GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

Commemorating our team, the greatest season ever and ourselves. By Irv Brechner

“Without you, there would be no New York Giants world championship right now.”
Michael Strahan, February 5, 2008 Speaking to the Fans

THIS ELECTRONIC BOOK IS FREE…PASS IT ALONG TO YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS AND COLLEAGUES AND GIANTS FANS AROUND THE WORLD!

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

INSPIRATION
As I sat there after the last 34 seconds expired and four last-gasp plays were stopped, drenched with sweat, hoarse from screaming and delirious at what we just had witnessed, I knew the sequel to “Those Super Giants Fans” published in 1986 was begging to be written. With this astounding and unfathomable playoff run, chances are we will never witness anything like this ever again. With tickets ranging from $700 (face) to five thousand and up, I doubt you will find one Giants fan who would not agree with “it was worth every penny.” And for those of us who went to Tampa, Dallas and/or Green Bay, we’ve personally witnessed our share of classic, nail-biting and joyous games that have ever been played. For this we thank: • The Management – Wellington and Bob for laying the foundation, their kids for carrying on this great tradition, George for getting it started decades ago, Ernie and Jerry for building this team in the current era. The Coaches – Tom (for fighting through adversity), Kevin (for adjusting to the players) and Steve (for transforming our defense and for staying with us) and all the others, for everything it took craft this storybook tale, turning one of the youngest teams in the NFL into the best, pretty much overnight. The Players – Michael, Amani, Jeff and every single other player, for sticking it out, for making it all happen on the field, for your resiliency and never giving up, no matter what anyone said at any point in the season. Pick any superlative you want, and it won’t do justice. Treasure these past 6 games forever, relive the roller coaster ride that was this season, tell your kids and grand-kids about it, and reward yourself for being die-hard fans that have been given the greatest Super Bowl upset every (sorry Jets fans, this was better). Perhaps the biggest inspiration to the team was Lt. Col. Greg Gadson, the Iraq war hero who lost both legs, who inspired the Giants in talking with them before the week #3 game, again as an honorary co-captain for the title game, and at SB42 as well.

The author and his wife Nadine bask in the joy of the greatest playoff run and Super Bowl upset ever.

Pinkus/AP

Squire/Getty

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

THIS ABOUT THIS BOOK’S TITLE
In thinking about the season, the playoff run, the Super Bowl, the players, the coaches and us as diehard fans, and what to include in this book, it became obvious there were three major ingredients that made this a season to remember. Guts (the Giants players in the pre-Super Bowl video called it “resiliency”), Glory (there was certainly plenty to go around), and Giants Fans (because it’s time to toast ourselves for everything we do to follow and support our team!).

GUTS
No single player epitomizes guts like Plaxico Burress. He played through pain the entire year on a bum ankle. Without him, our season wouldn’t have turned out this way. And after hurting his knee in the shower just prior to SB42, he played anyway. But Plax isn’t the only one to exhibit guts. Eli’s great escape to throw the pass to Tyree. The entire team’s “gutting it out” in frigid Green Bay. Coach Coughlin’s mental toughness to overcome all the criticism he’s absorbed in this and prior years. The defense, for overcoming 80 points and 2 losses to start the season. Ernie Accorsi for pulling the trigger to get Eli, and Jerry Reese for his perfect “class of 2007” and other personnel moves.

Getty Images

GLORY
I don’t know about you, but there was enough glory in this season to pretty much last for a long, long time. Whether it’s bragging rights with your buddies or memorabilia to add to your Giants shrines, this year’s bumper crop of glory probably will never be topped, unless we go 19-0!

Simmons/News

GIANTS FANS
It is hard work being a Giants fan. All the yelling and screaming. And the money, both for home and away games. And the roller coaster rides from past years. But from where I sit, being a Giants fan in this incredible season was worth every drop of sweat, every hoarse throat and every palpitating moment.

Left: the Giants side at SB42.

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

REMEMBER LAKE PLACID?

Wikipedia

Reuters

Sitting in the stands at the UFO-like University of Phoenix stadium in Arizona about an hour before the start of SB42, a feeling came over me, the exact same one that I felt on February 22, 1980, as the young USA ice hockey team was about to take the ice and face the big bad red machine from Russia. As I thought about that “Miracle on Ice,” some 28 years ago, I couldn’t help thinking that today would bring a “Miracle on Grass.” The similarities were striking: • The USA ice hockey team was a bunch of college kids with virtually no experience playing against the Russians, who were more like pros than amateurs, older, faster, more experienced. Likewise, this Giants team, the 3rd youngest in the NFL, started out about as green as you can get, but wound up just like their brethren in Lake Placid: winners by defeating the best teams in the world – Tampa, Dallas, Green Bay and New England. The colors of the Olympic team, of course, were red, white and blue. Our players were dressed in the same colors. At times, the hockey game looked bleak, and with 2:39 remaining, down 14-10 and 83 yards to go, it didn’t look to good either. But as there was in 1980, in 2008 there was hope.

