Monday, February 04, 2008


-Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Disclaimer - My friend, Nick Angotto, is a Patriots fan. I don't wish to hurt him, Mark Rosen, Lindsey Romeo, or my other friends (the real ones) who are Pats fans. They're classy; others are not.

First of all, I was wrong, and I'm so friggin happy about that!

As Super Bowl Sunday began, I believed that I really didn't have a solid rooting interest. Sure, I felt that I wanted the Giants to win, especially since the Patriots have denied the Steelers a few times, but kept that boiling under the surface. Yet as the day, and the game, went along, the fever began to rise. First - my son - my nearly six-year-old son - was rooting for the Giants (remember, that was his T-ball team). That was enough to make me care for the Giants, and should have been enough for everyone.

Still, I found myself holding my emotions in. "Let's just have a good game", I said. Yet when Eli Manning found Plaxico Burress, I lept up and yelled "suck it" (sorry - not my best moment). Truth is - I don't dislike Tom Brady, and I don't hate the Patiots, so what was going on? Suddenly, and without warning, it had become personal. I can't tell you why; you'll just have to trust me. Seven months - no, a year - of hell had crystallized. The Super Bowl wasn't going to change anything, but for a moment, there was a happiness that felt awfully good. I could only be happier if I was a full-on Giants fan, which I'm not.

I also suddenly felt myself bursting with pride - for the Giants (who once called Yankee Stadium home), for Sean (that would be "The Son"), for the city of New York, and for the metropolitan area. I was happy for the Giants fans that I know - for Matt Hamilton and Tim Parry, for Sean Kilkelly, and for my childhood friends who were big fans. I only hoped that Big Blue could hold on and pull it off.

They did.

Giants fans sit in the big three of New York's most loyal (Yankees, Rangers, and the G-men). They're great - and I called two of them last night. Matt sounded like he was in total shock. His dad flew out from Connecticut to watch the game with him at Mizzou. Tim was the total opposite - completely gleeful. Good for them.

I do feel for the loyal Pats fans (Nick and so on). Not the ones that tell you they're couldn't name you any member of the team beyond Brady, Belichick and Moss.

Regarding the game itself, the great Brady goofed when they scored with 2:42 play. I said, and you can ask those who were with me, that Eli Manning is at his best in the two-minute drill. I actually believed that the Giants could pull it off.

Oh, my thoughts on the game and broadcast? My quick impressions are that I thought FOX had a very good call, with two pros in Joe Buck and Troy Aikman at the controls. Parts of the pregame went just fine, while others were like watching paint dry (um...Seacrest?). Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers set was largely predictable - I said they'd play three songs and they did four. Three of those songs came from one album - Tom Petty's SOLO album! Still, they rocked. "I Won't Back Down" is an anthem for us all to live by.

The commercials were OK. A few funny ones, and a lot of so-so at best. Average stuff overall.

FOX did a nice job of laying low on "Manning overkill." I only saw Peyton a few times, and don't even know where Archie was. The overall celebrity shots (during the game) were kept to a minimum. I felt like they were content to let the game tell the story, and that was reflected in Buck's call. While they don't seem to like that style over at Awful Announcing, preferring the orgasmic ways of Gus Johnson, it suited last night just fine.

Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated weighs in with his grades here.

Incidentally, Awful Announcing also prolaimed David Tyree's fourth quarter miracle catch as the best in Super Bowl history. Again - why does everything have to be an instant classic? Let it breathe, people. No, Tyree's catch was not the best - ever heard of a guy named Swann? - and this game was not the best ever (three quarters of yawning, one quarter of electricty). That does not diminish either item. Tyree's catch (and Eli Manning's running out of a sack) should become legendary, as should the game itself.

I've also heard a few radio calls from Marv Albert (on Westwood One's) and WFAN's Bob Papa (who once called high school games on WFAS in White Plains) and they were good - especially Papa's (despite Dick Lynch's stepping on his call - breaking rule number one of the play-by-play/analyst relationship).

Lastly, what was up with Belichick running of the field BEFORE the game was over? It's called sportsmanship, Bill. I don't care much about the Spygate thing, but I do care about you staying on the field long enough to properly shake hands with Tom Coughlin.

So where will this Super Bowl rank? I've gotta think about that.

Congrats again, Giants, and thanks. And thanks to Lauren and Anthony for putting on a GREAT Super Bowl party. The food was amazing (and Anthony's father's chili was mega-hot!) and the drinks were cold. Sorry about my little outburst...

Now - bring on baseball!


Truesportsfans General said...

great job as always Rob and i agree with the Tyree take- letting it breathe. But under the circumstances, game on the line and degree of difficulty, it had to be the best ever. The Swan tip catch was breathtaking, but this was heart stopping.

Mick said...

Oh man - I can't believe you left G and I out in the cold. Come on - husband and wife who are Giants/Pats, Yankees/Red Sox, and to boot Islanders/Rangers fans. I asked G what would happen if the Giants won? Her response "I'm putting you in a garbage bag!" Happy to say the garbage was collected today and I'm still around. What a game! I drank a 12 pack (yes you read correctly) from 6pm to 12mid. Makes my Friday night drinking look like a couple of dixie cups of lemonade. Was hurting on Monday but you know what the GIANTS ARE THE CHAMPS!!!

Rob Adams said...


Do you think I really forgot about you? Or TD (the True Sports Fan) for that matter?

Wow - I want to watch football with you in the future if you're drinking a 12 pack.

Tim Parry said...

All Dick Lynch does is step on Papa's call. It's downright annoying, and the old man should be tased every time he does so.