As many of you know, I am a huge Giants fan. Obviously, this means I am incredibly pumped about their victory in Super Bowl XLVI. I have many thoughts I would like to share about this tremendous season. However, in the interest of today’s ADD world I will break up these musings into multiple
brief posts so that this won’t be one massive thesis paper. Nobody likes thesis papers. Now let’s reflect on the entire season, and get some things off my chest, shall we?.
Let me get something out of the way up front. I HATE bandwagon fans. I have zero respect for people who only begin rooting for a team once it starts winning. This is hardly uncommon- I think it’s a generally held conception that people should pick a team and stick by it through good times and bad- so this shouldn’t be something that’s too surprising.
Another thing that bothers me, though, is when a diehard fan of a team is constantly critical and just downright negative towards their team. This seems to only apply to my fellow fans of the teams that I am a fan of (if that makes sense). Many people seem to think this isn’t a bad thing- a lot of people feel it’s actually a good thing when fans see their team through an objective lens and are able to criticize when its appropriate- and I agree with this assessment. To a point. I’m generally willing to point out when a Giants player makes a mistake. More often than not, though, I’ll end up giving them the benefit of the doubt and hoping for the best next time. Not only do I usually find myself in the minority with this mindset, but the majority of fellow Giants fans I know are nothing BUT critical about the team. They expect them to fuck up before anything even goes wrong. I definitely seem to be in the minority when I say that all this negativity royally pisses me off.
This brings me to the point of this post. Up until pretty recently, Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin seemed to be considered among the worst quarterback/head coach combos in football. My coworker and friend, “RB”- a self-proclaimed “diehard Giants fan (who sees the team ‘like a GM,’ both critically and objectively)”- adamantly argued that he would rather have Donovan McNabb instead of Eli as his quarterback
He said that during the early part of this past season.
This notion has been incredibly common amongst Giants fans during the past few years (the Giants apparently also won Super Bowl XLII because of the defense and in spite of Eli). The same has also been said about Coughlin. “Bring in Cowher!” said everyone. Yes, Bill Cowher, who coached the Steelers from 1992-2007 and won exactly one Super Bowl. Give me a fucking break.
All of this negativity has infuriated me for as long as it’s been going on. Yes, Eli threw 25 interceptions a year ago. But do these Giants fans actually watch the fucking games? If his receivers didn’t continuously bat balls up in the air and run completely wrong routes, then at least 12 of those picks do not happen. This isn’t an excuse, it’s a simple fact. You know who threw 22 interceptions in 2010? Drew Brees.
And yeah, Tom Coughin AND Jerry Reese should have been fired after 2010. Absolutely. The Giants went 10-6 and missed the playoffs. Inexcusable. What a HORRIBLE regular season. There’s no excuse for going only 10-6.
Now, I’m not a huge fan of the phrase “I told you so.” And it especially sucks saying it in hindsight when you don’t exactly have definitive proof that you’re being truthful about you foresight. But fuck it, I’m going to say it anyway. Another one of my pet peeves is fabricating the truth and exaggerating things to make yourself seem better. I can’t say I’ve never done it, and I can only say that I always genuinely try to avoid doing it. In this case, I swear to God I am being completely truthful. Hell, if you know me personally you probably know that I’m not making any of the following statements up.
- I never once complained about Jerry Reese’s moves in the offseason. I did hate seeing to see Steve Smith go (especially to the Eagles), but it was hard to tell what would happen with his knee. Turns out the Giants were 100% right in what they did.
- For what it’s worth, I did NOT see Victor Cruz coming at all. Sure he had that one great preseason game against the Jets, but it was the preseason and I wrote it off as meaningless. I figured since he was still on the team this year that he would be a role player who hardly played, and that he would be out of the league in one-two years max. I’m so happy I was wrong on that one.
- Kevin Boss got too much money from the Raiders, and I agreed that there was nothing the Giants could do there. I was worried about the tight end position, but again, in Jerry we trust. Jake Ballard was solid for most of the year.
- I noted multiple times that prior to the 2007 season, everyone similarly freaked out because the Giants did next to nothing in free agency. Strahan had an ugly holdout (not unlike Osi’s prior to this past year), and the fans were bitching incessantly before the season even began. Why couldn’t we just wait and see how things played out once the games began?
- At my fantasy football draft in August I continuously (drunkenly) went on and on about how the Eagles would not live up to the hype at all. Their offensive line wasn’t great, Vick would get hurt, and they had awful linebackers who wouldn’t be able to stop the run.
- Were the Giants struggling at times this season? Yes absolutely. Were they severely hampered by injuries for more than the first half of the year? Yes. Do all teams suffer injuries? Of course. So generally, people don’t “allow” injuries as an excuse. However, like
all most other teams, the Giants focus on certain areas of their roster that they use as a “gameplan” of sorts for how they plan on winning games. Obviously, the Giants have one of the best defensive lines in football. They use their line to get pressure on the opposing quarterback WITHOUT having to use other defenders to blitz often. This makes it much easier for the rest of the defense to shut down the opposition. When Umenyioura and Tuck both aren’t playing (or are playing at far less than 100%) it causes a ripple effect that hurts the whole team. The Giants can’t properly play “their game” when they’re missing these players.