• •

If you saw that game or the movie “Miracle on Ice” you surely remember the most famous line uttered by Al Michaels. If he was broadcasting SB42, he surely would have said: “Giants fans, do you believe in miracles? YES!!!” The stunned faces of the defeated Russians looked identical to the vacant stares of the depressed Patriots. The sheer joy of the young Olympic champions that became men overnight was just like the young Giants who matured dramatically over the last 6 weeks. And about 28 years from now, I’ll remember, and I’m sure you will too, exactly where I was and exactly what happened, just as I remember 2/22/80 as if it was yesterday. G-men forever!

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

PRECAMP & PRE-SEASON
Training camp and preseason came with a long list of question marks, all of which had to be addressed before we could even think of anything more than a winning season. Everything was pretty much up in the air; distractions were everywhere. Such as: • • • • • • • • • • • • Was this Coughlin’s last year? How could we replace Tiki and his production? How would Tiki’s new role as broadcaster affect the team and coaches? Would Eli continue to be an inconsistent QB? How would our defense adjust to new coordinator Spagnuolo? How would our offense work with coordinator Gilbride in his first full season? We let Luke go! How would Diehl work out taking his spot? Could GM Reese fill Accorsi’s shoes? Would Strahan retire? How far could this very young team go? Would any of these draft picks stick? Would the game in London be a distraction that could throw the team out of kilter?

Well, we all know the answers now, don’t we. The questions have stopped. Coughlin, Gilbride and Spags are here to stay. The once green and young team are now champions and still young. And give Mr. Thomas Richard Coughlin all the credit in the world. From the camp and preseason theme “Talk is Cheap. Play the Game” to the complete orchestration of the run to SB42 and the winning of it, everything is in place for more of the same for years to come. Can’t wait until kickoff 2008!

Talk is cheap. Play the game.

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

REGULAR SEASON
GAMES 1-8
September 9th, about 11:30pm. We lost at Dallas and gave up 45 points. Eli played well, we scored 35, but we just couldn’t stop them. Not unexpected and Green Bay is up next. They’re not nearly as good as the Cowboys, right? September 16th. Well, the Pack is a lot better than I thought. And they lit us up for 35. Yeah, Favre is the grand old master, but their team is so young, like ours, right? Do I dare say it, is our season rapidly heading down the tubes? September 23rd, halftime. Another 17 points scored against us. That’s 97 in 2 ½ games. We’re in deep doo dah. But wait, do I sense something happening as we score 21 unanswered and hold off a last minute drive? Could this be a glimmer of some light at the end of the tunnel? Do we have a guardian angel in Lt. Col. Greg Gadson starting to watch over (and inspire) us? Games 4 to 8. Yikes – we rip off 5 wins in a row and now have 6 straight, including that monstrous 12 sack effort against Philly. And the potential distraction in London doesn’t materialize either. Even though we’ll not win another home game, things are slowly turning around. But Dallas is seemingly too far ahead of us to catch, so are we already contemplating playing for a wild card spot? Afraid so.

GAMES 9-14
As luck would have it, we draw the Cowboys at home after our bye week. Are we ever going to rid ourselves of the bye week jinx? Does it matter? So this stretch begins a real roller coaster ride, where we lose one, win one, lose one, win two and lose one, to set up a must win to make the playoffs in Buffalo. Nice wins on the road (hey are we good on the road or what!) against Detroit, Chicago and Philly, sandwiched between ugly losses to Dallas, Minnesota and Washington. Are we going in the right direction or shooting ourselves in the feet? Well, our backs are now clearly against the wall. We have to beat the Bills next week just to get into the playoffs, and the road is uphill from there. Dallas and Green Bay look unbeatable, and the Bucs, despite weak competition, boast that great D. But who is thinking beyond the Bills….certainly not me!

