- Itâ€™s shaping up to be a lost season for Sinorice Moss, who suffered yet another set-back. Thatâ€™s too bad â€“ Tim Carter hasnâ€™t been doing much, and itâ€™s always nice to have more playmakers on the field. But itâ€™s not really the biggest deal: I mean, thereâ€™s only one ball to go around, and between all of our star-power and their egos itâ€™s not as if we need a weapon that badly. Hopefully all of this won’t have a detrimental effect on his progress for next year.Â Â
- Brandon Short also strained his quad. He went for tests Tuesday which wonâ€™t be released until Wednesday, so weâ€™ll see about that. Shortâ€™s injury explains why Gerris Wilkinson got so much burn this past Saturday. Wilkinson played well, forcing a fumble on Anthony Becht that was recovered by the Bucs.
- Shortâ€™s the third linebacker to go down since the beginning of this year (LaVar, Emmons). And while only LaVarâ€™s injury is serious, Ernie did a good thing by signing Chris Claiborne as a street free agent today. Claiborneâ€™s not great, but heâ€™s been a competent starter, and you have to think that the crop of available guys is much better now than it is in late December, when we had to rummage through the scrap-heap last year. Mike Garafolo calls it a “pre-emptive strike.” To make room for Claiborne, the G-Men cut the immortal Nâ€™Shan Goddard. (I did not know this, but apparently, Claiborneâ€™s a former Butkus Award winner at USC and was the 9th overall pick of the 1999 draft. I guess the guyâ€™s had a pretty disappointing career.)
- In other injury news, it looks like Osi (hip flexor) and Madison (hammy) will both miss Sundayâ€™s game against the Texans. Coughlin said that the two of them were “questionable at best.” Thatâ€™s ok. Letâ€™s just get these guys healthy for the Bears.
- Justin Tuck is also feeling better, although Garafoloâ€™s report didnâ€™t give us a status for Sunday. William Joseph replaced Barry Cofield in passing situations last Sunday, which Tuck was doing before he got hurt.
- Will Demps is feeling much more comfortable out there, says Mike Garafoloâ€™s article. And the proofâ€™s in the pudding: The Giants pass D has been great the past few weeks.
- Plax has made an effort to be a better teammate this year, writes Ralph Vacchiano. Apparently, he had an epiphany about his body language while watching himself on game tape during the off-season. It reminds me of that “Family Guy” when that violent felon who wanted to kill Joe Swanson for putting him in prison up cut himself with a knife and then said, “So thatâ€™s what Iâ€™ve been doing to people? That hurts. Jeez, no wonder Iâ€™m in here.” But good for Plax. Thereâ€™s a real good atmosphere surrounding this team these days.
- Good point here by John Branch about Eli: “It is not a ritual, as it had been, that Manningâ€™s performance come under play-by-play scrutiny, that everything from his decision-making to his accuracy to his demeanor be fodder for someoneâ€™s analysis. Instead, he has melded into a piece, a pivotal piece, of the machinery that is one of the NFLâ€™s top offenses.” Good call: Not every game presents a referendum for Eli as it did last year. And although, statistically-speaking, heâ€™s had the worse three games of his season the past three weeks, the stats are much better than they were last year. His completion percentage is up from 52.8 to 61.4, and his rating is up from 75.9 to 88.9, eleventh best in the league. The guy is good, okay?
- Allen Barra sings Big Blueâ€™s praises in a well-written piece.
- Finally, a strange-but true story. The Eagles signed William James, nee William James Peterson, the former up-and-coming G-Man cornerback. A good gamble by the Eagles: when healthy, the guy can play. We donâ€™t know why he changed his name to James (for readers of this blog who know me, he is the second person to have changed his last name to James.) Perhaps he is a fan of the 19 century philosopher William James, the elder brother of Henry James, in the same way that Bobby Zimmerman named and then styled himself after Dylan Thomas.
