Monday, February 4, 2008

Super Hugs and More - "Los Gigantes" Win Super Bowl XLII


Here's a shot of David Tyree's miraculous catch on the Giants' Super Bowl-winning drive. (Thanks to http://dougbakersnflblog.blogspot.com) for posting this photo)



Los Gigantes' QB and game MVP Eli Manning sips a celebratory Gatorade as his team wraps up an amazing 17-14 win over the previously undefeated New England Patriots (photo by dadlak from big screen TV at the Lifestyles Hacienda VIP Super Bowl Party in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic)


February 3 - Vamonos, Los Gigantes! - Welcome to my first-ever Super Bowl report from the Dominican Republic. The words "Super Bowl Party" have a much different meaning in the DR than in the US, where the football game is actually of some interest. Even though the party at VIP Beach here at the Lifestyles Hacienda in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic was filled with tourists from the US, Canada, and Europe, less than 20% of the people there seemed to have any interest in the game. It was a good thing too, as FOX Sports Espanol lost their feed just as the game started. They subbed soccer highlights for awhile and then went dark. About halfway through the first quarter the picture reappeared on the big screenTVs spread across the venue. There wasn´t much hostility expressed when the TVs went dark, or rejoicing when coverage resumed.

The "party" side of Super Bowl Party held off until halftime, but broke loose in full force then. As the TV showed 50-something Tom Petty rocking his way through ´70s classics (I would have loved to hear "American Girl"), Fernando (dressed in a NYG capand Manning #10 jersey for part of the show) and his salsa band filled the hall with salsa, reggae, "Shout" and "YMCA". The show carried over well into the second half, interference that was unnoticed at first given that the screens once again went dark--this time a Lifestyles Hacienda problem. This time we missed only about four minutes of play. With such a low scoring game (7-3 Patriots after three quarters) we didn´t miss much action, and no scoring. For the rest of the third quarter and into the fourth the music raged on, interrupted only by a massive fireworks display. A Dominican drummer, renown on three continents, followed Fernando. By then we´d moved away from the stage to a covered area (oh yeah, rain threatened our outdoor seating on and off through the evening). Finally the drummer took a break, one that mercifully extended through the end of the game--once again we could benefit fully from the Spanish-language commentary.

You know all about the fourth quarter and the outcome of the game, but I´ll describe my highlights anyway. We rooted fearlessly for "Los Gigantes"(quarterbacked by Eli Manning, a New Orleans boy coached in high school by my daughter´s current high school principal), even with the next table full of Patriots´fans. I was worried that the Giants fantastic defensive effort might go to waste, and slumped when Randy Moss caught the TD pass to put the Pats back on top late in the game. Still, I knew that Los Gigantes had both time and timeouts for a comeback. The 4th down play on which Manning avoided being sacked by three Patriot defenders and heaved the ball 35 yards downfield to reserve receiver David Tyree (I didn´t know his first name until I watched ESPN´s English-language highlights this morning.) who made perhaps the best football catch I´ve ever seen, at least in such a do-or-die situation, gave me for the first time a strong feeling that Los Gigantes would prevail. Manning´s rainbow pass to mouthy Plaxico Burress looked like a golden parachute in the air. I just knew that it would land safely in the arms of an open receiver. Still, 35 seconds, three NE timeouts and the great Tom Brady stood between Los Gigantes and victory. A second-down sack turned the situation desperate for the Pats, and even then they almost pulled it out. Brady´s 67-yard bombwas barely tipped off Moss´s fingers. A final fourth down heave wasn´t close and Los Gigantes had their win, even though they had to clear the celebration off the field and run one more "kneel down" play to run off the last 0:01 and close the deal.

Eli was a deserving MVP, but by any analysis it was a true team victory. The defense held the vaunted Pats' offense to 14 points, even fewer than Burress´s 17-point prediction that irked Brady. A relentless pass rush was the key factor, though the run defense held Pats' RB Lawrence Maroney to just 36 yards on 14 carries, well below the 120 yard games he produced in the Pats' previous playoff wins. On offense, top supporters were Tyree of course, with a TD reception (his first of the season) and the acrobatic fourth down catch, Amari Toomer, who demonstrated the most dependable hands and feet, Burress, who ran the game-winning pattern, RBs Ahmad Bradshaw, for timely running, and Brandon Jacobs, for a critical fourth-down plunge. The offensive line kept the Pats' DL and linebackers away from Manning, as did Bradshaw and Jacobs, who picked up several blitzers along the way.