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

REGULAR SEASON
GAME 15: BUFFALO
This is it! The biggest must-win of the season, and before I could sit down we’re down 14 zip. We’re being shredded by the Bills. What the ?!@#$ is going on here. Then the snow squall hits, and I say to myself, “snow for our warm weather QB, that’s all we need.” But somehow, Eli starts growing up right before our eyes. Kawika Mitchell picks off a pass and scores. And then, we’re amazed as little used (but we all knew he was special) Ahamd Bradshaw rips off an 88 yarder, with Giant sized snowflakes the only things touching him as he took it to the house. So we run away with a must win, and the Gatorade shower provides the finishing touch. We’re in the playoffs! But just barely.

Highlights:
http://www.nfl.com/videos?categoryId=highlights&seasonId=2007&periodDecode=Week %2016&campaign=ec_VH

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

REGULAR SEASON
GAME 16: NEW ENGLAND
The talk all week leading up to this historic showdown was if both sides would play their starters, and risk injury heading into the playoffs. The Pats were playing for a perfect season record and the Giants were playing the role of spoilers. For a while, it looked like the Giants would put an end to the Pats unbeaten streak. Brandon Jacobs’ running wild, another TD catch for Plax and Dominik Hixon (Dominic who?) emerging as a real return threat, we took a big lead but couldn’t hold it. Everyone called it a great moral victory, and in the end, it proved to be a great training exercise for SB42. Kudos to Coach Coughlin for going all out to win.

Highlights:
http://www.nfl.com/videos?categoryId=highlights&seasonId=2007&periodDecode=Week %2016&campaign=ec_VH

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

TAMPA
Well, here we are in sunny and warm Tampa facing (supposedly) one of the best defenses in the NFL. And while we spot the Bucs to an early lead (guided by our nemesis Jeff Garcia), our secondary starts to emerge as a force and the Eli-Amani connection takes over. Corey “I wonder if that was a good draft choice” Webster recovers a fumble and picks off a key Garcia pass, while fellow DB RW McQuarters makes an acrobatic pick and stays in bound. Best part about this one was all the Bucs fans left early, and as we walked out of the stadium, it was a sea of blue and “Here we go Giants” echoed throughout. A good start, and we’re starting to think that we can make some noise in these playoffs. Just how much noise remains to be seen. We’re happy to get out of the first round!

Highlights:
http://www.nfl.com/videos?categoryId=highlights&seasonId=2007&periodDecode=Week %2016&campaign=ec_VH

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

DALLAS
We’re here in Dallas, the All-Pros vs. the Average Joes. Game faces on. Just the way we want it. Eli and Amani connect for two TDs, Kevin Boss makes a huge catch on the miracle drive just before the half, and RW for the second straight week comes up big, picking off Tony “I should have never gone to Cabo” Romo to seal the win. If it all ended here, it would have been sweet. But all of a sudden, only one team, no longer three, stand in the way to SB42. We’re going to the frozen tundra!

Highlights:
http://www.nfl.com/videos?categoryId=highlights&seasonId=2007&periodDecode=Week %2016&campaign=ec_VH

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

BAY: GREEN BAY: THE HYPE

Ed Murawinski/NY Daily News

The buildup to the NFC Championship game at Lambeau centered on three main themes: the Giants incredible road record, the weather at Lambeau, and Eli vs. Brett in a matchup for the ages. One man in the NJ area didn’t stop believing and made up a bunch of cute T’s. It was going to be frigid, and it was. But the Giants prepared well, down to the lining in their helmets, their own rented heated benches, and in the end, the cold bothered them more than us. But as we’ll all recall, it another nail-biter, one that turned out the right way!

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

GREEN BAY: THE GAME

You could not have asked for a more exciting game, a better script or a happier ending. Yes, it was cold, like zero with -20’s wind chill. But that didn’t stop circus catches by Plax and Amani, hard running by Brandon and Ahmad, tough-nosed play by Antonio Pierce and the rest of the D, and the clutch OT pick by Webster. And though it took three tries, time stood still for all of us when Tynes made the third FG in OT, and shock of all shocks, the Giants are in the Super Bowl. Giants fans everywhere rejoiced. Phoenix here we come and watch out New England! And Eli is “the last Manning standing!”

Highlights:
http://www.nfl.com/videos?categoryId=hig hlights&seasonId=2007&periodDecode=W eek%2016&campaign=ec_VH

“Cross my heart and bless my soul, the Giants are going to the Super Bowl. They beat the ‘Boys and they beat the Pack, so who can deny that the Giants are back?” (eGiants)

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

42: ARRIVAL/PRESB 42: ARRIVAL/PRE-GAME

Chuck Bennett/Newsday

Donald Mirdle/Getty Images

They arrived, dressed in black, as if for a funeral. They ran out on the biggest stage in sports, all but three of them there for the first time. They came to play. They came to win. We came to scream our lungs out. Everyone went home happy.