Tue 31 Oct 2006
Sun 29 Oct 2006
Not the most exciting win, but itâ€™s better to beat the Bucs 17-3 than it is to lose to them like sayâ€¦ the Eagles and Bengals did. Either way, if you beat any team in this league 17-3, ya gotta be happy. If somebody told you right now that weâ€™re gonna beat the Texans 17-3 next week, wouldnâ€™t you sign on the dotted line right now?
The storyline for this game was simple enough: The Giants came out strong, pretty much dominating the first quarter and putting up 14 points within the first twenty minutes. After that, our dominance abated. It was like we half conservatively sat on a lead, and half played down to the level of the abysmal Bucs. Either way, we prevailed handily and were never even tested. This was one of those easy afternoons at the Meadowlands with nary a tense moment â€“ there wasnâ€™t a single point where it looked like the Bucs were gonna make a serious move in this game.
If it wasnâ€™t our dominance, it was the Bucsâ€™ ineptitude. The Joey Galloway drop was huge â€“ he catches that pass and the Bucs are in position to make the game 14-10, or at the very least, 14-6. The Alex Smith drop in the endzone (or was that Clayton?) was also huge â€“ another opportunity squandered for the hapless Bucs.
If I were a Bucs fan, I would have been pretty pissed about the play-calling. Although the Giants dominated the first part of the game, the Bucs were never really in a position where they had to abandon the run. But abandon the run they did. Cadillac Williams, their best offensive player, got only 8 carries, while Michael Pittman got two. Thatâ€™s 10 running plays in a game where 1) they were never down by more than 11 points until around 4 minutes left in the game; and 2) they were playing with a pretty terrible rookie quarterback, against a team with a fearsome pass-rush, in a venue where the wind was as huge a factor as youâ€™re gonna see.
But Gruden stubbornly insisted on throwing the ball: He had Bruce Gradkowski put the ball in the air 48 times. 48 times! That sounds like one of those Raiders-Broncos shootouts from, like, 1993. Except in this case, in the windy Meadowlands, Gradkowski and his inept receiving corps were en route to posting an anemic 2.9 yards per attempt. (By the way, how old did Joey Galloway look when they showed him without his helmet? Jesus.)
In Grudenâ€™s defense, it looked like the Bucs were trying to throw short-passes, but Gradkowski was so terrible that he couldnâ€™t even hit those. Also in Grudenâ€™s defense was the Giants absolutely stifling run-defense: Aside from Gradkowski scrambles, the G-Men held the Bucs to 22 yards on 10 carries.
So yes, another awesome performance by the Big Blue D, which has been awesome since the Seahawks game. Last year, our defense had some rough times before hitting its stride in Week 5, when it began a run of dominance that lasted until Pierce went down and other guys started getting hurt. This year seems to be following the same pattern. For the first three games, we didnâ€™t look good. A bye week for week 4 gave us a chance to regroup, and since Week 5, weâ€™ve been straight stout.
Yes, weâ€™ve had our injuries, but itâ€™s nice to have some depth this year. Osiâ€™s out? No problem. Kiwanuka can step in. Madisonâ€™s out? No problem. R.W. can step in. Tuckâ€™s out? We have Joseph as a pass-rushing D-Tackle. LaVar out? We have Emmons, and then Gerris. (By the way, Iâ€™m curious about what happened to Short during this game â€“ did he go out with an injury? I know he was listed as questionable because of a knee injury coming in.)
(And speaking of Kiwanuka, it looked like over the course of the game, the Bucs figured out that all he wanted to do was speed-rush around the edge. Heâ€™ll learn. But how nice is it that our D-Tackles are generating a push up the middle, so that the quarterback has nowhere to step up to evade the Kiwanuka/Osis rushing off the edge? Fred Robbins has been an absolute stud â€“ you canâ€™t overstate what a godsend his improved play has been.)
I love Brandon Jacobs. The guy is always beefing. I mean, he starts beef every single play on special teams, and then beefs about 65% of the times he carries the ball. Ya gotta love it. That taunting penalty on him was bullshit, by the way. If a guy takes a clean (though not cheap) shot at you like the Bucs guy did, and you wind up getting the better of the contact, you have the right to get up in his face. Either way, heâ€™s running really, really well. Whenever heâ€™s in space in a one-on-one situation with a guy, is there even any doubt that heâ€™s gonna bust out of the tackle? Gotta be excited about him.