We didn´t linger for the Spanish post-game analysis or renewal of the party. By midnight everyone was in bed and asleep. Vamonos, los Gigantes!!


February 1 - With less than 48 hours to go until the big game, we leave the US tomorrow at 6 a.m. for vacation in the Dominican Republic. I'm sure that the resort will have a TV tuned to FOX's coverage of the game. I'm not so sure about Internet access to be able to blog the game back to you (or to provide any more pregame or timely postgame analysis). Be strong. Rejoice with me if I can get connected. Hang in there until I get back on February 10.


Ominously or propitiously, I discovered a new website today--WikiAnswers. I've already answered about 20 questions--mostly about the Super Bowl and the Phillies. I already blog, Photoblog, Panaramio/Google Earth, Scrabble, and Amazon online. Do I need another outlet? Why not?


January 31 - Numbers Game (Super Bowl Quarterback Numbers) - One of my readers was searching for a list of all the Super Bowl QBs who wore #12. I'm sure this inquiry was inspired by Tom Brady's uniform number. Nowhere on the Internet could I find a list of Super Bowl QBs with uniform numbers. I decided to create one. The winning QB appears first. "12s" (by far the most often occurring number) are bolded. More observations follow.


I - Bart Starr 15; Len Dawson 16

II - Starr 15; Daryl Lamonica 3

III - Joe Namath 12; Earl Morrell 15

IV - Dawson 16; Joe Kapp 11

V- Johnny Unitas 19; Craig Morton 14

VI - Roger Staubach 12; Bob Griese 12

VII - Griese 12; Billy Kilmer 17

VIII - Griese 12; Fran Tarkenton 10

IX - Terry Bradshaw 12; Tarkenton 10

X- Bradshaw 12; Staubach 12

XI - Ken Stabler 12; Tarkenton 10

XII - Staubach 12; Morton 7

XIII - Bradshaw 12; Staubach 12

XIV - Bradshaw 12; Vince Ferragamo 15

XV - Jim Plunkett 16; Ron Jaworski 7

XVI - Joe Montana 16; Ken Anderson 14

XVII - Joe Theismann 7; David Woodley 16

XVIII - Plunkett 16; Theismann 7

XIX - Montana 16; Dan Marino 13

XX - Jim McMahon 9; Tony Eason 11

XXI - Phil Simms 11; John Elway 7

XXII - Doug Williams 17; Elway 7

XXIII - Montana 16; Boomer Esiason 7

XXIV - Montana 16; Elway 7

XXV - Jeff Hostetler 15; Jim Kelly 12

XXVI - Mark Rypien 11; Kelly 12

XXVII - Troy Aikman 8; Kelly 12

XXVIII - Aikman 8; Kelly 12

XXIX - Steve Young 8; Stan Humphries 12

XXX - Aikman 8; Neil O'Donnell 14

XXXI - Brett Favre 4; Drew Bledsoe 11

XXXII - Elway 7; Favre 4

XXXIII - Elway 7; Chris Chandler 12

XXXIV - Kurt Warner 13; Steve McNair 9

XXXV - Trent Dilfer 8; Kerry Collins 5

XXXVI - Tom Brady 12; Warner 13

XXXVII - Brad Johnson 14; Rich Gannon 12

XXXVIII - Brady 12; Jake Delhomme 17

XXXIX - Brady 12; Donovan McNabb 5

XL - Ben Rothlisberger 7; Matt Hasselbeck 8

XLI - Peyton Manning 18; Rex Grossman 8


A total of 53 quarterbacks populated the 82 available starting spots in the first 41 Super Bowls. With 10 players and 22 starts, #12 is by far the most popular number. Between Super Bowl VI and XIV, every game was won by a QB wearing #12. In three of these games, #12 was a sure thing as both starting QBs wore that number. Early wins by #12s included Joe Namath's predicted upset of the Colts in III, four wins by the Steelers and Terry Bradshaw, 2-1 Super Bowl records by both Bob Griese and Roger Staubach, and a lone win by Tuscaloosa's other #12, Ken Stabler. After Bradshaw's fourth win in XIV, #12 didn't win again for 22 years when in XXXVI, young Tom Brady led the New England Patriots to an upset win over the St. Louis Rams. In between, #12s suffered six losses--four in consecutive years by the Buffalo Bills and Jim Kelly and one each in blowout fashion by San Diego's Stan Humphries and Atlanta's Chris Chandler. With three wins in the last six Super Bowls, Brady has turned things around for #12, interrupted only by another dismal performance by the Raiders' Rich Gannon in XXXVII. The overall record for #12 - 12 wins and 10 losses in 22 appearances by ten quarterbacks.

