Super Bowl XLII: Even Giants Fans Didn't See It Coming

Paul SalmanSenior Analyst IFebruary 7, 2008

I am not a Patriots fan. I am not a Giants fan. It does not really matter who my team is for this purpose.

I am, however, a New Yorker and am happy that it was New York that beat Boston.

However, I must be honest and say it would be nice to see the Patriots beat the Giants so I would not have to deal with unrealistic Giants fans.

Walking around the streets of New York is cool this week. There is a buzz in the air and its very obvious that people are walking with more confidence. People feel great to beat Boston, and end perfection. Giants fans have every right to feel this way. It was an historic upset. 

Giants fans, however, do not have the right to be unrealistic in their comments. During my commute I hear a lot of conversations about the game and sometimes its very hard to bite my tongue.

Example number one: Yesterday, I heard a guy say, "Eli got away from the pass rush and made one of the best plays in Super Bowl history, what's the problem with Tom Brady, he suddenly can't get away from a pass rush?! I thought he was the best quarterback?" 

I dropped my book on the bus to listen to this delirious Giants fan go on about this. I wanted to step in and make some points but felt it was more fun to let his insanity continue.

Does he really think Eli is better than Tom Brady? Is he even comparing the two quarterbacks? What this fan SHOULD do is credit his team's pass rush for shutting down the most prolific offense in history. Instead he is saying if Tom Brady was all that we say he is, he should have done better.

Let's compare stats: Eli was 19 for 34, with 255 yards, one interception, two touchdowns and a passer rating of 87.3. Tom Brady who had a "horrible game" and was faced with that pass rush all night was 29 of 48 (better comp. percentage than Eli), for 266 yards (more yards) and one touchdown, (no interceptions).

Also, just like Eli, Tom led his team down the field in the fourth quarter for what would have been the game-winning drive if his defense was able to stop the Giants. All in all, Tom Brady played a superb game given the situation. Compare his numbers to Romo and Favre who faced the same pass rush. They definitely did not fair nearly as well as Tom Brady. Wait, why am I even comparing these two quarterbacks? Ugh, this guy on the bus is making me fall into his trap. Allow me to move on.

Example number two: "We knew you had this in you Eli." 

REALLY?!?! REALLY?!?! You all knew? How did Giants fans all know this, and leave all of us other fans in the dark. Wait, didn't you Giants fans leave that Minnesota game early because all Eli could do was throw to the guys in the purple helmet instead of the blue? Wasn't it just six weeks ago that the Giants beat the Bills in Buffalo once the weather got bad and they were FORCED to run. And wasn't it that game that Eli had four turnovers, and Giants fans were saying we win IN SPITE of Eli? 

Of course you will all say that Eli has had a historic five-week run. Which he did. It pains me to say it but he was great this last month, and I did not see this coming. However, it makes me sick when I hear the same Giants fans ready to run this guy out of town after week 16 saying they knew he had this in him.

Let's be fair and say no one, even the most diehard Giants fan saw this coming. Let's say we were all wrong and credit Eli for a great run, rather than crediting yourself for "knowing."

Example number three: "Oh yea, Tom Coughlin better get that extension."

REALLY!?!? REALLY?!?! What extension is that? I recall fans being so mad last year that he even got one more year. I recall fans saying that he will stay one year and then the Giants will lure Bill Parcells back to the Meadowlands. 

Tom Coughlin did change his style and did a great job this year.

However, why must you Giants fans act like you knew Tom had this in him? Let's not give ourselves too much credit, no one saw this in Tom Coughlin either. He has had a long run in the NFL, and this year was not his usual style of coaching. He DID do a great job this year and deserves an extension, but not because Giants fans told you so.

Giants fans should be excited because again, this was historic. However, there is no shame in admitting that even THEY did not see this coming. Every NFL fan has been in shock by this all week. Be thankful for what happened, and hope that this same team can stay in tact, players and staff, and try for a repeat next year.

Credit your team for making it work, not yourself for "knowing all along," because you didn't.

Oh, and while you're at it, remember who the best quarterback in the league is, and he is not on your team. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.