Ok, nice W. More thoughts to comeâ€¦
Sat 28 Oct 2006
In lieu of writing a long preview, Iâ€™ll refer you to Sean Lahmanâ€™s excellent preview in the New York Sun. Summarizing his points, he writes, “With a rookie quarterback and a beleaguered offense, the only way the Bucs can win is if the Giants completely self-destruct.”
Hereâ€™s a quick breakdown and explanation of some significant stats going into this game:
Overall DVOA: 33.3% (4th in the NFL, ahead of the 3rd place team by 15 percentage points, behind the 1st place team [Bears] by 12 points. Yes, weâ€™re one of the elite.)
Offense DVOA: 21.3% (3rd in the league. A potent unit.)
Run DVOA: 17.4% (2nd. Tikiâ€™s the man.)
Pass DVOA: 25.2% (7th. Is it fair to say that Eliâ€™s arrived? I mean, of course we can expect some improvement over the next few years, but give the guy credit: Heâ€™s really good. Now. And as Lahman points out in his preview, “Manning has done a fantastic job of identifying mismatches and exploiting them when they arrive.” Agreed. The mental side of Eliâ€™s game has really, really improved. If his accuracy gets a bit better, the skyâ€™s the limit.)
Defense DVOA: -10.8% (11th in the league. A dramatic improvement after week 3.)
Run DVOA: -17.8% (8th. Stalwart all year, despite what Jamal Lewis and the Ravens did to us in the first series of the preseason game. Imagine what this rating would be if Jason Bell had been a little quicker to fill his gap and tackle Warrick Dunn before he took it 90 yards? Credit also belongs to Fred Robbins, who has really, really stepped up this year. Itâ€™s good to see a guy “get it” and start realizing his potential. Have you heard Kendrick Clancyâ€™s name since those first couple weeks of the preseason?)
Pass DVOA: -4.9% (13th. Hey, look what happened? The pass rush showed up, and the Giants pass defense went from a huge liability to a slight asset in the span of three games. Letâ€™s keep it going this Sunday with Kiwanuka in for Osi.)
Overall DVOA: -15.3% (21st in the NFL. Trailing the 20th ranked team [Seattle] by 15 percentage points. Yeesh. So much for my earlier contentionÂ that “yes, theyâ€™re 2-4, but this isnâ€™t a bad team. I take that back. This team sucks.)
(Perhaps my misapprehension had to do with their beating the Eagles last Sunday [God bless â€˜em for doing so!], but if you look at the stats, itâ€™s not nearly as impressive as you would think. First of all, they needed the longest field goal in 8 years by none other than Matt Bryant to win it. Thank God Trey Junkin didnâ€™t show up for that game.
Also, the Eagles outgained them 506 to 196. Thatâ€™sâ€¦.umâ€¦ completely ridiculous. Yes, I know that Ronde had those two touchdowns, but winning a game when you get outgained by 300 yards when you only accumulate 200 doesnâ€™t happen very often. But thank God it happened last week.)
Offense DVOA: -12.8% (25th. Putrid.)
Run DVOA: -6.7% (14th. Cadillac ainâ€™t bad. We should be able to contain him, but heâ€™s a very good player.)
Pass DVOA: -17.2% (24th. Gradkowski averaged 3.3 yards per attempt against the Eagles last week.)
Defense DVOA: 1.0% (20th. Not the Bucs defense of 2002, or even last year. An average unit.)
Run DVOA: 2.0% (24th. Though last week, the Eagles rushed for 208 yards on 7.7 yards per carry. How in the world did they lose that game?)
Pass DVOA: -0.1% (15th. The only facet of this team that is not below average. Just keep an eye on Ronde.)
A big factor tomorrow will be the weather, with winds expected to approach 40 miles per hour. Since weâ€™re the better team, weâ€™d of course prefer the weather to play as little aÂ role as possible — the elements level the playing field. But since our running game has been so great and the Bucs have struggled so much against the run, we match up well considering the circumstances. We should see a lot of Tiki.