Not surprisingly, the second most successful QB number has been 16, worn by Joe Montana in four wins and by Jim Plunkett in two other wins. Len Dawson got the other win for #16 in Super Bowl IV. The overall record for #16 is 7-2 in nine appearances by four QBs.

At 4-7, with two more appearances than #16, but three fewer wins is #7, most famously worn in five games by the Denver Broncos' John Elway. He was 2-3. The other #7s--Craig Morton, Ron Jaworski, Joe Theismann, Boomer Esiason and Ben Rothlisberger combined to go 2-4.

Every number between 3 and 19 is represented, except for 6, which I'm having trouble finding any NFL quarterback who wore. (Bubby Brister and Marc Wilson wore #6. Warren Moon was the most accomplished #1. Aaron Brooks leads a weak and short list of #2's.)

Troy Aikman's three wins lead #8 to a 5-2 record. Steve Young and Dilfer authored the other wins. Losing 8's were Matt Hasselback and Rex Grossman in the last two Super Bowls.

Numbers 18 and 19 have just one representative each, but what a pair--Peyton Manning and Johnny Unitas.

V had the highest combined number (Unitas 19 plus Morton 14 = 33). XXXII had the lowest (Elway 7 plus Favre 4 = 11).

Eli Manning has some tough history to overcome. His #10 is 0-3 with all three losses suffered by Fran Tarkenton as QB of the Vikings. Tarkenton also quarterbacked the Giants. I'll stop here before this item turns into a harbinger of a Giants' loss.



Here's hoping that Giants' WR Plaxico Burress puts his game hands to work in support of his pregame mouth in Super Bowl "The Answer" XLII (photo by Sabo/NY Daily News)


January 31 - More, Part 7 - If Oral Inflammation Occurs, Please Discontinue Use of Plaxico

I'm having trouble coming up with today's omen that the Giants will upset the Patriots in Super Bowl XLII ("The Answer"). In fact, things would look and sound better if Giants' WR Plaxico Burress had his tongue embedded in Lucite before remarking that 1) the Giants' receivers were better than the Pats' receivers, and 2) that the Giants would win the game 23-17. In response , Pats' QB Tom Brady was puzzled that Burress predicted only 17 points for the high-scoring (almost 37 points per game in the regular season) Patriots' offense. I don't remember how the Baltimore Colts of 1969 reacted to Jets' QB Joe Namath's guarantee of victory, but certainly it was not by embarassing the 17-point underdogs on the field on Super Sunday. Maybe the combination of another New York loudmouth and a big favorite is an omen of a similar result?


January 30 - More, Part 6 - Hubris, Anyone?

Fox Sports reports that government officials are concerned about a Patriots victory parade on Tuesday interfering with voting in the Super Tuesday presidential primaries. The mayor of Boston claims that Tuesday is the only possible date for a parade. The Massachusetts Secretary of State warns that "the election must take precedence." Such forward-looking hubris just has to improve the Giants' chances for an upset, although I doubt that Bill Belechick is too concerned about this issue, unless his players read the report.


January 29 - More, Part 5 - The Power of Plaxico

I mentioned earlier how the unusual name of Giants' WR Plaxico Burress sounded like a pharmaceutical company, or Plaxico like a drug itself (perhaps for a yet-to-be-discovered ailment called FFS (fumbling finger syndrome)). Well, if Burress' mother wanted to give her son a unique name, she succeeded. I googled "Plaxico". Every reference but one was for either Plaxico Burress or jazz artist Lonnie Plaxico, with the Giants' wide receiver getting the large majority of the hits. The one outlier was for the German company Grafico Plaxico, which features "custom Lucite embedments", including Gifts from the Holy Land. This special item consists of a tiny vial of "Holy Water from the River Jordan" encased in a block of Lucite. That's gotta be a good sign for the Giants--their player's name in synch with water from the Holy Land.





January 28 - More, Part 4 - Desert Air, Giant Dreams?

