Most of the experts have determined that the Giants have no chance in the Super Bowl. Oddsmakers have reduced the spread from 14 1/2 points to 11 points. The Patriots are undefeated and one of the teams that they did defeat happened to be the New York Giants. The Giants, alas, played them in game 16 and had the chance to knock them from the realm of the undefeated. Ironically, they have the chance again.
The experts all stated that the Giants would win between 4 and 6 games this year and Tom Coughlin would be fired. Most Giants fans wanted his head at the end of last season as did most sportswriters. Me? Count me among the head hunters.
The Giants were pretty bad in games 1 and 2 this year. They scored lots of points against the Cowboys but their defense was non-existent. They had a new coordinator and things looked worse than they did under the pitiful Tim Lewis. Game 2, against Green Bay, was awful. I had tickets to see them in Atlanta for game 6 and I was thinking that it might just be a contest between two 0-5 teams. The Giants went on to win 6 in a row and ended the season 10-6. When they were 9-4 I decreed them to be the worst 9-4 team in the NFL. But then they played an amazing second half against the Bills and played the Patriots tough.
They had a chance, most said, against Tampa Bay but had a late season swoon so everyone predicted that they would lose. They didn't.
They didn't have a chance against Dallas. Dallas was the best team in the NFC. While the Giants were playing Tampa Bay Tony Romo was sunning himself with Jessica Simpson and looking forward to the NFC championship game against the Packers. Jerry Jones, the owner, booked hotel rooms for his out of town guests for the NFC championship game. The Giants were a piece of cake. But they pounded Romo back to Cabo in the second half and won.
They didn't have a chance against Green Bay. The frozen tundra and Eli had played poorly in cold, windy weather. The Giants would freeze. The heated field would slow their running game and their pass rush. Besides that, Brett Favre had destiny going for him and the Packers had lit the scoreboard against Seattle while they Giants barely beat the Cowboys. Lawrence Tynes, notorious choker kicked the longest post season field goal in the history of Green Bay, and it was the biggest kick of the year for any kicker.
So the Giants are in the Super Bowl. They have nothing to lose. Every Giants fan is proud of their team right now. Every Giants fan is ready to invite Tom Coughlin over for dinner. The Giants have nothing to lose. They have far exceeded every expectation.
Now they are playing the Patriots in the Super Bowl. The Patriots may just be the best team in the history of the NFL. They are an outstanding team and should win.
But there is a little movie out there entitled Little Giants. It is tale about two midget football teams and two brothers. One is a former football star and the coach of the best midget football team in the league. The other brother is a gas station attendant who always lived in the shadow of the older brother. He's coaching all the kids who got cut from the really good team. They play. The Little Giants (great oxymoron) have one inspiration. One time. The 'loser brother' beat the older brother in a bicycle race. One time. Most of the kids think of one time they did something and won. One time.
Do the Giants have a chance? Probably not. But they've survived by not having a chance.
And there is always 'one time.'