It’s Super Bowl Weekend! While Giants fans don’t have a dog in this fight, there are a couple of people to cheer for which may get you leaning to one team or the other.
Kansas City Chiefs Defensive Coordinator, Steve Spagnola, returns to the Big Game this year. I see a lot of similarities to how the Chiefs’ defense has come together in the second half of the season. Maybe they can avoid getting down early this weekend.
Good luck Coach Spags!! For the Pat Shurmur followers out there, his son, Kyle Shurmur, is a backup QB for the Chiefs. Kyle’s #4 on the depth chart. So, I doubt he’s suiting up.
Some of you may also remember Weston Richburg, a second-round draft pick by Jerry Reese back in 2014. Richburg joined the 49ers back in 2018 as a free agent OL/C. Unfortunately, he’s on injured reserve and won’t play. Well, take your pick. Me? I’m rooting for a close game that keeps us entertained…and Spags.
OK, back to that perfect Super Birthday. Let’s step back 12 years…
February 3, 2008: Super Bowl XLII–New York Football Giants vs. New England Patriots
We’ve been seeing the special plays and highlights all over the internet these last two weeks as the NY and NFL Football world celebrated Eli’s retirement. We also found out that Giants’ fans will get to celebrate the retirement of two uniform numbers (#92 and #10) in the Giants’ 2020 season.
Eli Manning and Michael Strahan are linked as Giants legends. Both players were major factors in helping the G-Men pull off the upset in Super Bowl XLII. Turns out, it was Michael Strahan’s last game. It also was Eli Manning’s first taste of improbable comebacks on the ultimate football stage.
And it turned out to be Steve Spagnola’s finest three hours of coaching in his first season as Tom Coughlin’s Defensive Coordinator. Our Giants overcame tremendous underdog status in taking down a Patriots team many viewed as the best ever.
The Patriots were an offensive juggernaut in the 2007 season, with Tom Brady throwing 50 touchdown passes and Randy Moss catching 23 of them. [Dare I mention this was also the “Spygate” season too…oops!] The Patriots were 18-0, one more win than the 1972 Miami Dolphins undefeated team.
They had already won a close, high-scoring (Pats 38 – Giants 35) game against the Giants in the last game of the regular season. They marched through the playoffs. The rumor was the Pats had already been working on a season recap entitled, “19-0 Our Perfect Season”.
Meanwhile, the Giants finished 10-6 in 2007, losing both regular-season games to the Cowboys, and getting into the playoffs as a Wild Card team. But, they were road warriors in the post-season…first Tampa, then Dallas, then the frozen tundra of Green Bay. Each week, our hope built upon the last win.
Defense Wins Championships
Wait…what! The 2007 New York Giants? The same team that gave up 80 points in the first two games of the season? The team that gave up 38 points to the Patriots in the last week of the regular season? This Giants defense finished ranked 17th in the NFL. They came together nicely in the second half of the season.
Well, whatever cliché’ you want to use…”on any given Sunday”, “one play at a time”, the Giants Super Bowl defensive game plan was brilliant. And this is my favorite memory of that game…the defense was awesome! The pressure on Brady came from everywhere on every play for the entire game. There was hope! Maybe “we” can win this game. It’s a tight game for three quarters. But the defense was getting to Brady, rattling him.
Eli Being Eli
The Giants take their second lead of the game as Eli connects with David Tyree on a TD early in the 4th Quarter. But, then Brady connects with Moss one more time for a TD with 2:42 left on the clock. Then comes Eli’s escape which leads to Tyree’s “Helmet Catch”. We’re going wild with crazy anticipation…what an unbelievable play!! Then exploding in a roar of happiness and high fives as Plaxico Burress brings in the final TD pass.
Perfection and 19-0 Denied!!
I posted a picture of my favorite shirt on Twitter last week. My son Mike gave it to me. 12 years later, it’s a little more worn, but still, my favorite shirt to wear around my next-door neighbor who is a Pats fan. Here it is again.
The Giants were 12 point underdogs. They became the first NFC Wild Card team to win a Super Bowl. They also set a record of 11 wins away from home that year. And the Miami Dolphins of 1972 toasted with champagne again as the only undefeated team in NFL History.
February 3rd is my oldest daughter, Jacqueline’s birthday.
Next to me, Jacqueline is the most avid Giants fan in our family. Since the Super Bowl moved into February, the big game has been played four times on her birthday. The New England Patriots have played in three of those four games. They’ve won two of those three. But the one they didn’t win was the Super gift my Giants gave my daughter on February 3, 2008. Happy Super Birthday JC! Thanks again, Giants!
What’s Your Favorite Memory of Super Bowl XLII?
Every Giants fan has his/her favorite memories of Super Bowl XLII. This game 12 years ago had us jumping and screaming at our TVs, hugging those watching with us, leaning forward as the drama built.
Best birthday gift ever!
Featured Image: NFL.com