Archive for the ‘Super Bowl XLVI’ Category

INDIANAPOLIS — Guess what? The Giants won the Super Bowl. Some photos from the scene…

Dave Tollefson taking it in…

Good thing Jake Ballard doesn’t have to play again for a while…

The Giants on the podium…

Spike Lee made an appearance on the field…

Devin Thomas and his son…

And I believe that is also him on the podium…

And now for a few cool shots courtesy of real photographers at Getty Images, who I assumed were not using their smartphones…

INDIANAPOLIS — Rarely if ever do punters draw crowds in the locker room, but Giants punter Steve Weatherford played such a large role with this success burying the Patriots with his directional punting Sunday night that he was one of the most popular guys in the room as the team celebrated its victory.

Three of his four punts pinned New England inside the 10-yard line — a Super Bowl record. The fourth probably should have been, but the Giants did a poor job in an attempt to down it and it went for a touchback.

His first punt led directly to a New England safety when Tom Brady was forced into committing an intentional grounding penalty from his own end zone. Those two points changed the game. Take them away and the Giants are down four on that final drive, meaning New England wouldn’t have (allegedly) let them score.

Ultimately, the Patriots only managed five net points on drives that stemmed from Weatherford punts.

Eli Manning was a deserving MVP, but Weatherford was giving him a run for his money at certain points in this game.

Oh, and he also delivered a money quote after the game, saying that he’d “like to thank Mike Westhoff. I appreciate his decision (to cut me loose from the Jets).”

Two years ago in Miami, I followed Pierre Thomas around the dressing room after the Super Bowl to show the celebration from his perspective. I figured I’d do the same thing this time with Weatherford…

“I sure do appreciate you, brother,” is what Weatherford told Manning. Guessing that feeling is mutual.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Giants said all week that they didn’t want to talk about the past, and David Tyree’s catch and all of the eerie similarities between Super Bowl XLII and this one. But the comparisons were unavoidable.

And of course, the actual game ended up having a very similar feel to the one in which the Giants defeated the Pats in 2008.

In both cases, Eli Manning led New York on a game-winning drive in the final minutes, displaying pinpoint accuracy and grace under fire down the stretch.

In both cases, the Giants trailed heading into the fourth quarter.

In both cases, the game had less scoring than anticipated.

And in both cases, a borderline miraculous catch changed the game.

The man who made that catch in 2008 was Tyree, and it might have been hard for the Giants to completely move on from that moment with Tyree spending so much time around the team and media this week. He was of course in the dressing room after the victory, despite the fact that he’s not technically affiliated with the Giants anymore.

Here’s what he had to say…

INDIANAPOLIS — A throng of photographers were snapping away at Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen as they walked out of Lucas Oil Stadium after New England’s Super Bowl XLVI loss. I happened to be there, and so I became TMZ for a day. This video is quite useless, but because it involves Gisele, my familiarity with media leads me to believe that lots of people will still watch it. So I’d be crazy not to post it.

The heave wasn’t quite as desperate this time as it was four years ago, but the similarities were there.

Four years ago, Eli Manning was in the grasp of Patriots pass rushers as he scrambled, ducked, and dodged before finally heaving an ill-advised prayer to David Tyree. Then came the famous catch that rested on a helmet, followed by a championship-clinching touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress.

Mario Manningham didn’t need the aid of his head tonight. Instead he trusted his feet and hands, while Manning threw another remarkable pass through an incredibly tight window. The pass sailed 38 yards into Manningham’s hands, and it allowed the Giants to escape from the shadows of their own goalpost with less than four minutes remaining. It was the first completion of the game on a ball that traveled more than 20 yards through the air, and it was another magnificent, clutch throw from an elite quarterback.

Yes, Eli Manning is elite, and Manningham is Tyree circa 2012. A few hours ago we were discussing the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick tandem, and their ascent to becoming one of the best QB/head coach duos of all time if they won their fourth Super Bowl. Now after the Giants beat New England in spectacular fashion for the second time on the league’s biggest stage, that conversation needs to shift to another tandem.

Manning and Tom Coughlin are now just one Super Bowl victory behind Belichick and Brady. That’s not too bad for a coach who was on the hot seat in mid-November, a notion that’s now laughable.

There was nothing elite or remarkable about the Giants’ regular season. This is a team that had a promising 6-2 start, then over the next eight games then won only three times to finish 9-7, barely winning the NFC East after a Week 17 showdown with Dallas.

It was a two-faced existence. The Giants couldn’t handle a regular-season gauntlet between Weeks 10 and 14 that included losses to the Packers, Saints, Eagles, and 49ers (three playoff teams), which convinced us that they didn’t belong in the league’s top tier where the premier teams reside. At the time we thought they may still make the playoffs merely due to an uncharacteristically weak year for the NFC East, but they would be little more than post-season posers. Then when a 9-7 team was forced to play on Wild Card Weekend the other Giants emerged, outscoring the opposition 81-39 in the post-season prior to tonight.

Against the Patriots there was no dominance, just well-timed plays and execution. Manningham redeemed himself with his catch that essentially sealed the win after he left Manning little room on the sidelines earlier in the quarter, leading to a catch that went out of bounds, and a vital missed opportunity for key points.

At the time that misstep seemed crippling. In the end it was a misstep by a Patriot receiver and Wes Welker’s drop on a difficult but very make-able catch that will viewed as the game’s crucial mistake. A play that took place in the first quarter looms large too, as the intentional grounding call in the end zone that gave the Giants two points would have been the difference between New England needing a touchdown, or instead just pushing for a field goal on their final drive.

Inches, and two rare miscommunications played a massive role for the Patriots. Those same inches went the other way for New York thanks to Manning’s pinpoint accuracy, and Manningham’s nimble hands.

There was little finesse or brilliance for much of this game, but when they had to, a championship team orchestrated a championship play. That’s why Manning was the MVP, and Coughlin became one of only three active coaches with multiple Super Bowl rings.