- Fortunately, Eli Manning truly is an elite quarterback (and he has been for a couple of years now), and the Giants prolific offense was able to steamroll some of the weaker teams early on in their schedule (so they won games despite their weakened defense). Unfortunately, the offense also experienced some serious injuries. Receivers and running backs were in and out of the lineup, and their thin offensive line also had players in and out of the lineup. When that infamous stretch of impossible games rolled around midway through the year, the Giants were NOT healthy.
- I also was pretty depressed after Terrell Thomas tore his ACL in the preseason. I said it at the time that I thought he was the team’s second best defensive player last year behind Justin Tuck. I am a big fan of both Corey Webster and Aaron Ross, though. Webster might very well be one of the top five cornerbacks in the league over the past few seasons. And Aaron Ross was one of those players that could do nothing right in the eyes of Giants fans. Yes, he made a couple of bad plays at times this year, but overall I thought he had a very good season. Again, Giants fans are generally fucking retarded.
- Losing Jonathan Goff hurt as well because he was going to be their “quarterback” on defense, but I’m still not sold that he’s anything more than an average linebacker.
- I won hundreds of dollars taking the Giants money line against the Patriots (-9) in Week 9. I was extremely confident they would win that game.
- I went to the Sunday night game against the Eagles. That was a fucking terrible loss. I blame the offensive line for that game. None of the three runningbacks could gain an inch, and Eli seemingly had someone in his face less than a second after every snap. The one thing I take away from that game is telling a douchebag Philly fan that “at least we’ll still be in the playoffs this year.”
- I am actually a big fan of both Brandon Jacobs and Antrel Rolle. They’re both loud and pretty dumb, but I think they’re just two guys who wear their hearts on their sleeves and who really want to win and play well. As far as I can tell, they’re both good teammates and they are talented players. They put a target on their back for constantly-negative Giants fans when they continuously open their mouths, and as a result their play gets more heavily criticized. But as a big fan of good trollin’, I appreciate the fact that they are two of the best at trolling the opposition in the entire league. Also, Brandon Jacobs can’t take criticism for shit. I think he’s an extremely sensitive and slightly immature dude.
- I thought the offensive line was actually better this year when Kevin Boothe played center and the NFL Rookie Combine record holder for most 225lb bench press reps, Mitch Petrus, started at left guard. I was not impressed with David Baas this year.
- How awesome are both Steve Weatherford and Chase Blackburn? There isn’t anything I can say about either of them that hasn’t been said already.
- It will never cease to amaze me that the Eagles TRADED UP to get AHEAD of the Giants in the first round of the 2010 draft to select defensive end Brandon Graham. They didn’t just pass on Jason Pierre-Paul. They made it a POINT of passing on him. The idea of him playing for the Eagles is insanely scary. He’s an absolute stud and could have easily won Defensive Player of the Year this year.
- I was terrified of the Giants traveling to New Orleans in the playoffs. I thought they would have zero percent chance of winning.
- I never once lost money when I bet on the Giants this year. In fact I finished in the black every single week I put money down this NFL season. #notsohumblebrag
- Eli Manning is probably my favorite athlete. I believe he is a genuinely nice, personable guy whom I would love to have a beer with. He’s purposely boring around the media. In my opinion he’s as talented as Derek Jeter is at deflecting tough questions, giving vanilla statements and never causing a stir. Apparently, though, Eli is one of the biggest pranksters on the team. You know he has the respect of his teammates, and he has got to truly be the most unflappable quarterback in the entire league. Giants fans are SPOILED to have a quarterback this good, and he’ll be here for his entire career.
Alright, enough of the bullet points. I know this is incredibly long and drawn out, and I’ve probably lost every last person who actually tried to read this thing by now, but I simply don’t care. I am absolutely in love with this team, and I want to say my piece without cutting out a single thought. I’ve been a huge fan of both Eli and Coughlin since 2004, and I’ve defended both of them constantly and consistently ever since. It’s one thing to have to argue with Jets fans, Cowboys fans, Eagles fans, etc. But the thing is, it seems that more often than not I have to defend the two of them- and sometimes the entire team as a whole- against actual Giants fans.
And now I’m celebrating this team’s second Super Bowl win in five years alongside all of these same people, and it’s fucking irritating. I know it might seem like I’m making too big a deal out of this, but I just can’t help it. For whatever reason, my mind is programmed to get pissed at this. I hate the fact that some of these “fans” are SO happy with this team all of a sudden. NOW Eli is elite. NOW Couglin is a good coach. I have argued with these morons for years! In my mind, these fans might very well be worse than the bandwagon fans I mentioned at the beginning of this post.
Why do I always feel like I’m the only one who sees this?