Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
If someone targetted Jacquian Williams' head before Kyle Williams' fumble, would he have been able to play in the Super Bowl??
Every team has its class acts as well as a few brash, out-spoken, unethical dolts.
As far as the New York Giants go, I for one was rooting harder than I ever have for a team other than the Packers when the Giants took down the Goliath to end the Patriots' undefeated season in their last Super Bowl matchup.
This year, I'm all for a highly-competitive game and wish both teams well. I admire both the Giants and Patriots' ability to develop very talented rosters and consistently find ways to win through challenges.
That said, let's take a look at a few recent examples that cast a shadow over an otherwise excellent elderstatesman franchise of NFL history—The New York Football Giants (not to be confused with their Ping Pong Giants squad).
Flopping like a fish out of water
When this year's Giants faced the mighty St. Louis Rams (I kid you not), they must have thought they were facing a time-travel version of the "Greatest Show on Turf."
Why do I make this accusation?
Because they had to fake injuries to stop the Rams no-huddle offense. As if that's not bad enough, the Deon Grant and Jacquian Williams fake injuries took place in THE FIRST QUARTER of a 7-3 ballgame with both players seen standing up after the play only to have a mysterious wormhole sweep out their legs from under them.
If you're not sure whether to laugh or scream at this monstrosity, you're not alone.
Why should a team that prides itself on defense and creating pressure, have to stoop this low when they do in fact have a great front seven? What example does this set for the pop warner kids at home? Defensive Coordinator Perry Fewell's face says it all in this clip.
At least they were honest
With yesterday's story of Jacquian Williams (coincidence?) and Devin Thomas battling in the press to overtake Suh's "Dirtiest Player" award from him (via the Huffington Post), the Giants look a little less like David and more like a maniacal, conniving version of Goliath this year.
It's one thing to play hard, but its entirely another to seek out brain damage of your opponent, no matter what the era.
Stating, "The thing is, we knew he had four concussions, so that was our biggest thing, was to take him outta the game," Williams crossed any and all lines in both the rules and basic ethics of competition (via the Huffington Post).
Players of NFL caliber athleticism and skill sets can create fumbles without striving to achieve the brain's smashing against it's own skull outright.
In defense of the Giants, Micheal Boley provided an example of what a true leader, class-act and diplomat of the NFL should say:
In our meetings, we do not talk about it. Concussions are a big deal and we don't talk about it at all. We are a fraternity of brothers across the league, linebacker Michael Boley said.
You don't think about someone's past injuries or what was wrong with them. Obviously if something is wrong with them, they would not be on the field.
Many other players share these bonds of playing hard and playing fair, either as college and high school teammates and even as past and current rivals. A good example: Amidst great division-rivalry battles, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Chicago's Jay Cutler remain friends due to Cutler's Vanderbilt roots helping Rodgers' brother lead Vanderbilt this year.
With 75 former players, including several Hall of Famers, filing a lawsuit against the NFL for the consequences of head injuries suffered during their careers, Williams' statements are nothing to scoff at (via Fox Sports).