Sat 28 Oct 2006
Michael Lewis â€“ not the Eagles safety â€“ is back with his latest piece of excellent sports writing in the New York Times Magazine sports supplement. Good stuff, and a highly recommended read.
The subject of the piece is one that is near and dear to the hearts of the Giants faithful: one Duane Charles Parcells. (How you get “Bill” out of that, I do not know. Why not just “Ed,” or “Steve?” And how funny is it that Parcellsâ€™ name is actually Duane? You gotta love the confluence between black names and WASPy names â€“ my mother has a psychologist friend named “Corliss,” though I donâ€™t think her patients call her “Big Nasty.”)
But anyway, an excellent piece â€“ it follows the old “Monday throughÂ Sunday in the Life of the Workaholic Coach” formula, which is always interesting and always works, but whatâ€™s really great are Lewisâ€™ insights into Parcells.
Parcellsâ€™ massive ego certainly doesnâ€™t manifest itself in material possessions. Howâ€™s this image: “Right now he is living alone in what amounts to a hotel room in Irving, Texas, whose sole virtue is that it is a 10-minute drive to both the Cowboys practice facility and Texas Stadium.”
Or this one: “His office is vast and impersonal and without a trace of self-importance. Parcells has had his picture taken with presidents and movie stars, but the only photograph in the office lies facedown on a bookshelf. He turns it over to reveal a snapshot of him with three tough-looking young men â€“ tattoos, sleeveless shirts â€“ from a boxing gym in North Jersey he likes to visit.”
The Parcells of Lewisâ€™ article can basically be boiled down to an anecdote about a middleweight boxing match, where the underdog absorbed an extraordinary amount of punishment from his physically superior opponent but through sheer will power, managed to stay on his feet. Eventually, the favorite got tired, let up slightly, and was knocked out by the opportunistic underdog.
In the locker room after the fight, the fighters are separated only by a thin curtain. The favorite hears the underdog telling his trainers about all the times during the fight that he wanted to quit.
“At that moment,” says Parcells. “[The favorite] began to weepâ€¦. He was crying because for the first time he understood [the underdog] had felt the same way he had and worse. The only thing that separated the guy talking from the guy crying was what they had done. The coward and the hero feel the same emotions. Theyâ€™re both human.”
This is Parcells in a nutshell, according to Lewis, a man “whose life has been defined by the pressure of competition and his response to itâ€¦. Even if you have millions in the bank and everyone around you tells you that youâ€™re a success, you seek out that uncomfortable place.”
Wed 25 Oct 2006
Some YouTube highlights, courtesy of some dedicated YouTubers. Thanks fellas!
- EliÂ to PlaxÂ for the touchdown. It looks like the position Plax had on that one was too good for Williams to do anything about even had he not tripped over the ref.
- Jacobs’ run where he plowed through heads and then trucked Roy Williams across the first down marker
- And the detailed NFL Network highlight package. Pretty much every key play of the game.
AÂ fewÂ thoughts:
1) How huge was T.O.â€™s drop? He makes that catch and the Cowboys have 1st and 10 at around the 20, with an excellent chance to score and cut the Giants lead to 19-14. Instead, he drops it, the Giants take over in good field position, march down the field for a touchdown. It wasnâ€™t until the drive after that where T.O. got his touchdown, and did that ridiculous tennis forehand and backhand thing. (It took me awhile to figure out what, exactly, he was doing. At first, I thought that he was miming a domestic violence scene.)Â
2) How fast is Kevin Dockery? Holy shit. Romo, who is actually a pretty fast guy, took about the widest angle possible, but Dockery dusted him to the spot.
3) Seeing this highlight package made it clear how ridiculous Strahanâ€™s game was. I had forgotten that it was he that had tipped the pass that Pierce picked off at the beginning of the second half. Huge play. Also, how good is Strahan at crashing down on the back-side of the line in pursuit and cutting off running plays? Announcers always talk about what a great run-stopper is, and theyâ€™re right, but really itâ€™s this play that distinguishes him. Iâ€™ve never seen anyone make so many tackles like that!