Hoping that Dr. Z's prediction and Brady's ankle are enough, but still searching for other harbingers of a Giants' win in Super Bowl XLII (I'm not sure if this helps, but (CAUTION: SPOILER FOLLOWS) "42" was the ultimate answer to the question of the universe in Douglas Adams' "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy".), I thought of the unexpected outcomes of the last two "big games" played in University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, AZ. The homestanding Arizona Cardinals haven't been able to generate much magic in their new space-age home, but in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, little Boise State upset mighty Oklahoma 47-45 on a series of late-game trick plays in one of the best college bowl games ever played. In this year's Fiesta Bowl, West Virginia, stung both by a last-game loss to Pitt that kept them out of the BCS National Championship Game (the "Uberbowl") and the subsequent departure of their long-term head coach Rich Rodriguez for the University of Michigan top job, entered the game as a 10-point underdog and left with a dominating 48-28 victory that was one of the best performances of the 2007-8 college bowl season. Maybe there's something about that desert air that brings good luck to heavy underdogs. Let's hope so.



January 26 - More, Part 3 - All Brady All the Time

ESPN showed a certain level of desperation this week with a segment playing off Tom Brady's last name and the old TV series The Brady Bunch. One of the episodes included a scene where a thrown football hits big sister Marcia in the face. The big mystery was "who threw the pass." They interviewed the adults who played the Bradys as children. ESPN football analyst Sean Salisbury analyzed. Fortunately for me, I watched this segment on a TV with the sound off in a restaurant, but I thought chillingly, "if this is a first week pre-game segment, what will they be showing next week?"

In fact, Tom Brady has been the big story this week. He appeared Monday wearing an orthopedic boot. The boot was gone on Tuesday, but it seems (no one from the Patriots will say for sure) that Brady hasn't practiced all week (maybe not a huge story since the Patriots had Monday thru Wednesday off). The report (or maybe conjecture) is that Brady has a mild high ankle sprain, but will be ready for the game. (If he played in Denver would it be a "mile high ankle sprain"?)

Louisiana-Connected Side Note - The son of Indian-born parents, Louisiana's new governor Bobby Jindal was born as Piyush Jindal, but as a child nicknamed himself "Bobby" after Bobby Brady from The Brady Bunch. He kept the name as an adult. The change has served him well in his political career.



January 25 - More, Part 2 - Louisiana Connections



Three more players on the Patriots roster are from Louisiana, via hometown, LSU or both. At least two get regular playing time - DL Jarvis Green, a 6th year lineman from Thibodaux, LA and CB Randall Gay, a 4th year defensive back from Baton Rouge. Gay intercepted three passes this year and made 36 tackles. Both played college ball at LSU under Nick Saban. Third year linebacker Eric Alexander from LSU is also on the Patriots' roster, but got limited playing time this year (only four tackles). RB Kevin Faulk from LSU and Lafayette, LA is in his 9th year with the Patriots. Used mostly as a third down back, in his career Faulk has rushed for more than 2,600 yards and caught 323 passes, scoring 11 touchdowns each way. Faulk was former LSU coach Gerry DiNardo's first high-profile recruit.


January 24 - Hug Update

A Google Images search of "football hugs" returned 98,600 hits (61,900 for "Super Bowl hugs"). Surprisingly, a Yahoo Images search of "football hugs" found only 360 (and just 43 for "Super Bowl hugs"). The Google search doesn't stop at Super Bowl hugs. It picks up all "Super Bowl" images, of which there are of course a lot.



For the moms in the audience, here's Colts' OL Ryan Diem getting hugged by his family at Super Bowl XLI last year. Diem looks too friendly to be an offensive lineman, but at 6'6" and 320 lb, he's made for the part.



It's not a Super Hug, but for Tiger fans I include this hug between coach Les Miles and DT Glenn Dorsey happened at this year's Tulane-LSU game rather than a Super Bowl. Maybe Dorsey will play in a Super Bowl soon (or maybe not if he gets drafted by the Dolphins).



Gay readers apparently enjoy this shot of Colts backup QB Jeff Shogi hugging kicker Adam Vinatieri during Super Bowl XLI media day. (from outsports.com)


Winning Colts coach Tony Dungy give losing Bears coach Lovey Smith a consolation hug after Super Bowl XLI



Dungy gives Colts QB Peyton Manning the hug he waited his whole professional career to receive.



January 22 - More, Part I - Connections

The Pats opened as 13.5 to 14 point favorites. Which Super Bowl teams have been favored by the same or more points? How did they do? I know one answer--the Baltimore Colts were big favorites over the AFL New York Jets in Super Bowl III. Jets' QB Joe Namath guaranteed victory and delivered the history-making upset--a win that probably set in motion the process that would merge the NFL and AFL.

