Sunday, February 03, 2008

Upset City: Superbowl 42, Glendale, Arizona: Giants 17, Patriots 14

What a game. Renee and I were yelling and rooting for the Giants big time.

I normally don't diary my blog [sic], because it's fucking boring to read about the minutiae of peoples' lives; "Oh, today I had to go car shopping..." Fuck that. But this game was just incredible to watch.

My thoughts.

1. The Giants defense was the MVP (Not Eli, who got the award and the Caddy). Five sacks on Brady, plus untold hurried passes. This on a QB that had been sacked only 21 times in the season. Even more incredibly, the Giants D held the Pats to 82 - eighty two - TOTAL yards for the first half. This offense, praised to the skies, running like a finely tuned machine and record setting.

So here's to the TRUE MVPs: The NY Giants defensive front four: Michael Strahan, Jay Alford, Justin Tuck, and Osi Umenyiora.

2. David Tyree's catch was one of the most clutch plays I've ever seen in sports; it literally was pinned to his helmet. This is perhaps "The Catch 2."

3. Perhaps even more, Eli got away from seeming doom, somehow escaping the clutches of Pats who had his jersey stretched, to make the miracle throw to Tyree. And although theirs was not for a game winning TD like "The Catch," this was a do-or-die play on the last drive of the game, trailing by 4, they had to have a first down.

4. On 3rd and 11 during the Giants' last drive, I think after "The Catch 2," Manning connects with Steve Smith (a Trojan) on an 11 yard gain for a first down. Context: It's the last drive, THIRD down and I think only 1 time out. But here's where the subtlety of sports kicks in. When Smith caught the ball, he was off the first down marker by at least a couple of yards. He quickly spun and caught the marker and did two critical things: (A) He advanced the ball beyond the marker, and (B) he went out of bounds, stopping the clock. THAT's a pro. And it's those kinds of "little things" that champions do.

And further, it was Smith earlier in the game who missed a crucial catch he bobbled and should have caught, and was intercepted.

5. The Pats' Wes Welker was unstoppable; 11 catches for 100+ yards, sustaining drives and keeping momentum. The dude's only 5'9", and a buck eighty five. He is really great to watch, kinda reminds me of Utah's Dick Stockton. In fairness, it helps to have a stud all-star like Randy Moss deflecting defensive attention. But watch Welker on iso, there's no denying he knows what he's doing, and he's good.

6. Here's something no one mentioned, or I think even noticed; when New England got the ball with I think under a minute left, Tom Brady got rocked on first or second down by Jay Alford for a loss. Flat on his back, his hands immediately went up and signaled a "T." Like him or not, that truly is a consummate pro, to get hammered for a crushing loss when you have to get something going, but you have the presence of mind to do the right thing.

7. The line: O/U = 55. I said under, so did Renee. The Pats were giving 11.5 or 12, depending on the site – I took the Giants.

Terry Bradshaw, he of four rings and the HoF, himself said in the post-game show that this was the greatest Super Bowl he'd ever seen. I'd have to agree; Renee and I felt like we'd been through the ringer. Artie's head must have exploded in excitement; I can't wait to hear what he says on the Stern Show tomorrow.

Man, what an upset. But was it really? Earlier in the season when they met, the Pats won, but that game could have gone either way. Very easily.

Whatever the case, Super Bowl 42 was definitely one for the ages, not only for the upset, but just as entertainment. It was really fun to watch.

As a kid, I remember the first time I saw that classic pic of Giants legend Y.A. Tittle, (who played only two years for them but throwing a then record 36 TDs in his second to last season.), I was riveted. He's sitting on the field, helmet off, head slightly bowed, blood trickling down his balding head.

Well, somewhere in Mudville, now they can add ole Y.A. smiling at the G-Men.