4) Eliâ€™s stats didnâ€™t look great: He went 12-26 for 189 yards, with a touchdown and two picks. His rating, however, was a very respectable 80.4. Eliâ€™s accuracy remains a source of concern, but it seems like heâ€™s doing a really good job finding the open man. Of course itâ€™s hard to tell without the “all 22” camera, but just watching him in the pocket and then watching the results, he looks like heâ€™s really getting better in this area, which is more than half the battle for a quarterback.
Wed 25 Oct 2006
- We all know that LaVar is out for the year.
- Osi is “week-to-week,” said Colonel Tom (said the Giants website) with a strained hip flexor and will “probably” not play on Sunday. Justin Tuck is also questionable with a swollen foot, which means that Kiwanuka will start. It sucks that Osi went down, but itâ€™ll sure be exciting to watch Nuke.
- Also, Sam Madison is listed as questionable, which means that R.W. will probably get a lot of the snaps like he did in the second half against Dallas. Madison has improved over the course of the year (although thank God LaVar made that play on the attempted flea-flicker because T.O. had Madison completely crisped), but itâ€™s not as if going from Madison to R.W. is gonna be too devastating.
- Jason Bell, who did a nice job filling in for Gibril against the Falcons (except for being slow to fill the gap on Warrick Dunnâ€™s 90-yard touchdown run), is also questionable, as are Sinorice Moss (thereâ€™s no chance heâ€™ll play) and Frank Walker. Plax is probable with a heel injury, but you canâ€™t be especially worried about that.
- The good news on the injury front is that Carlos Emmons will probably be back. Judging from the newspapers today, people think heâ€™ll step in at the strong-side linebacker for LaVar, with Brandon Short staying put at the weakside. If Emmons isnâ€™t back this week, Reggie Torbor will hold down the strong side, but look for Emmons to step into the starting role when he gets back.Â You have to like Torbor, Gerris, and Blackburn as our linebacker depth. But as we’ve all been saying, the one guy we canâ€™t lose is Pierce in the middle.
Wed 25 Oct 2006
Yes, we caught a break on Plaxâ€™s TD when Roy Williams tripped over the out-of-position ref, but look at it this way: Plax had completely beaten the corner assigned to him, so even if Williams didnâ€™t fall down it would have been a leap â€˜nâ€™ snare contest between Williams and Plax. Plax looked like he had a bead on that ball, so I like our chances on that one.
Speaking of Plax and jump-balls, the play that resulted in Anthony Henryâ€™s pick of Eli was weird. Judging by Plaxâ€™s reaction after the play, I was convinced that he had been interfered with, and was surprised to hear Joe Theisman point out that yes, there had been a blatant pass interferenceâ€¦ on Plax.
Seeing as he wasnâ€™t interfered with, you have to wonder why Plax didnâ€™t make a better effort on that ball. Strangely, what he did on the play was push Anthony Henry to the spot where the ball was gonna be â€“ where he should have been.
But as Theisman â€“ who I actually found myself appreciating last night for the first time â€“ pointed out, Plax didnâ€™t get such a good read on the ball. Like Roger Cedeno, he misjudged it, which brings up that fact that Plax sometimes isnâ€™t as good at tracking balls in mid-air as you would want him to be.
Now, obviously, a lot of his game is predicated on going up and getting it, and all in all, heâ€™s pretty good at locating the ball, positioning his body, and snaring it. But considering his freakish physical tools, it is hisÂ inconsistency inÂ judging balls that prevents him from being an all-world, superstar receiver. (That and his occasional concentration lapses.) Instead, he is merely a very good one.
If this is truly the start of the Tony Roma era, then on behalf of all Giants fans, let me say, “Weâ€™ll miss you Drew.” As Joe Theisman said last night, “The Giants know that Drew is not a very mobile individual.” So long, Great Sitting Duck: Weâ€™ll miss your stiff-as-a-board, unathletic posture and untimely interceptions.