Answers - Green Bay was favored by 17 over Kansas City in Super Bowl I, a game they won by 35-10. In Super Bowl III the Colts were also a 17-point favorite over the Jets, but they lost the game. San Francisco was a recordsetting 18-point favorite over San Diego in Super Bowl XXIX. They rewarded their backers with a 49-26 win. Brett Favre-led Green Bay was a 14-point favorite against New England in Super Bowl XXXI. At 35-21 Packers, the game was a push. The supposedly invincible St. Louis Rams were 14-point favorites over the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXVI. The Patriots pulled off a 20-17 upset. Overall, favorites are 21-17 with 3 pushes. Super Bowl XXII produced the winner by the largest net margin, as the 3-point underdog Washington Redskins, led by Louisiana's Doug Williams, obliterated the Denver Broncos 42-10. In their Super Bowl run of the 2000s, the Patriots have won three of three (vs. St. Louis, Carolina and Philadelphia), but not covered the spread as a favorite.

The line on Super Bowl XLII has been bet down to about 12 points, perhaps because of the Giants' strong playoff play, and perhaps because of Tom Brady's appearances wearing an orthopedic boot. Or perhaps it's because Sports Illustrated's respected football writer Paul Zimmerman picked the Giants to win outright in this recent column.

Super Bowl XLII is a rematch of the last game of the regular season between the Pats and Giants in New York. The Giants played bravely, but lost 38-35. With the win, the Patriots completed an unprecented 16-0 regular season, only the second perfect regular season in NFL history (the 1972 Miami Dolphins had the other at 14-0; ironically the Dolphins finished with the NFL's worst record at 1-15 this year). Can the Giants muster the same kind of effort and pull off the win this time?

The Pats/Giants regular season finale was televised on three networks--NBC, CBS and the NFL Network. It was initially set for only the NFL Network, but because of the game's historical impact and the fact that NFL Network is carried by less than half of cable TV companies, the NFL allowed a triple cast of the game on the other networks. The result was a record-setting regular season audience for a Saturday NFL game (I watched it back-and-forth with a now forgotten college bowl game during my "Bowling for Dollars" phase).

New England vs. New York (although they play in New Jersey) is yet another Boston vs. New York game--a matchup we saw too often during the baseball season. Given that the teams don't play often, there's not much of a rivalry between the fans. The Giants have much stronger rivalries with the Eagles and Redskins, while the Patriots have battled the Bills, Jets and Dolphins for years in the AFC East.

Manning and Brady got most of the attention in the championship game wins, but great performances were turned in by less celebrated players--11 catches for 154 yards by Giants' receiver Plaxico Burress (whose whole name works well as a pharmaceutical company; by itself Plaxico would have to cure something); 9 catches, many of the circus variety by Patriots' running back Kevin Faulk; 120+ yards rushing by other Patriots' RB Lawrence Maroney (his fourth 100 yard game in the last five); a comeback-ending interception by Patriots' DB Asante Samuel; and tough overtime running by Giants' rookie RB Ahmad Bradshaw, a 7th round draft pick, who played only a few games in the regular season.

Gathered around the goat pen, but staying outside were Tynes, of course, whose game-winning kick atoned for two previous misses in the minds of some, Giants DB Corey Webster, who atoned for getting burned by Donald Driver's 90-yard TD catch by picking off Favre's errant pass on the second play of overtime, and DB R.W. McQuarters who fumbled while returning an interception--a fumble that popped right into the waiting arms of Packers' lineman Steve Tauscher.

A probably incomplete list of Super Bowl people with Louisiana connections includes Faulk, who starred on Gerry DiNardo's teams at LSU in the late 1990s, Giants RB Brandon Jacobs, a high school star in Napoleonville, LA before going onto Southern Illinois University and the NFL, Webster, a former LSU cornerback, Giants' QB Eli Manning, who grew up and played high school ball at Newman in New Orleans, and FOX analyst Terry Bradshaw, a Louisiana native who starred at Louisiana Tech before going on to a Hall of Fame NFL career (four Super Bowl rings) and popularity as a football analyst and TV personality.

