February 2008

In case you cae, and I am one who really doesn’t, the NFC best the ABC yesterday 42-30 yesterday.

Most of the papers didn’t either, using AP copy to report the story.

Owens was aided by Offensive Rookie of the Year Peterson, whose 129 yards rushing was the first performance of more than 100 yards since Marshall Faulk had 180 and Chris Warren added 127 in 1995. The Minnesota running back scored twice as the NFC rallied from a 24-7 deficit, earning himself MVP honors – and a new Cadillac. Faulk is the only other rookie to be voted MVP of the Pro Bowl.

“We didn’t get into the playoffs, so for me to come here and do this at the Pro Bowl means a lot,” Peterson said. “I came with a goal: win the game and be MVP.”

As for the car, he said: “I’m going to keep it.”

Osi Umenyiora, the lone representative from the Super Bowl champion Giants, had one tackle on the day: He sacked the Browns’ Derek Anderson on the AFC’s final drive, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Jeff Saturday of the Colts.

Read all about it in the Daily News.

This was on the MSGNetwork Official Site as O’Hara was honored at halftime at Rutgers

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And the MSG interview with O’Hara

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Ironically all three he lists come from the hands of New York with the Super Bowl, 1986 World Series, and 2003 ALCS as the main collapses.

The Red Sox have dominated this discussion through the years. The Bruins have no moment (not even too many men on the ice) that can compete with the Sox calamities. There’s no Celtic loss to the Sixers, Lakers, or Pistons that triggered profound heartache through the region. No. When it comes to fatal flops, the Red Sox literally own the franchise in our town.

The most recent wound tends to hurt most, which is probably why the Patriots debacle is even worthy of inclusion in our contrived discussion. This would account for a quickie Boston Herald poll of more than 12,000 readers that concluded that the Super Bowl loss was worse than any Red Sox disappointment. Among that sampling, the Super Bowl garnered 48 percent of the votes, followed by Red Sox Game 6 in 1986 with 35 percent, and the Aaron Boone Game (2003 ALCS Game 7) with 10 percent. Only 7 percent of the people picked the Bucky Dent 1978 playoff game as the worst defeat ever.

Veteran sportscaster Bob Lobel agrees.

“This Super Bowl was the worst loss you could ever have,” said the TV man who has seen ’em all. “This tops everything.”

To read more go to Boston.com.

This has been around as Hitler the Cowboy Fan, but now the fuerer reacts to Super Bowl XLII.

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And if you didn’t see Hitler the Cowboy Fan…

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Mike Lupica with a nice article in the DN.

Doesn’t matter now. What matters is that the last Giants drive down the field is instantly and marvelously part of the permanent sports memory of the city. Even if the line was out of line. Even if the point spread had more to do with 18-0 than the way the Patriots had looked coming into this game, the Giants go in now with the underdog teams of all time.

These Giants, the run they just gave us, go in with the best sports stories of all time, and not just in New York.

Eli to Amani Toomer to start that last drive, for 11 yards. Eli handing it to Brandon Jacobs on fourth-and-1 and Jacobs grinding for two. Then the greatest single play of any Super Bowl, Eli Manning somehow breaking free from a rugby scrum, from underneath a pocket collapsing around him like a house of cards, setting himself, throwing the ball to David Tyree, whose hand will be pressing that ball to his helmet forever, a football picture for Giant fans like the baseball picture of Willie Mays catching Vic Wertz’s ball at the Polo Grounds in 1954.

Then Eli to Steve Smith after that.

Finally the sweetest spiral you will ever see, Eli to Plaxico Burress in the left corner of the end zone with 35 seconds left.

And you know something? It was an even better ending than you know.

More at the NY Daily News.

Raph Vacchiano writes on how the Giants are back to work so they have a chance to repeat in 2008.

If the Giants are going to become the dynasty that their GM hopes they will be, then there’s plenty of work to be done and it has to be done fast.

“You can’t just go to the Super Bowl and then relax,” Reese said. “We’re working harder than ever because we want to be in this situation every year.”

Reese knows how difficult that is. After all, neither the Indianapolis Colts nor the Chicago Bears came close to reaching Super Bowl XLII, just one year after playing each other in Super Bowl XLI. In fact, only three teams have appeared in back-to-back Super Bowls in the last 14 years while only the Denver Broncos (XXXII and XXXIII) and the Patriots (XXXVIII and XXXIX) have repeated as champions.

