Big Lead Sports Bar


It's All Up to This Man

That's right...America's hopes of ruining the Patriots' perfect season rest with Eli Manning, subject of one of the very first truly huge drunk-athlete internet photos.

I'm as surprised as anyone to see Eli in the Super Bowl, but since the rule is that at least one Manning must play in the Big Game each year, I guess he'll do. Archie is too busy playing Jessica Simpson to Eli's Tony Romo, and as for Peyton, he's probably well into his offseason regimen of filming next year's rotation of commercials. Plus, there's that one black sheep Manning brother who wasn't a #1 overall pick, but I think he's been disowned by the family.

So the Giants make their first Super Bowl appearance since that awful game in 2000 that no one wanted to watch. Trent Dilfer, Kerry Collins, Qadry Ismail, Ike Hilliard...those offenses making the Super Bowl set the sport back a decade. That game was so bad, it was upstaged by the Britney Spears/Aerosmith halftime collaboration, for crying out loud.

Other storylines? Well, expect a 5,000-word essay from Bill Simmons on The Ewing Factor striking with Tiki Barber. For non-Simmons readers, The Ewing Factor is basically a phenomenon that occurs when a major star moves on and his team finally gets over a long-standing hump.

In addition to The Ewing Factor, other storylines and various things to expect leading up to the game:

--The traditional New York-New England animosity, made famous by a certain performance-enhancing sport that starts up in a few months.

--The "We've got to get _______(in this case, Michael Strahan) a ring" line, made famous in the past by John Elway and Jerome Bettis.

--The "Giants almost beat them in week 17" believers. I'm guessing Skip Bayless will fall into this camp.

--The amazing story of Tom Coughlin. The man's teams have quit and not quit on him so many times, I forget if they're quitting or trying from week-to-week. Plus, he's the only NFL coach to win a championship game while simutaneously suffering frostbite on his face.

--Two weeks of Chris Berman saying "Boney Maroney".

--The Giants winning one for Wellington Mara, their deceased Hall of Fame owner and contemporary of Dan Rooney.

--The sad tale of Jeremy Shockey being unable to play because of a broken fibula. Hopefully that won't slow down his legendary partying.

--Endless stories about 18-0, 19-0, and the 1972 Dolphins. Probably an interview or 10 with Mercury Morris. And more "wow, really?" analysis on the Patriots from my favorite talking head, Mark Schlereth. After the AFC Championship on Sunday, Schlereth and Merril Hoge were having a contest to see who could entertain me more. Schlereth won with this gem in describing the Patriots: "Tom Brady is surrounded by great talent and great coaching."

After three Super Bowls and a perfect regular season, I never noticed.

--A number of "What happened to Randy Moss?" discussions. Two playoff games, two catches, 32 yards, 0 TD.

--A reunion of former Steelers Plaxico Burress, Anthony Wright, Mike Vrabel and Chad "Wolverine" Scott. Actually, no one will be talking about that.

--Some copycat TV station pulling a publicity stunt a la the station that yanked Seinfeld on Saturday night.

--A thorough re-hashing of Spygate and how the Patriots turned their cheating into a motivational tool.

--"Are the Patriots the greatest dynasty ever?" conversations. That's not going to go over well in this city.

So since most of us despise the Pats, let's all run out and buy our Eli jerseys tomorrow. History is in his hands, for better or for worse, and I'm willing to be a Giants fan for one day.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Yes, go GMen. I might have to keep picking them, they've made me seem smart so far.