When I was a cashier and gave correct change to a customer, I did not Tebow. I did not start pounding my chest. Usually, even if I made a really good sale I did not do these things because all I was doing was my job. Sometimes I might do something special after the day was over, but not at the time because my “game” or work day was not over.
Having watched the New York Giants (NYG) win the Super Bowl last night, I feel cheated as a football fan. Throughout the game, the several Giants acted as if the routine plays that yielded little to nothing was something to celebrate. Scoring a touchdown. Sacking the quarterback. Making a big stop. Those are worthy for quick non-distracting celebrations.
It is no secret that I am not a NYG fan. Especially Eli Manning. But at least Manning plays the game with out excessive celebration. Mario Manningham, the real MVP of the game in my opinion, made outstanding catches time after time (yet even after the catch that was a difficult catch but no Tyree style one) gave the ball to the referee and ran back to the huddle. Hakeem Nicks did similar. Victor Cruz? Not so much. The Giants defense celebrated more when they were ineffective than when they actually did well.
This is the NYG M.O. Despite being one of the most talented teams in the NFL for the past six or seven years, they have a tendency to underachieve in a way that it is understandable why New Yorkers both love and hate them. Then at the last possible point to underachieve they start playing at the level they have always been capable and start winning. Their response? “No one believed in us.” In 2007, they were picked by many to win the NFC in the preseason until Michael Strahan started playing the retirement game. Even beating the undefeated Patriots was not nearly the upset it was made out to be to those who paid attention to football. And how did this team who only improved at almost every position except linebacker do for the next four years? They had a one and done and three consecutive seasons of not even sniffing the playoffs. This despite them being predicted to win their division all four of those years.
This year was the first year since the 2005 season they were not expected to win the division. Why? Because the Eagles created a “Dream Team” that still almost won the division at 8-8. Aside from that, the Giants were considered the best of the NFC East. Despite having several weeks to clinch the division, they wait until the very last week to do it… despite losing to a bad Redskins just two weeks before.
Once in the playoffs, they have been the choice to win every game. Vegas might have said differently, but it was pretty overwhelming how much the Giants were favored in the court of public opinion. Only the 49ers were considered to be a more balanced team, but the Giants were favored. This makes the “no one believed in us” hold very little weight, if any. They haven’t been underdogs since at least October of 2011.
Other than the celebrations and chatter, the NYG were very deserving Super Bowl Champions. They defeated the three best teams in the playoffs and did so convincingly. Unfortunately, this has also produced another issue for me: bandwagon fans. I understand why people don’t like Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the Patriots. But I have found there are more Giants/Eli Manning fans this year than in 2007. Living in Steelers territory, I understand the sentiment of, “I don’t care that the Giants won, but I’m glad the Patriots lost.” That is a much more honest opinion than the way some have supposedly been Giants fans for years. Last year they were Packers fans. Two weeks ago they were Tebo… er Broncos fans. About 8 years ago they were Patriots fans.
Congrats to the New York Giants. You were the better team and your win was legitimate. But can you wait until after the game to celebrate next time?