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

PROPHETIC

It’s hard to see, but 90% of USA Today’s staffers picked the Patriots, which is pretty much in line with the sporting world. Congrats to Tom Weir, the only USA Staffer to correctly pick the Giants and Eli as MVP.

And the winner for best prediction is…Plaxico Burress:

23-17 Giants
Elsa/Getty Images Donald Miralle/Getty Images

And a week earlier SI’s Dr. Z picked the Giants to win it all! Go to SI.com if you’d like to buy “We’re only going to score cover reprints! 17 points?” (Brady,

reacting to Plax’s score) Plax was being generous!

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

GAME, THE GAME, THE PLAY
As we walked into the University of Phoenix stadium and found our way to our seats, I couldn’t stop humming the theme song from “Miracle on Ice.” And as I contemplated this biggest game and what it took to get there, I recalled the words of one of the US Olympian ice hockey players, uttered in the locker room prior to the third period: “I sure would love to go out in a blaze of glory.” And that’s exactly how I felt. Having counted down the days, hours and minutes to this game seconds after we beat Green Bay, it was time. And we were ready. My wife, me, our family and friends texting us from back east, and about a zillion other Giants fans worldwide. It was time. All you need to remember is all those times pretty boy was sacked, harried, hit…and “the play” – the astounding, incredible, unfathomable and “we’ll never see a play like that again” pass from Eli to seldom used WR David Tyree, who went from catching a few balls all year, to catching a TD and making the greatest Super Bowl catch of all time. And as the final 35 seconds ticked down, with our hearts pounding away, it was finally done. Just go to NFL.com and watch it happen over and over again. It reminds me of two classic pass plays in Giants history: Phil Simms to Bobby Johnson, 4th and 17, in 1986 regular season game vs. Minnesota; and Jeff Hostetler to Mark Ingram, 3rd and 13, in the Super Bowl against the Bills, where he eluded 5 tacklers on the way to a critical first down. The most improbable run to glory ever finished with the men in blue winning it all. No sleep that night. Bought every paper in sight for weeks. Do you believe in miracles? Yes!

Lyons/Getty

Theodorakis/News

The Catch: Instant Replay
http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/giants/galleries/tyrees_great_catch/tyrees_g reat_catch.html

Highlights:
http://www.nfl.com/videos?categoryId=highlights&seasonId=2007&periodDecode=Week %2016&campaign=ec_VH

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

HEADLINES
REGULAR SEASON Cowboys 45, Giants 35 • EXTRA PAINFUL DEFEAT (NJ Star-Ledger) Packers 35, Giants 13 • WOE-AND-TWO (NJ Star-Ledger) Giants 24, Redskins 17 • A CAPITAL ‘W’ (NJ Star-Ledger) • GIANTS’ ‘D’ LOUD AND PROUD, BIG BLUE’S LAST STAND NETS 1ST WIN (NY Daily News) Giants 16, Eagles 3 • GIANTS SACK IT TO EAGLES (NJ Star-Ledger) • GIANTS TIE MARK AND STIFLE EAGLES WITH 12 SACKS (NY Times) • GIANTS SACK THEIR WAY TO SECOND STRAIGHT AS UMENYIORA ACCOUNTS FOR A RECORD SIX (eGiants) Giants 35, Jets 24 • GIANTS’ RALLY PAST JETS TURNS JEERS TO CHEERS (NJ Star-Ledger) • HOBBLED BURRESS NEEDS ONLY ONE ANKLE TO CARRY GIANTS (NY Times) Giants 31, Falcons 10 • GIANTS ON THE MARCH (NJ Star-Ledger) • GIANTS COAST TO THEIR FOURTH STRAIGHT VICTORY (NY Times) Giants 33, 49ers 15 • UNSTOPPABLE (NJ Star-Ledger) • GIANTS MAUL 49ERS WITH DEFENSE AS UMENYIORA CASHES IN A QUINELLA (eGiants)

