Bittersweet Victory

Alternate title ideas:

Thank You Jesus!
SuperBowl Champs!
Bill Belichick is a sore loser
Putting the “team” in “teamwork”
Resiliency

early lead
Giants took the lead early on.

Confounded Brady
The Giants D counfounded and confused Tom Brady and the Pats.
That Game was freakin’ AWESOME! I have been praying about this game ever since the G-men made the playoffs. I knew they could do it. I can not honestly say I never had a “moment’s doubt.” I can not say that because my mom is a great actress! We were chase playing the game, about 8 minutes behind her, and when she called… The tone of her voice as she assured me, “At least it wasn’t a total blowout,” made me hesitate. I started praying hardcore. I prayed, “Lord, you are all powerful, and you can change whatever it was that Mom saw. I know you can. Please Please Please Please!!! Let the Giants win the game!” When my sister, MomoT – who doesn’t normally watch football – called five minutes later, my faith was restored. The phone rang again 2 minutes later, and I answered ” 2minutes left! Don’t tell me!!!” and practically hung up on a good friend. A minute later, another good friend called, and by then, I knew. I just knew. When we hung up, I called my mom for the last 1:45 of the game. Then, the miracle happened.

great escape
Manning Escapes. Credits Lyons/Getty. Found at the NY Daily News Website

awesome catch
Tyree, holding the ball to his helmet with one hand, makes The Catch. Four plays later, Manning connects to Buress for the winning TD.

At 1:15 left, Manning managed to escape from the Patriots defensive blitz. Everyone who saw that play swears they have no idea how he got out of it, but I know. I will swear to my dying day that God sent an angel or two down to the field to wrap their arms around Eli’s waist, keep him on his feet, and pull him out of the pile. And as much as I would love to believe my Dad was one of them, I think Dad was assigned to the defense. Defense was Dad’s favorite. I still remember the time I joked with him that BigBoy, who was learning to throw a ball, might just be a quarterback. I remember clearly my Dad, picking up my then 2 year old son, and saying to him, “Na. Don’t be a quarterback and throw the ball. Be a linebacker. Then you can throw quarterbacks.” *S* That was Dad. I think Dad was out there with Strahan, Osi, Tuck, and Alford… Breathing strength into their tired bodies, whispering encouragement into the weary minds, and giving them that extra push to charge back there and hit Brady just one more time.

Buress 4 the win
Manning to Buress, for the win.

This game was such an example of teamwork. Manning may have been named MVP, but that honor needs to go to the whole team. The defensive line, whose amazing pass rush just confounded and bewildered Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the rest of the Pats. The Secondary, who did an amazing job of shutting down Randy Moss and taking away Tom Brady’s options. The Special Teams, who came through. Even if there were no stand out, WOW factor plays on Special Teams, the guys out there did their job, got good yardage on put returns, stopped the Pats from any WOW factor Special Teams plays of their own, and did not screw anything up. The O-line. Without their awesome protection, Manning would not have done what he did. They answered almost everything the Pats threw at them, and gave Manning all night in the backfield. They did an awesome job of getting Jacobs and Bradshaw some running room. And they pushed the Pat’s Defensive around all night. Speaking of Jacobs and Bradshaw… Between the two of them, they wore out the Pat’s D, and pounded the ground all night. Jacobs is awesome, but Bradshaw is a fav in our home, solely because he’s a short guy compared to rest. Shades of Tiki really (without the constant diarrhea of the mouth). GeekBoy, who is vertically challenged himself, just loves watching Bradshaw run through the line, carry guys on his back, spin guys around, and gain yards. Running backs need breaks though, which is where the recievers came in. Toomer proves again and again that he is one of the best out there (in my opinion). He always seems to know where the sideline is, where the first down marker is, and just when to drag that toe as he’s laying out to catch a ball headed out of bounds. Plaxico. The man has played on a torn tendon in his ankle all season long. His knee was swollen two days before the game. He’s only practiced maybe 4 or 5 times all year, yet he is a consistent playmaker for us. It was incredibly awesome to here him giving praise and glory to God for the year he has had. (check out the post game interview – Per-Plaxing Win at Fox Sports Video) And then, out of almost nowhere, Steve Smith and David Tyree have a breakout game. The Pat’s had all the tape on Toomer and Plax, so to be able to reach back and pull out Smith and Tyree… *whew* Awesome job gentlemen. And that catch! Tyree! That Catch against the helmet. Whew! That will forever become a part of SuperBowl legacy. And of course, Eli Manning. Ever since he was drafted in the first round in 2004, he’s been under unbelievable scrutiny by the New York Press. The pressure placed on him by the hometown is incredible. He’s been inconsistent. Then, suddenly in game 16 against the Pats at the end regular season, we all got to witness “Baby Brother Manning” grow up, and mature into the player we fans all knew he could be. And just to prove that his new found maturation was not a mere fluke or yet another glimpse at the greatness we had seen in bits and pieces over the years, he led the NFC Wildcard team to the Super Bowl. And not only led them to the Big Game, but was instrumental in ensuring the defeat of the so-called Perfect Team.

This is such a satisfying victory. Not just because we beat the cheaters. But because it was a close, nail-biting, smash mouth game. Just the way Dad liked them.

champs
Sing with me!  We are the champions, my friend!

Don’t just take my word for it. Check out the Hilight reel at nfl.com.

I leave you with this, the team video package from before the game.  After being asked for one word to describe the team, the Giants word:

Resiliency.