Monday, February 2, 2009

Sour Grapes

A couple of bitter, whiny Super Bowl observations from a Giants fan who still can't believe Plax shot himself...

The Greatest Ever?
Everyone from Roger Goodell to Peter King to NBC is rushing to call SB43 the "greatest ever". Really?

The greatest thing in sports is the upset. There's a reason every sports movie ever made - from Rocky to The Bad News Bears to Hoosiers - is about upsets. Even the movies that don't seem to be about upsets - think Bull Durham - are about the underdog struggling for some measure of respect.

We remember Broadway Joe's guarantee and Dwight Clark's catch and the Miracle Mets and the 04 Sox because they weren't supposed to win.

Last year, the Wild Card Giants beat the undefeated Patriots with a 4th quarter TD drive that included Manning-to-Tyree. This year, the heavily favored #1 seeded Steelers going for their 6th title beat the 9-7 Cardinals, one of the most legendarily inept franchises in professional sports history. Yesterday was the very opposite of an upset, whereas SB42 was the greatest upset since Al Michael asked us if we believe in miracles.

And while yesterday's finish was amazing, it wasn't much of a game before then, was it? The teams combined for 18 penalties and 162 penalty yards, both good for second most ever. And according to Boomer Esiason, the refs could have flagged the Cardinals on every play for holding.

Everybody just relax on this "greatest game ever" nonsense.

Steelers, Cards, Ravens, Eagles Share Something
Another Giants thought...Peter King did his year-end Fine Fifteen this morning and ranked the Giants 7th. Obviously Steelers and Cardinals are 1/2, and I get you have to go 3/4 for the Eagles/Ravens. Then he goes Titans 5th . Okay, defensible so far.

Then - the Patriots 6th. You know, the Patriots - who didn't make the playoffs. The Patriots - whose schedule was softer than Matt Lauer's Obama interview. The Patriots - who had 6 games against playoff teams this year and went 2-4. (One of those wins came against the Dolphins, who beat the Pats 38-13 earlier in the season; the other came against the Cardinals, in a game that was meaningless to Arizona).

Then the Giants 7th.

I know I know I know I know I know I know IT DOESN'T MATTER where Peter King ranks the Giants. I know I know. Believe me, I know.

Still, let me leave you with this fun fact. Two weeks ago the Eagles, Cardinals, Ravens, and Steelers all gathered for Championship weekend. What do those four teams all have in common?

All four of them lost to the Giants this season. Has this ever happened in NFL history? I'm too lazy to do the research (so much for your stubborn facts, Keatang!), but I strongly doubt it.

In fact, the Giants went 6-1 against playoff teams this year. And the only team they lost to was one they had already beaten (Eagles), and it was the week the Plax thing broke and it was a fairly meaningless game for the Giants. But I'm not bitter.

Pitchers and catchers report in 12 days.


maeir said...

The Giants were a favorite this season. When Brady went down in the first game, a winning record was in doubt for the patriots.

Charlie Clark said...

Chris...I know you acknowledge these comments as sour grapes from a disgruntled Giants fan (and after the way the year ended you have every right to be) but I have to comment on a few things. First..You really sound like the Pats fans that I have to listen to day in and day out who are still trying to explain how their team that didn't make the playoffs would have won the SB if only they had been able to get in.

The Bad News Bears..yeah they were ragtag but Leak was what 18-19..tough to call them the underdogs with a kid who was legal to drink and Rocky and Hoosiers were as much about people outworking their opponents as they are about the great underdog story.

You contradict yourself with the Dwight Clark catch..the 49ers were something like 13-3 for that season and I believe the crushed the Cowboys earlier in the season (45-14) so they were supposed to win that game. See your memory is of the excitement of the catch and that made it great in your eyes. That's the same thing that happened here..great catch at the end of the game adding extreme excitement.

Also..I think that you are downplaying the underdog Giant piece. The Giants were red hot entering that game (same as Steelers the year before and AZ this year) and that more than anything in recent years has supplanted.

I think that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I'm sure like me and Joe, Allison and Jim found the rest of the game quite beautiful. Harrison's baiting Warner into a bad throw and taking it 100 yards. The early game decision for Tomlin with 4th and Goal from 6 inches. The decision for the Cards Offensive Coordinator to finally wake up and realize that if you have the best 3 some of receivers in football maybe going no huddle might be a good idea. I found them all exciting.

Granted these thoughts are through Six-burgh colored glasses.

Jim said...

Chris, That was your greatest blog. Ever.
Peter King