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS
Giants 13, Dolphins 10 • ALL DRIZZLE, NO SIZZLE (NJ Star-Ledger) Cowboys 31, Giants 20 • GIANTS SADDLE UP BUT DON’T MEASURE UP (NY Times) Giants 16, Lions 10 • DEFENSE CARRIES GIANTS OVER LIONS (NY Times) Vikings 41, Giants 17 • IT’S A LATE TURKEY DAY (NJ Star-Ledger) Giants 21, Bears 16 • MANNING’S TURNAROUND LIFTS GIANTS (NY Times) • TWIST AND SHOUT (NJ Star-Ledger) Giants 16, Eagles 13 • UPRIGHT & STANDING (NJ Star-Ledger) • ANOTHER UGLY WIN, BUT LOOKS DON’T MATTER (NY Times) Redskins 22, Giants 10 • WASHINGTON PREVENTS GIANTS FROM CLINCHING PLAYOFF BERTH (AOL) Giants 38, Bills 21 • RUNNING WILD (NJ Star-Ledger) New England 38, Giants 35 • NO REGRETS FROM COUGHLIN (NY Times)

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS
THE PLAYOFFS Sunday, 1/6 – Giants 24, Bucs 14 Pre-Game • DIFFERENT DIRECTIONS: GIANTS, BUCS HAVE TAKEN OPPOSITE APPROACHES TO MATCHUP (NJ Star-Ledger) Post-Game • BAY CITY ROLLERS, BRING ON THE ‘BOYS, ELI’S GIANT STEP (NJ Star-Ledger) • FROM MANNING TO DIEHL TO WEBSTER, THE GIANTS WERE BY FAR THE TOP TEAM (eGiants)

Sunday, 1/13 – Giants 21, Cowboys 17 Pre-Game • CALL IT CANNED HEAT – GIANTS DEFENSE POWERED A SURGE (NJ Star-Ledger) Post-Game • DID “FAKE” SIMPSON DERAIL DALLAS? (ABC News) • TEXAS ROUNDUP, TEARFUL T.O. TURNS TERRIBLY OVEREMOTIONAL AFTER LOSS, DANCING IN DALLAS (NJ Star-Ledger) • GIANTS WINNING ROAD SHOW ROLLS BY COWBOYS, COWBOYS LICK WOUNDS AS GREAT SEASON COMES TO BAD END (USA Today) • THEY’RE HISTORY, A SOARING SEASON CRASHES TO EARTH (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram) • SHOW’S OVER: PROMISING SEASON GOES UP IN A GIANT PUFF OF SMOKE, A PAINFUL DEFEAT FOR JONES, COWBOYS NEEDED ALL-PRO ROMO BUT GOT AVERAGE JOE INSTEAD, ROMO SHOULD GET AWAY AGAIN (Dallas Morning News)

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS
Sunday, 1/20 – Giants 23, Packers 20 Pre-Game • • • • • MANN vs. The Man (NY Daily News) ELI: SQUEEZE TO BRAVE FREEZE (NY Post) WIN-CHILL FACTOR: ROCKIN’ ROAD SHOW REAY TO ROLL TO WISCONSIN (NY Post) YOU GOTTA BRRR-LIEVE! , WHACK THE PACK (NY Post) THE FIRE OF STRAHAN – GIANTS STAR STILL BURNS BRIGHTEST, SHATTERING HIS IMAGE – KINDER AND GENTLER COUGHLIN IS GETTING MORE OUT OF HIS PLAYERS (NJ Star-Ledger) • NEW YORK GIANTS, WELCOME TO LAMBEAU (Bleacher Report) – cute story backfired on them: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/6558-NFL-New_York_Giants-Green_Bay_PackersNew_York_Giants_Welcome_to_Lambeau_

Post-Game SIMPLY SUPE-BRRRR! , THIRD TYNES A CHARM (NJ Star-Ledger) FOR GIANTS, REDEMPTION IS AS GOOD AS IT GETS (NY Times) RITE OF PASSAGE: MANNING HAS ARRIVED AT THE BIG TIME (NJ Star-Ledger) BURRESS BURNS A CORNER, THE FROZEN FUNDRA OF LAMBEAU FIELD (NJ Star-Ledger) ABOUT TYNES!, CALL HIM BRRR-ESS – PLAXICO GETS RED HOT IN GREEN BAY COLD, FROZEN STIFF – FAVRE GOES COLD, GREEN BAY GOES HOME (NY Post) • ONE FOR THE ICE AGES, GIANTS KEEPIN’ THEIR COOL, GIANTS VETERAMS WARM AND FUZZY, FUTURE OF GIANTS A COLD COMFORT, IT’S A MOMENT FROZEN IN TIME (NY Daily News) • • • • •