New England scored a record 589 points and gave up only 274 in the regular season--a difference of 315, another record, and an average victory margin of more than 19 points. The Giants scored 373 and gave up 351, a difference of 22, or just over one point per game. This comparison has a lot to do with the two-touchdown point spread. A comparison of playoff games is a little less daunting for the Giants. The Pats have scored 52 and given up 32 in two playoff games, an average margin of 10 points. The Giants have scored 68 and given up 51 in three playoff games for an average margin of almost six points. Advantage Patriots, but not as dramatically.

Foxsports.com fans think a lot more of the Patriots, ranking them #2 (#2?) and the Giants #26. I have no idea how these rankings are determined, but it doesn't say much for the voters.


Lastly for today, I'll share some personal background on my relationship with these two teams. Growing up in central New York state, I was a Giants' fan for most of my youth, rooting for Y.A. Tittle (who looks about 65, but was actually in his late 30s when this picture was taken), Joe Morrison, Sam Huff and Del Shofner, among others. The Giants rewarded me with three consecutive NFL Championship Game losses from 1961 to 1963 (Packers 37-0 (ouch!), Packers 16-7, Bears 14-10). The other choice in Syracuse was to root for the Cleveland Browns and RB Jimmy Brown, who starred at Syracuse University in the '50s. When that Giants' team broke up, we cheered for the generally inept efforts of the Fran Tarkenton-led Giants, after he came over from the Vikings. This team bottomed out in a history-making 72-41 loss to the Washington Redskins sometime in the late '60s. When my family moved to the Philadelphia area, I gravitated easily from being a Giants fan to following the Iggles, as they're known in the Delaware Valley (and who were equally inept until Dick Vermeil came along to coach). My other weaker connection to the Giants comes from days working in South Carolina where I worked and played softball with a guy who was Harry Carson's roommate in college. I rooted for Parcell's Giants when they beat Denver 39-20 in the Super Bowl played in San Diego.

My connection to the Patriots is almost nil. I rooted for them as a heavy underdog when they got annihilated by the dancing Bears in 1986. I rooted hard against them when the Brady-led team played Donovan McNabb and the Eagles a couple years ago. I don't remember getting too worked up in either direction about their other Super Bowls. This year, I'm going loud and strong for the Giants--getting back to my roots and cheering for Louisiana's Eli.


January 20 - Super Hug


Will somebody please hug this man? Giants placekicker Lawrence Tynes looks for someone to hug after kicking a 37-yard field goal to send his team into Super Bowl XLII. (David Phillips/AP)

Watch Tynes' Game-Winning Kick and Holder Feagles and QB Manning's Celebratory Hug


My mother complained about all the death posts (Notable and Traffic), so I'll start a Super Bowl post and try to find some unused angle to the most analyzed sports event in America. How about hugs?

Once again, two weeks of buildup await after the New England Patriots 21-12 win over the San Diego Chargers in the AFC Championship Game and the New York Giants 23-20 overtime win over the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship Game.

The Patriots win was a case of touchdowns beating field goals, as the Pats scored three TDs while the Chargers, playing with surgically-repaired QB Phillip Rivers and without injured tailback LaDanian Tomlinson, managed an inadequate four field goals. League MVP Tom Brady of the Patriots had a relatively poor game, throwing three interceptions, but the Chargers didn't have the offensive firepower to take advantage.

In frigid Green Bay (wind chill -24 F by the end), the Giants and Packers played a surprisingly competent game, decided in overtime when Giants kicker Lawrence Tynes made a 47-yard field goal, after missing two late game attempts, including a 37-yarder at the end of regulation time. We watched the replay several times trying to figure out who hugged Tynes after his game-winning kick. Giants' QB Eli Manning raced onto the field to hug holder Jeff Feagles. I'm pretty sure that Giants' coach Tom Coughlin couldn't bring himself to hug Tynes after yelling at him after the first miss and shunning him after the second.

Sympathy hugs were in order on the Green Bay sideline, especially for future Hall of Fame QB Brett Favre, for whom the NFC Championship Game was expected to be a step on the road to a possible last-hurrah in Super Bowl XLII. Favre threw two touchdown passes during regulation, including a 90-yard strike to WR Donald Driver that was the longest TD pass in Packer playoff history, but on the second play of overtime threw a critical interception that led to the Giants' game-winning field goal. Once again, Favre has to decide whether to return for another season, one that would be his 18th in the NFL.

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Doug Baker said...

Nice blog. That last drive by the Giants was nothing short of a miracle. It just wasn't meant to be for the Patriots.

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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