Monday, February 4, 2008

The Ballad of Freddie Mercury

You can't write this stuff up.

Improbably, the Giants completed their miracle run on Sunday night with a 17-14 victory over the to-that-point undefeated New England Patriots. I don't know how they did it. I basically spent an hour after the game saying, "How the Hell did the Giants win this game?" Somehow, they did it. They're World Beaters and World Champions.

Give all credit and congratulations to the Giants, their fans and their downright nasty defense. Watching the game, in all honesty, I saw what was for the most part a hideous football game that was marred by two teams that played the game as if they were asleep for just about 53 minutes.

Yes, the Giants defense rose to the occasion of all occasions, keeping Tom Brady et al off balance and off the scoreboard for the entire game, save the Patriots next-to-last drive. But for the most part, both teams seemed to be rusty and ineffective, and both defenses feasted upon offenses that looked out of sorts. But the Giants were able to offset their own effectiveness well enough to hang around, and hang around, and hang around...until Eli Manning escaped from a sack and lofted a miracle 3rd down pass to David Tyree...until Manning lofted that last pass into Plaxico Burress' arms with :35 left...until Brady's final, desperation pass sailed incomplete and the Giants, somehow, someway came away with the upset of upsets, the victory of victories, keeping the Patriots from perfection and immortality. Two weeks ago, I called the Giants victory in Green Bay one for the Ages. But that win was outdone by their victory last night.

Yes, I had no vested rooting interest. Within, I wanted to see the History of an undefeated season. I never realistically thought the Giants had a shot to win, let alone keep it close. But here we are and here they are. 3rd Avenue between 34th and 35th Streets is basically a police state right now. The street is littered with confetti and tissue paper and whatever sort of debris was strewn about by people, many of whom I believe barely would know a Football if it hit them in the head, let alone be able to name 5 players on the Giants not named Eli, Plaxico or Amani. I was in a bar in the East Village briefly following the game, where a well-heeled circle of inebriated folk joined in a chorus of Queen's "We Are The Champions." The bartender, a Steelers fan, silently chuckled. I, in my Jerry Rice jersey, shook my head.

I hope to sing that same song sometime in Late October.

Upcoming soon: Back to Basics: 5 Key Mets for 2008, Spring Previews and Ruminations on the real King of New York: Baseball.

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