The late, famous comedian/actor Rodney Dangerfield coined a phrase "I don't get no respect". Well, some Giants, like center Shaun O'Hara, feel the same way.
After winning Super Bowl XLII, an ESPN.com Power Ranking has the Super Bowl Champions at No. 6.
Nonplussed, O'Hara is scratching his head. He responded by saying, "I don't study all the rankings, but I'm aware of what's going on," he said. "We were a week or two removed from the Super Bowl, and everyone starts predicting the Cowboys to win the NFC East. You almost have to laugh. You just won a Super Bowl, and it's like, 'Hey, what do we have to do to get that respect?'"
Prior to Super Bowl XLII, I can recall SI's Paul Zimmerman, NY Daily News' Gary Myers, and an unknown scribe, yours truly, were predicting a Giants victory over the "best" team ever. Even if one goes back to Super Bowl XXV (please check out a video of Super Bowl XXV on this blog), I remember WFAN's Chris "Mad Dog" Russo predicting a Bills rout. He exclaimed "Bills 42 and Giants 14".
After the Giants' victory, Giants DE Leonard Marshall appeared on Dog's now defunct show on now-defunct SportsChannel New York, waving a sign with Dog's prediction. Much to my delight, and I know the delight of others, Russo had to eat crow.
Getting back to the recent Power Rankings, I am glad the so called "experts" at ESPN have decided to slot the Giants at number six. My feelings about this are:
1. I think the Giants thrive as an underdog.
2. I do feel Dallas is the team to beat in the NFC East.
3. I still think some experts believe the Giants caught "lightning in a bottle".
If the Giants do not get certain breaks in any of their playoff games, perhaps the outcomes would have been different.
Unless Giants defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo figures out how to stop Dallas' potent offense, I think Dallas will continue to defeat the G-men. In all three matchups last year, Dallas outgained the Giants in every offensive category. Thankfully, as a Giant fan, I am glad the Giants were able to "stomp out" Dallas in their playoff game.
Frankly, because we are in a slow NFL news cycle, I think this poll was designed to be provocative. I think its intent was to get people roiled up, especially the Giants' players and fans. For the upcoming season, I think in order to assuage these critics, the Giants have to play consistent games throughout, and this includes Eli Manning.
I think they need to improve their pass defense and special teams coverage. Finally, I think they have to stay healthy. Last year, outside of injuries to Kiwinuka and Shockey, the Giants were very healthy.
Please check out: bloggingthegiants.blogspot.com and nygmennfl.blogspot.com.