Sunday, February 05, 2012

Super Bowl 46

Well here we are. Time to play the damn game and get it over with.

The day that is now a monument to excess (officially pimped out by Pete Rozelle, Paul Tagliabue and Emperor Roger Goodell, along with the TV networks) is one that many football fans like but, to be honest, don't love.

I've seen them all since the 12th game ('Boys 27, Orange Crush 10). I fell for my boyhood team and found my favorite player in the 13th game (Steelers 35, Cowboys 31, and I think the exact words were: "I like this Bradshaw guy. He's pretty good!").

I sat bored out of my mind through some awful games (San Francisco 55, Denver 10 and Dallas 52, Buffalo 17 come to mind). I even fell asleep a few times - once during Super 25 (yes, Giants fans, I was working crazy hours at that time) and the Peyton Manning/Prince snoozefest of 41.

But I was there for the great moments. The heart-stopping of the rest of 25 (Scott Norwood gets such a bad rap to this day), the Elway vs. Favre showdown, Plaxico to the corner of the end zone, Kevin Dyson and that one damn yard, and Adam Vinatieri not once - but twice!

I shook and yelled at James Harrison...and at Santana Moss (before he became your problem, Jets fans). I roared for Hines Ward.

I still deal with Rashard Mendenhall and the lost seventh Lombardi in Pittsburgh.

I'm glad they're not playing the Giants today. Because I'd probably have to go watch the game in Pittsburgh, and perhaps never return. It's become apparent that everyone in my family, and most of my friends - my loved-ones - are Giants fans.

I even got pulled onto the wagon. Now, let me explain this. I've always had an affection for both New York teams. My dad and brother were both Jets fans but somehow never grabbed me. I liked the Dolphins when I was really little (we went to Florida every year, pre-Bucs). I lost touch with them and became the die-hard Stillers fan that I am in Supe 13. But I wanted the G-men to win each of the big games that they played in.

As I've said before, due to their connection to the Rooney's, and the fact that they're very similar organizations (now add in Rooney Mara, who went to Fox Lane High School), I've often called the Giants "Steelers East."

Still, come this past Christmas, I was presented with a New York Giants long-sleeved t-shirt. It was a present from Carrie's mom - a Giants fan. I have worn it a few times, but now it has become customary for me to have to wear it during the playoffs. I'm supposedly the good-luck charm, and that news has spread through Carrie's family. Playfully, of course.

Carrie's uncle has been a G-men ticket holder since they played in the Polo Grounds. You can figure the math on that one. We're talking the Steve Owen, Charlie Connerly days here!

OK, so the "pressure" is on me to wear the t-shirt today. But...I also think I've worn Steelers garb every year for the game. So there must be a compromise. I'll figure that out.

So pin me as a bandwagoner if you like. You're wrong - it's all in good fun and so on - and I'm hardly "Elirific" (Parry, Tim). Just supporting my girl and a team that I like.

To the game! After the Victor Cruz play against the Jets (all 99 yards of it), I felt like the Giants had hit their stride, finally. Yet no 9-7 team has ever won the Super Bowl. I knew they would beat the Falcons, and even sort-of had a strong feeling about the Packers. I picked them to beat the Niners. They were fortunate to not have to face the Saints - that's the luck of the draw.

As for the Pats, I honestly wasn't sure if they could beat the Steelers if they met, but God-*%$^in-$@^& Tim Tebow took care of that. Again, luck of the draw, especially after the Billy Cundiff miss in the AFC Championship Game. They have my respect if only for Tom Brady, Vince Wolfork, and Bill Belichick.

The Giants need to move the ball. They need to utilize their receivers and maybe - possibly - open up the running game. They need to create havoc defensively against Brady.

They are - to be blunt - the better team.

They also better watch out for what Bill Belichick has worked up in his laboratory.

Of course, turnovers are always key. Brady is normally not mistake-prone. Then again, Eli Manning has ice water in his veins.

I've regained my spot on Tony Savino's Friday-morning NewsCenter, and he asked for a prediction. Since I keep hearing so much about how this will be a history-making passing game, I expect points. My pick, which I'll stick with, is probably too high because I expect a better defensive performance out of the Giants. But Tony asked, and I said the first numbers that hit my brain.

I've been picking them all along.

Giants 35, Patriots 31.

The same score as in Super Bowl XIII.

I wish all of my friends/family well. I also have some friends on the Pats side (thinking of Nick Angotto, Jim K. Georges,  and old high school buds Dave Belanger and Dan Arturi). I know how they really hurt - they're REAL Pats fans - after the loss in 42. You know they're chomping at the bit today. Good luck to them also.

I have my many reasons for rooting for the Giants, so no hard feelings.

Now just kick the damn thing off!

1 comment:

Dan A. said...

This one DEFINITELY hurt more. I'm still not over it.

-dan a