Monday, February 4, 2008
Forecast: Eli Manning a New York Legend
By Ralph Malbrough
I’ll be honest: I never thought the Giants even had a shot of winning the Super Bowl until David Tyree made the greatest catch ever. Argue that point if you want, but in 30 years people will still be talking about it. Go to YouTube and watch it again. How the hell did he do that?
Watching the game I had the sense of what an old English teacher of mine called ‘tragic inevitability’ when it came to the Giants and Eli Manning. It just seemed like the Patriots and Tom Brady would find a way to escape and attain perfection.
There was no way Eli Manning would win the Super Bowl, until he did. Manning became a New York legend and denied Tom Brady football immortality.
The interesting thing about the game was the simplicity of the Giants plan: grind Tom Brady into the dirt or become road kill. Five sacks and countless hits later, the Giants could say ‘mission accomplished.’
In a strange way I’m even more impressed with Tom Brady. He got the snot beat out of him and yet never made any bad decisions.
Any other quarterback would have turned in an all time bad performance under such constant pressure, but Brady was just slightly less than average.
Perhaps the most interesting thing was the absolute glee everyone outside of New England felt when the Patriots failed to reach 19-0.
On our internet radio show, Kevin Held and I set a record for people in our chat room. Maybe it was a combination of Spygate, Bill Belichick’s generally being a jerk, and New England’s fans combined with ESPN’s Bill Simmons being unbearable that caused the nation to turn against the Patriots?
I’m not sure, all I know is that America is happy we get to listen to the unbearable 1972 Miami Dolphins run their mouths about being the only undefeated team. That in itself is unbelievable, if you’ve ever listened to Mercury Morris for five minutes.
Eli Manning is now a legend in New York. The Big Apple might put their sports stars through the meat grinder, but all you need to do is deliver one time on the big stage and you get a lifetime of worship. Ask Joe Namath.
Is it the biggest upset in Super Bowl history? Probably, but everyone said that some unknown QB named Tom Brady beating the Mighty St. Louis Rams in 2002 was the biggest underdog victory in Super Sunday lore, until Brady won two more Lombardi trophies after that magical night in New Orleans.
Time has a way of deciding what is and what isn’t an historic sports upset. I know a couple of things right now, though:
--We may never see another team come as close to perfection and have most fans rooting against such a magical accomplishment.
--And former Giants general manager Ernie Acorsi was right to trade the San Diego Chargers a king’s ransom for Eli.
It was always easy to predict Eli Manning would be great just like it was easy to see the Giants would shut down the greatest offense in the history of football and use a circus catch to win the Super Bowl.
Yeah, like it’s easy to climb Mount Everest or watch any Lindsey Lohan movie all the way through.
Last night is why America stops to watch the Super Bowl, because we hope we might see something incredible and unexpected.
And we all wanted New England to lose.
Ralph Malbrough is a Saints fan living in Houston Texas. He co-hosts an Internet Radio show every week with WWLTV.com's Kevin Held. You can listen to their Super Bowl post game show or download archived versions of the show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/forecastradio.
Or if you want it on your iPod search Forecast Radio on Itunes.
Ralph Malbrough can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org
(And one final note: that picture up top was too fucking funny to pass up!!)