Yesterday, Pete cited the article written by CHFF's KerryByrne for a good part of his reasoning in why the Super Bowl XLVI triumph was less than satisfying. Pete is one of 6 contributors to this NY Giants blog, and his opinions are based on a unique perspective that are going to be different with that of others. The comments received yesterday were predictable. Everyone has their own perspective, and the only difference here is that I have the luxury of offering mine as part of a post. Consider it part of the zen of understanding the Giants in 2011, that we can have two posts on two successive days, two different viewpoints, two Furmans (Pete is my cousin), two generations, a little bit of yin and yang.
Truths that I hold to be evident, the cold hard football facts for all Giants fans and NFL fans to acknowledge:
1) THE GIANTS ARE SUPER BOWL XLVI CHAMPIONS.
2) STATISTICS HELP US LEARN BUT THEY WILL NEVER EXPLAIN INTANGIBLES.
3) THE GIANTS GOT LUCKY. LUCK IS 20% OF FOOTBALL.
4) IT IS BETTER TO BE LUCKY AND GOOD THAN UNLUCKY AND GREAT.
5) COUGHLIN GETS ALL THE CREDIT FOR AFTERBURNER AND TWO SUPER BOWL TITLES.
6) THE GIANTS WERE THE BEST TEAM AT THE MOMENT IT MATTERED MOST.
7) FREE AGENCY MAKES THE PLAYOFF BYE WORTH A LOT LESS.
8) LINEBACKER STILL MATTERS PLENTY.
9) REESE HAS MADE MISTAKES, BUT THE COACHES AND PLAYERS GET EVEN MORE CREDIT FOR COVERING UP THOSE MISTAKES.
10) FREE AGENCY HAS MADE THE NFL A WEAKER PRODUCT BECAUSE THE REGULAR SEASON DOES MATTER LESS.
In 2008, as Giants fans, we did not feel that the best team won Super Bowl XLIII. That goes the same for Aaron Rodgers for Super Bowl XLVI. It is not very much more complicated than that. So I laughed when I heard that Rodgers was essentially biting his lip, unwilling to acknowledge that he or his team failed. Rodgers believes his team is rightfully better than the Giants. TFB. We on this site were just as apoplectic about the playoff loss to the Eagles. We all had our culprits- be it Eli in the wind, Plaxico's bullet, Gilbride not adjusting to Johnson's pressure... And I am sure that Rodgers has his- 7 drops, a defense that completely F'D up at the end of the first half, yada yada. Pete grew up in a world where the best team for an entire season was the Super Bowl Champion. Now, in 2012, the best team in the playoffs is the Super Bowl Champion, so you just have to get to the playoffs. That is the way the world works in 2012. The Giants were fortunate to have been 9-7, to have been outscored during the season, yet still manage to make the playoffs. It probably drives many Eagles and Cowboys fans crazy knowing how they too could have easily been in the playoffs, if for just one less mistake here or there. But that is exactly the way we as Giants fans felt in 2008, and even in 2010. You have to be handed some breaks, but then you have to have the courage to walk through the door. You have to have the courage to be great. The Giants have that courage. The Giants are Super Bowl Champions.
For me, the fact that this SB win seemed so unlikely just weeks before is part of what makes it so satisfying. It's fun, of course, to root for a team that dominates, but just as fun to experience the shock of the unexpected triumph.
I've paid my dues - Time after time - I've done my sentence - But committed no crime - And bad mistakes I've made a few I've had my share of sand kicked in my face - But I've come through. We are the champions - my friends And we'll keep on fighting - till the end - We are the champions - We are the champions No time for losers 'Cause we are the champions - of the world
Statistics can give you insight into why things should happen, but they can't predict what will happen in individual circumstances. The regular season in most professional sports has become somewhat less important. It seems that in the new era of football, getting an entry into the post season is all that really counts. The advantages of a superior regular season vs a good one are not that great. In baseball and hockey it equates into an extra home game in an odd number playoff series. In football since it is a one game elimination, the advantage is magnified. But then again, with PSL's and the change in the demographic of a home field playoff football crowd, that advantage is not as great. Perhaps Coughlin's real gift or strength comes down to his ability to get his players to perform well in pressure situations on the road! This is where both Giant SB teams excelled. It is also an area where few other coaches have had success. To build thetoughness necessary to go into another teams home stadium requires a certain discipline and it may simply be that the players can't or won't buy into that mindset until the games really matter. Maybe that is the nature of the typical NFL player in 2012?
@crazygiantsfan If "entry into the post season is all that really counts" then the regular season is very important as it's what gets you that entry :)
Andy, I agree that it's good to have different voices expressing different opinions, but Pete's posts come across as desperate and from a place of anger and resentment. There's no insight there. His posts are just sour grapes, and display a refusal to adapt and/or evolve based on current data (i.e. 2 Superbowl wins in 4 seasons). Isn't that what you constantly knock the Giants coaching staff for? A refusal to admit mistakes and promptly make moves to address those mistakes? I'm guessing it's probably a sensitive issue because Pete is your cousin, but in my opinion, and you can obviously take that or leave it, he does not add anything to the discourse. He's just using the blog as a way to vent his frustrations. And by sanctioning him to do that, you are, in effect, promoting it. It's hurting your product. As a reader of your blog, I want more posts from you (many more), less from everyone else, and none from Pete. Just one man's (blunt) opinion.
Whether it's Coughlin's culture or that Afterburner thing, down the stretch, the Giants were the mentally toughest team that played best under pressure and made the fewest mistakes.
Just to be clear, Byrne stated that the Giants were the worst regular season team to win the SB.
He never said they didn't deserve it or whatnot.
"Super Bowl XLVI triumph was less than satisfying"
This sentence says it all about Pete. If your not satisfied with a World title, then wtf ?
The SB in handed out after win or loss games that create unbelievale, sometimes magical moments. If you can't stand this, take a stat sheet after W17 and crown you own Furman Champ using whichever stat you see fit. We'll keeping enjoying what makes football great, its unpredictability.
"Just to be clear, Byrne stated that the Giants were the worst regular season team to win the SB."
Correct; important point. And also note that had the Patriots won, they would have been on many of those lists as well, certainly the defense-related ones.
I posted my thoughts on Pete's post in the comments over there. Finally, the same guy who wrote the CHFF article Pete is trying to use as proof that Coughlin sucks actually wrote another article right before the Super Bowl about how great a job Coughlin has ALWAYS done against long odds for decades.
Either way, the Giants are world champs, and I will go home and watch my championship bluray again tonight, while Eli polishes his trophies.