Like everyone else in the world, I do not understand the “open-palm”/”empty hand” rule. What that play actually a fumble? I donâ€™t know, because I donâ€™t even know what the rule means. Good job by the broadcasting crew, especially Theisman, pointing that one out.
Itâ€™s obviously really too bad about LaVar. Just when he was showing flashes of the olâ€™ self (that tipped pass on the flea-flicker was huge!), he is lost for the year. This leaves us without two of our original starting linebackers â€“ LaVar and Emmons, and means that Reggie Torbor moves in to start at the strong side. (At least I think. Weâ€™d all like to see Gerris Wilkinson step in there, though Torbor stepped in for LaVar against Dallas. Weâ€™ll see how Colonel Tom plays it during practice this week.)
Thank God we addressed linebacker depth during the off-season by signing Short and drafting Wilkinson, although it is a little alarming to lose two guys so soon. I agree with Cody’s point in the comments section that since LaVar hadnâ€™t really done much yet, itâ€™s not as if weâ€™re really “losing” anything.
The one linebacker that we canâ€™t afford to lose is Pierce. He has been playing well and is indispensable, and while Chase Blackburn is competent, heâ€™s a massive drop-off from Pierce.
Ok, more thoughts to comeâ€¦
Mon 23 Oct 2006
Haaaahhhh!!!! Thatâ€™s what Iâ€™m talking about.
You know, why the G-Men get no respect is beyond me. I donâ€™t know if itâ€™s the plain blue and white jerseys, the stodgy tradition, or simple New York hatred, but no one wants to give Big Blue any love.
To wit: My Eagle-fan co-worker told me today that he was actually rooting for the Giants tonight. His rationale? He perceived the Cowboys as the bigger threat to Eagle supremacy in the NFC East.
Yeah… We were supposed to be allied tonight. “Rooting for the Giants, right??” The dude actually fronted like he was forging an alliance with me.
Well, no takers. How quickly people dismiss the Giants’ division title last year! How quickly people forget that coming into this game, we had beaten two teams in our division twice, plus one of the better teams in the conference! That our only losses were to the Colts, one of the consensus best teams in the league (who, by the way, we outplayed) and the Seahwaks, last yearâ€™s NFC Champions!
Coming into this game, the Cowboys had recorded wins over the Redskins, Titans, and Texans. Their most impressive win? The Redskins.
Coming into this game, the G-Men had recorded wins over the Eagles, Redskins, and Falcons. Their least impressive win? The Redskins.
Soâ€¦umâ€¦ It kind ofâ€¦ umâ€¦ defied logic to think that the Cowboys were a better team than the Giants coming into this game. It was hard to say this to my co-worker, who delivered his thoughts as a shit-talking parting-shot as he left the office for the day.
But thankfully, the G-Men took it upon themselves to prove my point tonight, in pretty dominating fashion, no less. At this point, is there really a case for any of the other teams in the NFC East? I mean, we’ve beaten bothÂ the Eagles and Cowboys in their own places.Â Oh, you donâ€™t trust our win over the Eagles because we came back in miracle fashion? Well, we dominated a team (the Cowboys) in their place that the Eagles at trouble with at home.
At 4-2, weâ€™ve survived an early-season gauntlet to find ourselves in first place. Having beaten the top two teams in our division on the road, we have the tie-breakers in our favor. I ask you, fellow Bleeders of Big Blue: Could you really have asked for anything more?
A assumed vacation awaits us, with home games against Tampa Bay and Houston. But Iâ€™m wary about the Tampa game, which has the makings of a classic trap game. Yes, theyâ€™re 2-4, but this isnâ€™t a bad team.
Consistency has always beenÂ the bigÂ issueÂ with Colonel Tomâ€™s Giants. We know they have the talent, but will they actually show up on Sunday and play well? Next Sunday will be a test. Itâ€™s a short week against a dangerous team. Go Giants!!
Sat 21 Oct 2006
Tiki. What a strange time for that announcement, huh? Especially for us distracted Mets fans. Is he bullshitting? No. Tiki doesnâ€™t bullshit. Heâ€™s dead serious, which makes this year that much more of a do-or-die proposition. The team owes it to Tiki to go absolutely balls-to-the wall this season â€“ heâ€™s the greatest offensive player in Giants history, and it would be sweet if we sent him away with a ring. So as disappointing as this announcement was, it can be a galvanizing force for a team that seems to need reasons to get it together.
