The Patriots were on the way to the first ever undefeated season. Only one thing stood in the way: The New York Football Giants. A team they beat on the last game of the regular season. A cake walk right? Nope.
The last game of the season record-wise and playoff-wise was meaningless to the Giants. They were facing an undefeated team and pride was on the line. Several sports reporters said sit them, it won't matter. What did I say? The Giants, right now at the last game of the season, have no shot of winning the Super Bowl. If they play all the starters and give the Patriots a game, whether they win or lose, may just have that shot. They lost. But, the most important win was a month away.
People around the office were like this is going to be the worst Super Bowl ever. I was like the NFC is like an AFC team. Do not count the Giants out. The only heat on ESPN was the Patriots being the only undefeated team. The Giants beat two 13-3 teams in the playoffs. No spotlight on them. Did the Giants care? Michael Strahan put it simple; "The pressure is all on them. No one is picking us. if they lose, what are they gonna do."
The first 3 quarters were very defensive and close. The Giants defense sacking the hell out of Tom Brady, who seemed hobbled by a leg injury he differed a week before against the San Diego Chargers, but it did not seem to limit his passing ability at all.
The 4th quarter started and then history happened. The Patriots were up. The Giants facing a 3rd down with time running out. The Patriots blitzed, Manning looked sacked, it looked like the game was over. Eli somehow got of the tacklers way, still being chased, thre the ball downfield, looking way high of a receivers head. The receiver however, caught the ball between his hand and helmet, bringing it down without touching the ground.
A couple of plays later, Eli Manning passed a touchdown to Plaxico Burress, wide open in the end zone. I could not believe it. We were all jumping up and down. Then it hit us, Brady and the Patriots get the ball back with a little time on the clock. All that Brady needs. But this time what they needed and wanted, did not happen. The Patriots lost. Eli Manning. Super Bowl MVP? Wow.
Eli Manning went to being called a bum by Giants football fans to never having to pay for a meal or drink in New York City ever again. I attended the first game of the season for the Giants against the Cowboys in Texas Stadium. I told him, the team here is going to the Super Bowl and win it. I meant the Cowboys, but in the end, the Giants proved they were the best team in football. It really is not how you start but how you finish.-Dr.FB
(Honorable mention: Boston Celtics Clobber the Los Angeles Lakers in NBA Finals.)