Hot Damn...it actually happened. Even though it was what I wanted...I am still surprised that Eli and the Giants actually beat the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau to win the NFC.
So if you want the statistical recap of the game, go the ESPN.com because I am not going to spend a lot of time on that. I am going to recap what I saw while watching the game.
So first of all...it was really, really cold. I don't think that most people can imagine that kind of cold. I am only pointing this out because unless you have actually felt -4 with a windchill of -23 you cannot fully understand how truly impressive it is that both teams played as decently as they did. The cold conditions would have provided them with an understandable, though equally disappointing excuse for playing less than worthy of an NFC Championship game.
Next let me say that Plaxico Burress just became my favorite receiver in the league. On a day where all of the focus was placed on the New England offense...Burress dominated the entire day. I'm not sure if the stats support this next statement and I don't really care. Plaxico Burgress was the most shockingly amazing player of day...in either game without question. He was exciting to watch and made some Superbowl worthy plays.
Let me just say that though he redeemed himself in the end... damn Lawrence Tynes should count his lucky stars that he still has a job. See...I have no sympathy of anyone in speciality profession who doesn't deliver. I just don't understand how someone who has ONE job to do can blow it so terribly not once but twice. Nevertheless...he somehow managed to pull himself together and finally earned his paycheck so its all good. Though if he would have done his job in the first place, the game never would have gone into overtime. Oh well.
What can be said about Brett Favre? His performance was nothing special. It wasn't disappointing...but there is nothing really to write about. I like Brett...but I think I would like him even more as a commentator or even better as a coach. I will give him props because he handled the loss like a champ which I totally respect. Brett is a classy football player and for that reason I have nothing but love for him.
Now let's talk about Eli. I am really feeling bad for how much I have ragged on him over the past few seasons. Perhaps I was too caught up in the sheer magic that is Peyton. For the record, I still think that Peyton is the man and he is my favorite QB but Eli has certainly climbed his way up the ranks. Though I must admit that if Eli plays well in the Superbowl...he might take over as my #1 QB.
I have talked before about the fact that I feel badly for Eli. Talk about having huge shoes to fill. On the few occasions that I have paid attention to his playing...the pressure of being a Manning seemed as if it was going to destroy him and his career. Hell....there were a few moments in the regular season finale in which Eli looked like he wished that he had changed his last name to Smith become a lawyer. It was only been recently that he seems to have become comfortable being Eli Manning. He seems to see himself as more than just Archie's Youngest Son and Peyton's Baby Brother. Sadly, only he and his team seem to see this...as demonstrated today by the asshole (sorry Terry Bradshaw but in that moment you were an asshole.) who started his interview with Eli by saying that it looks like the other Manning was going to be playing in the Superbowl.
WTF Terry? Clearly you were speaking Eli vice Peyton but did you really have to rub it in? Here is a young quarterback who was a total underdog going into a game were he had to endure sub-freezing weather and finally earned a chance to play in the biggest game of the season and you refer to him as the other Manning? Eli handled it with total poise and class...I am guessing because he has spent his entire life being "The Other Manning" but my heart bled a little for him.
My heart also bled for him as the camera crews kept showing Archie up in the heated VIP box, hiding his head, refusing to watch in the big moments of the game. Fortunately I highly doubt that Eli could see that from the frozen field, but I doubt he would be surprised by it. How fucked up is that? I have been there...I have seen my father too afraid to watch me compete and it sucks. It shows that you don't have faith in the athlete that your child has worked hard to become. Its just not cool.
It might sound like I am an Eli fan out of pity...but that just isn't true. In spite of all of the things I just mentioned...the main reason that I like and respect Eli is because he is a fighter. He is tough....both physically and mentally. In all honestly...I still don't think that he and his team has a chance in hell of beating The Patriots....but you can bet that I will be cheering my little heart out for them anyway.
Speaking of the cheating poor sportsmen...I mean The Patriots...I will say but a few things about them. First...they played terribly today which was bittersweet. They won and they still looked like the best team in the league...and they played at about 40% of what they are capable of. So that sucks. I still do not see what the hype over Tom Brady is about but whatever. Hell...the only exciting part of that entire game was getting an unexpected text message that allowed me to engage in some brief mind wandering away from the game, which is significant considering that I was football obsessed from the time that the first whistle blew. Of course...my mind has been wandering off and on all weekend but it is nice to be able share it with someone who appreciates and isn't afraid of the wackiness that is my mind.
Finally...the best commercial of day deserves its own link. See...even though I am digging on Eli...I am loyal to Peyton. The man might not be in Superbowl...but he makes damn good commercials!