder how they made it to the Super Bowl.

    Somehow I think the point has been proven. Defense does win championships.

  17. Chas   February 7, 2008 at 12:11 pm

    “…a very fortunate play allowed the Giants to get in position for the win.”

    I am misinterpreting this, or is it meant to imply that the Giants got a little lucky? Granted, the Manning-to-Tyree play was pretty miraculous, but it wasn’t at all lucky. It’s not like the ball bounced off of Tyree’s helmet into Steve Smith’s hands. Manning made a great play. Tyree made a great play. Nothing lucky…unless you want to say the rest of the Giants were lucky that their teammates made such a great play…which would be almost as bad as saying that Adam Vinatieri was lucky that his teammates put him in the position to be a hero.

  18. Casey   February 7, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Helmet Sticker for Chas!

    And Redskins fans have a pretty good idea what it’s like to win ugly – JohnRiggins, The Hogs, and Mark Rypien – a team history of ugly – not to mention the 7 points against the Dolphins by virtue Garo’s gaffe. 🙂

    Casey

  19. Muels   February 8, 2008 at 12:07 am

    Props to the Giants (damn, that hurts). I am still struggling with my reaction to the game. It was the most intense Super Bowl I have ever watched, but I wasn’t sure if that was a “pure” reaction or was based mainly on my emotional connection to the Pats (especially with them losing). Reaction on Monday told me it was a fantastic game, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that the Pats got absolutely ZERO credit for being a part of the game’s greatness! Brady, for all of the endless pressure that Casey’s G-men put on him, still led a late 4th quarter drive that ended in the Pats retaking the lead. Randy Moss comes through when New England really needs him the most. Wes Welker ties the Super Bowl record for pass receptions. The Patriots overlooked defense holds the Giants talented offense to 3 pts until the 4th qtr. How different would the stories have read if any number of magical Giants plays in the last 2+ minutes hadn’t gone their way? Don’t get me wrong- no sour grapes from Muels, my team didn’t lose, they got BEAT. But I wish all of those reporters who were ready to annoit the Pats as the greatest of all time, albeit begrudgingly, had taken a moment before sprinting off of the Pats’ bandwagon faster than a Roger Clemens “B-12” aided fastball to note that the greatness of the Giants victory was increased by the greatness of the vanquished. A 3 point loss in the last 40 seconds in the best played Super Bowl in my memory deserves more than the trampling that the Patriots received. It just doesn’t feel right, but I guess when you become the standard bearer, everybody can’t wait to celebrate your demise. I can’t get used to having my favorite team be the hated favorite. Can I dare say that I am learning how a Yankee fan feels? Naaaahh- they really are evil!!!!!!…

    Having just reread my diatribe I must ask the question…what kind of cheese would you like with my whine? Sorry, but I’ll leave it as is and face the barrage of criticism…

    Now I get the report on Curt Schilling! Nice move Schill! Thanks for getting yourself ready for the season…I am pondering whether this is actually a good thing- out until at least midseason… hmmmm… was that his plan from the end of last season? I’ll hold back for now until we know more…

    It’s nice to be back (hope KG takes his time returning to my Celts)…

    Muels

  20. Chas   February 8, 2008 at 11:27 am

    Rather than criticize you Muels, I’m going to give you some credit for making a good point. You’re right…the Patriots didn’t play a bad game, and there were definitely some individual performances worthy of much praise. That makes me even prouder of the Giants. They played a team that was on the verge of being anointed the greatest team in history (and still is up there, but have to be removed from the conversation for lack of a championship), and said team didn’t fold, yet the Giants still outplayed and defeated them.

    I am a Yankees fan, and I’ve made this point several times to Red Sox fans and otherwise. The more they chose to emphasize that the 2004 Yankees were the greatest chokers of all-time, the more they took away from the fact that the 2004 Red Sox pulled off the greatest comeback ever. It’s a bit of a balancing act. Yeah, the Yankees deserve criticism, as do this year’s Pats, for failing to close the deal, but I prefer to go the route of giving the winner credit, rather than calling the loser…well, a loser.

    Same goes for the ’86 Series. Sure Calvin Schiraldi, Bob Stanley, John McNamara, Bill Buckner, and I still contend (but to a lesser extent) Rich Gedman deserve some blame. But, if Kevin Mitchell or Gary Carter or Ray Knight hits a popup, it’s over. So, they should get credit for being really clutch.

    Sorry to resurrect that last one. 😉

  21. Casey   February 8, 2008 at 11:53 am

    I second what Chas has to say – as painful as it was to relive Mookie Wilson scoring.

    Muels,

    I don’t see any whining, but if you must ,I like extra-sharp cheddar. Cheese is one my weaknesses.

    Casey

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