My Darling Man wasn't excited to watch the game yesterday, he's still moping about the last Cowboys' game and his disappointment over Tony Romo's performance as well as the team's overall lack of strong effort. Darling Man was like a fangurl over Romo all season, he had to wear his special Cowboys jersey while watching each game. I had some concern he might actually go out and buy himself that Romo action figure doll - thankfully he held back.
I, on the other hand, wasn't going to miss it. I was rooting for Baby Manning and the Giants. Not because I wished the undefeated Patriots and their quarterback known for dumping his pregnant girlfriend for the Hot SuperModel any ill-will, no, rather I sensed something special might happen.
Eli Manning comes from a line of champions, his father, Archie Manning a legend, and brother Peyton a great quarterback. Baby Manning has Big Shoes to fill. No lies, I certainly cheered this season when the Cowboys defeated them twice, but that third time was the charm for Manning. In all honesty, by the time the Giants defeated our Cowboys, the team's transformation was complete.
I had been watching the Giants progress this season, after all "we" (Cowboys) were playing them twice. The season began for the Giants unevenly, they were struggling. Many sports enthusiasts were counting them out of the running by mid-season. But something was brewing, something began happening with this team. Slowly as drops of water can fill a bowl, the transformation was in effect.
Eli and the Giants began to work a kind of magic. Evidence was materializing of a growing cohesiveness. Instead of dissenting, the team was showing strength, and getting tighter. Focus was in evidence, as the team worked that tough, hard climb upward, instead of decimating and dividing. Strife and the struggle began pulling them together in a way that can be seen in some very close families.
Plaxico Burress, one the many weapons this team has in talent, played injured. He suffered from leg injuries and pain that would have made most football players sit on the sideline, but he refused to stop. Granted this final game was not his finest but when it counted Burress was there. Many men in Eli Manning's position would not have been able to pull the team together those final minutes of the game, how intimidating it must have been knowing going in that your team is the Underdog, that you are up against one of the most formidable quarterbacks in today's football arenas. To my complete joy, Manning did not lose focus, he did not panic. These, signs of heart and courage, defining qualities of soul and determination. Qualities of what it takes to be a champion.
Coach Tom Coughlin was a man having to justify his existence as the head coach not but a few months back. Coach Coughlin too, a man placed in that undesirable underdog position. Coughlin was all but out the door when he apparently managed to find a way to touch these men and make this event we witnessed yesterday happen. Many people would have not had it in them to carry forward and shoulder the negativity that Coach Coughlin handled. Many would have caved, certainly few men would have been able to take the problems handed him, and muster a way to uplift and inspire a team the way this coach has obviously done. Qualities of what it takes to be a champion.
The combination of these factors, the heart and most importantly, the soul, that this team developed over the season, inspirational. Coach Coughlin and his Giants became that 'Little Engine That Could'. The New York Giants rose up and became David, slaying the football 'Goliaths', that were Bill Belichick's Patriots.
The San Jose Mercury News with the catchy title, "In a New York minute, Giants produce great Broadway show" written by Daniel Brown, says, "Even during the final drive, even as they were about to unleash one of the most memorable finishes in Super Bowl history, the New York Giants still couldn't get respect.
The New England Patriots mocked them. They yelled out invitations to their postgame party. Patriots safety Rodney Harrison went so far as to tell receiver Amani Toomer, 'Get ready to go home'."
"R-e-s-p-e-c-t", that Aretha Franklin great song comes to mind, was lacking toward the Giants for much of the season. Respect is what this team showed it earned. The hard way. Watching the game, I thought how great, how appropriate should the Giants win, there they were, most of the players covered in green and brown stains on their jerseys, their pants; young Quarterback Manning, sweat dripping and hair a mess. Compare that with the Patriots, a seemingly effortless loss free season, their uniforms still looking almost spotless. The hot-shot, hot dog, movie-star looking QB, Tom Brady, with one of the world's richest Supermodel/actress girlfriend, Gisele Bündchen shown as being in the stands rooting him on. In Manning's fans-in-the-stands shots, his brother, Peyton, his family. The Hot Dog vs. the Underdog and Underdog wins again. Good times. Yesterday Coach Tom Coughlin's New York Giants earned their deserved respect.
By the way, my Darling Man thanked me for talking him into watching the game. We're going out to buy a few Giants jerseys, just don't mention it to Romo...