There’s a reason for that. Becoming a champion brings issues – some of them unforeseen. There could be a lot standing in the way of the Giants’ path to Tampa, site of Super Bowl XLIII in 2009.

 For more visit the NY Daily News.

Sorry Jim Fassel, the ‘Skins went in a different directions.

From the Washington Post:

“I’ve always dreamed of being a head coach with a franchise rich in tradition like the Redskins,” Zorn said in a statement. “As a player who had to fight Redskins teams at RFK as well as at our home field, I know about the history of this franchise as well as the passion of its fans. I won’t let you down.”

Former players under Zorn consider him to be a patient teacher who handles high-pressure situations well. They say he shares some similarities with Joe Gibbs, who stepped down as Redskins coach and team president on Jan. 8, including being devoutly religious.

“He reminds me of a young Joe Gibbs,” Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck said. “When you say Joe Gibbs, people immediately respect him and treat him as a great guy. Jim is like that. People respect him.”

Redskins players reached last night expressed relief that the search, which dragged on for 32 days and had been shrouded in secrecy, finally ended. The team seriously considered about half a dozen candidates, most notably former assistant head coach-defense Gregg Williams, the favorite of Redskins players; former New York Giants coach Jim Fassel; and Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, who directed the stunning upset of the previously undefeated New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.

Me? I feel bad for Fassel, who deserves another chach to coach in the NFL, but he’s probably better off staying away from Dan Snyder anyway.


In the Post, our buddy Mike Vaccaro writes a piece comparing the Giants of the 1950s to the current champs.

Once, the names were Gifford and Rote, Summerall and Huff, Robustelli and Modzelewski and Conerly and Tittle, and the names still roll off the tongue because when they played, they not only played in New York, not only played for New York, they were of New York.

They lived off the city’s energy, fed off it, lent some of that star power back to the neon lights. They were Yankee Stadium on Sunday afternoons and Toots Shor on Friday night. They were everywhere: on billboards, on TV, in restaurants, in our conscience the way no team around here has ever been.

“We were like princes of the city,” is the way Y.A. Tittle described it not long ago, the old quarterback’s memory soaking in all those yellowing snapshots every bit the way an old fan’s does. “In those days, the words ‘New York Giants’ were pure magic. If you were on the team, you were set, and you were set up. Glorious days. Glorious.”

Those Giants had their own forever run, too. It was 1956, the first year they had switched boroughs, left the crumbling Polo Grounds for Yankee Stadium across the Harlem River, and they had muddled their way to an 8-3-1 record, good enough for first place in the NFL’s East Division, good enough to be served up as sacrificial lambs to the mighty Chicago Bears in the championship game.

For more click here.

In the Daily News today, Gary Myers has a great piece on how the Manning trade in 2004 looks now.

The entire perception now changes about Manning. He is no longer the underachieving little brother. He stared down Tom Brady in the last two minutes of the Super Bowl and matched Brady’s 80-yard drive that put the Patriots ahead with 2:42 remaining with his own 83-yard drive to win it. Evading the Patriots’ rush on that magical pass to David Tyree was the most incredible play in Super Bowl history.

“You can’t put a price on a franchise quarterback,” another panel member said back then. “If the Giants are right and the quarterback ends up panning out, then there is no price you can say is too much.”

Something clicked for Manning in the final game of the year against the Patriots. Perhaps because the Giants had their playoff seeding clinched and they had nothing to lose, Manning relaxed and just played football and didn’t overload himself with needless details. He responded with his best game of the season, throwing four TDs and one INT. He then took it up a level in the playoffs and became everything the Giants thought they were getting when they made that trade.

Read all about it by clicking here.

The Immaculate Reception? Taken. The Catch? Also been used. How about The Immaculate Catch? Nah. Whatever the nickname of the incredible play that was a key on the Giants’ winning touchdown drive in Super Bowl XLII becomes, it still will not fully describe the magnitude that it had – not only in the game, but the entire season and football history. That particular play catapulted the G-Men into scoring territory and Eli Manning became an instant Super Bowl MVP, pending the Giants scoring on the drive, of course. But he cemented any doubt that he would pan out as a highly successful overall number one selection in the NFL Draft.


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