At halftime of last night’s Super Bowl, the Mets/Giants fan contingent at the party I was at huddled in a corner worried as all hell that Tom Brady and the Patriots had turned the momentum of this game around and had taken total control. The biggest complaint was that the pass rush of the Giants wasn’t putting enough pressure on the Pats OL and thus giving Brady way too much time in the pocket.
The Highlander/Giants fan section just looked at us and laughed. “Hey, fuck Tom Brady, Wes Welker and that cripple Gronk” but “don’t you guys see this momentum swing”? To that they reply, “Have you seen Eli in the 4th quarter” then came the kick to the Mets fans nuts “He ain’t David Wright you know” it wasn’t the knock on Wright that hurt but the laughter that came with it.
The Highlander/Giants fans look at Eli now as they do Derek Jeter. Eli is now New York Sports royalty. Two Super Bowl trophies and two Super Bowl MVP’s, have moved him to the front of the line with the likes of DiMaggio, Mantle, Jeter, even I dare say Messier close to Willis Reed right there with fellow Giants immortal Lawrence Taylor. It’s one thing to be a one-time champ in this town but when you get not only multiple titles but the MVP both times, you are in the rarefied air of NYC sports icons.
Again I never saw this coming, and I doubt any Giants fan did either. The story line here is on December 19th the word on the NY sports street was Coughlin’s got to go, Jerry Reese too, in fact clean house altogether. The defense, the corner stone of the Giants franchise, was one of the worst in the league statistically but as the injured returned and the pass rush led by neophyte All World DT JPP and Justin Tuck taking the heat off the secondary was key for this Giants resurgence.
Now the coach, GM and QB are Teflon, no more criticisms, no more second guessing of this group after two championships in four years, a fan can get used to this.
Maybe this and the NY Rangers resurgence is a good omen for the Mets. Both teams’ foundations are built on home grown players that were drafted or signed and traded for using comprehensive scouting. Mets fans have to hope the front office can find a baseball equivalent of Victor Cruz an undrafted free agent. Or make a deal that brings back a Ryan McDonagh type that has the great confluence of youth, toughness and talent.
I’m livin’ La Vida Loco of my sports fan life right now, one of my teams of rooting interest will be parading downtown tomorrow morning , right by my office and my favorite hockey team is not only leading the leading their conference but they are the toughest bunch of Rangers to skate the MSG ice and my beloved Celtics, who all the experts claim are too old to make a run not just relying on the Big 3 but on a deep bench that makes major contributions of late, especially the maturation of Avery Bradley and the rookie Boilermakers, JaJuan Johnson and E’Twan Moore (ok sorry about the Celtics tangent)
Maybe Terry Collins will use this Giants victory a physiological tool for his team, which the majority of those who follow baseball believe this coming season to be a train wreck. Collins should tell his team that the same Mets nay-sayers buried the Giants too and drive home the no one loves and respects us but ourselves. Then show them the Canyon of Heroes parade and the fact the champions eat and drink free in NYC.