Whatever happens, Tiki has been an absolute pleasure to watch these past nine-plus years. I donâ€™t think thereâ€™s an athlete that Iâ€™ve enjoyed watching more: in a game that is too often determined by brute force and physicality, Tiki does it with finesse. Think about it: Heâ€™s not fast, heâ€™s certainly not big, heâ€™s not even that quick. Heâ€™s justâ€¦ good. He justâ€¦ always knows where to go. He is a master out there, and artist, and while I wish him the best in his sports/newscasting career, there is no way that he can do anything better or more beautifully than he plays football.
But far be it from us to criticize his decision. The guy is an adult who can do what he wants. His integrity or his effort cannot be questioned: for all these years, the guyâ€™s been an absolute mensch. We can be disappointed because we wonâ€™t get to watch him anymore, but we canâ€™t hold it against him.
Anyway, here a little poem about Tiki. It kind of reads like a cornyÂ bar-mitzvah toast, but itâ€™s the best Iâ€™m gonna do.
Back at Virginia we had heard about you
The crafty little back who beat FSU
“The Barber of Câ€™ville,” you were called by some
But who could have guessed what you have become?
A second round draft pick, because of your size
A mere “change of pace,” in the talent scoutsâ€™ eyes
But you sure did impress in your Giants debut,
Scoring two touchdowns and propelling Big Blue.
We had a player on our hands, we Giants fans knew,
And his name was “Tiki,” for Atiim Kiambu
But at five foot ten and two-hundred pounds,
They said you werenâ€™t cut out to play all four downs
You were small, they said, and couldnâ€™t take hits,
Your blocking was suspect when you picked up the blitz,
A big power back, they said, was what we needed to obtain,
Like Gary Brown, Joe Montgomery, the immortal Ron Dayne
But Fassel got wise and gave you a chance,
And you racked up the yards with your feet and your hands.
What a delight you were to us fans!
The thrills you brought to the olâ€™ Meadowlands.
Small and not even especially fast,
It was your incredible instincts that were unsurpassed
Your timing, your presence, your maneuvering feet,
Your game was finesse, your running-style sweet.
Dancing, not busting, through defendersâ€™ embraces
Emerging improbably, off to the races.
Somehow evading outside contain,
Headed downfield for another big gain
Another deft cut through the narrowest lane,
Blowing a kiss asÂ you cross the plane.
The greatest offensive player thatâ€™s ever worn blue,
Is hanging â€˜em up, saying heâ€™s through
And we Giants fans just sit here and stew,
Please, please, Tiki! Say itâ€™s untrue!
Next stop is Canton, and whatever you do:
Thanks for the memories. We will always love you.
Sat 21 Oct 2006
I apologize for my hiatus; Iâ€™ve been distracted by the Mets postseason run. Itâ€™s been exhausting and excruciating, but I thank that Amazinâ€™s for a terrific season and for being one of the most lovable teams of my lifetime of New York sports fandom.
And props to the Shea crowd, which came up absolutely huge in games 6 and 7. Really, the feeling of camaraderie in the ballpark was what being a fan is all about. Sure, Iâ€™ll always fantasize about what would have happened if Carlos Beltran stroked a gapper and sent little Andy Hernandez racing around the bases with the winning run, beating a futile throw and causing Shea to absolutely erupt in ecstasy.
But sometimes baseball, and sports, can be cruel. I can take solace in the fact that that olâ€™ rickety Shea was rocking like no place Iâ€™ve ever seen. People talk about loud venues, but itâ€™s not just the decibels â€“ itâ€™s the feeling behind it. Iâ€™ve been in the Metrodome during the Twins playoffs, and while it was probably louder than Shea can ever be, it was not the same type of noise: it was noise for the sake of noise, but not the guttural passion that can only be found in New York.
Okay, thatâ€™s it.