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS
Sunday, 2/3 – Giants 17, Patriots 14 Pre-Game • NOT QUITE IN THAT PEYTON PLACE, BUT ELI MANNING SHOWS HE HAS SUPER STUFF, TOO; GIANTS HAVE KNACK FOR BEATING ODDS; GIANTS REESE HITS JACKPOT WITH REMARKABLE DRAFT (USA Today) • A LISTEN TO BE LEARNED (NJ Star-Ledger, on Coach Gilbride listening to player input) • MR. NICE GUY INSPIRED GIANTS TO BE THEIR BEST (NJ Star-Ledger) • BLUE-COLLAR GIANTS REVEL IN UNITY AND OBSCURITY (NY Times) • GIANTS SHOW UP DRESSED TO KILL: MEN IN BLACK ARRIVE AND THEY’RE LOOKING FOR A WHACKING (NJ Star-Ledger) • PEYTON BIG ON BROTHER; ELI HAS WHAT IT TAKES TO LEAD HIS TEAM (NY Daily News) Post-Game • SUPER SHOCKER, PRESSURE COOKED, BOLT FROM THE BLUE (The Arizona Republic) • PERFECT END FOR GIANTS, GIGANTIC UPSET RUINS PATRIOTS’ PERFECT QUEST, GIANTS KNOCK DOWN BULLIES , AN UPSET OF GIANT PROPORTIONS (USA Today) • NOW THAT’S PERFECT, ULTIMATE TRIP, ENDS BEAT THE ODDS, PATRIOTS CAN’T CHEAT THEIR FATE, HOW THE GIANTS STUNNED THE SPORTS WORLD, ONE FOR THE AGES (NJ StarLedger) • GIANTS’ BIG BLUE HEAVEN, FAN-DEMONIUM IN THE STREETS, IT WAS FIELD OF DREAMERS, HEY PATRIOTS COPYRIGHT THIS *, MVP PERFORMANCE IS ONE FOR THE AGES, UN-‘D’LIEVABLE, BRADY’S SACK AND BLUE (NY Post) • TITLE HUE IS SUPER BLUE, THE COOLEST QB? IT’S GOTTA BE ‘E’, BURRESS’ GLORY IS GUARANTEED, PLAX PUTS MONEY WHERE MOUTH IS WITH WINNING TD, SHOCKED HEARTBROKEN AND 18-1, GIANT COACHES OUTCLASS THE MASTERS, BRADY BUNCHED UP, MARA LEGACY LIVES ON IN GIANT RUN (NY Daily News) And one we would have loved to see:
The headline is mine. Someone sent the graphic.

BOSTON PEE PARTY

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

SIGNS OF THE TIMES

BEFORE SB42

AFTER SB42

NOW WE KNOW WHO WANTED IT MORE…WE DID!

Simmons/News

Charles Eckert/Newsday Charles Eckert/Newsday

Charles Eckert/Newsday

Getty

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

TFAN CREATED T-SHIRTS
At the website cafepress.com, put in “NY Giants” into the search box and see all the clever T-shirts and other stuff you can buy, created by Giants fans!

18-1 PUT THAT IN YOUR BOOK

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA Actually, Tom, you only scored 14

18-1 Doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t have the ring.

Stompin’ You Out!

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

CELEBRATIONS

AP

Hermann/News

Bill Kontron/AP

Congratulatory ads appeared in local newspapers including: • Impossible…Improbable…Incredible! (Macy’s) • A perfect finish is better than a perfect season. (Verizon Wireless) • Score a big one for the road warriors. (Continental)

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

TEARS IN OUR EYES FOR THE OLD GUYS WHO GOT RINGS

Mark Cornelison/MCT

AP

They waited and waited and waited, and one almost retired…but their perseverance was rewarded with the cherished Super Bowl champion rings. Michael Strahan 15 seasons Amani Toomer 12 seasons Jeff Feagles 20 seasons, and this being his first Super Bowl appearance. Congrats not only for what you achieved, but for your leadership which will be felt for the next decade. We hope you all come back for another run!
Gene Puskar/AP

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

WISH YOU WERE HERE

Elsa/Getty Images

Giants.com

Giants.com Sometimes life just isn’t fair. It certainly wasn’t this year to Jeremy Shockey, Mathias Kiwanuka and Derrick Ward, all of whom are true Giants, contributors in the early going, and missed during the run to SB42. In our eyes, these guys are part of this victorious season.

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

QUOTES: PLAYERS
“Trying to beat the traffic, I guess.”
Eli Manning, when asked by David Letterman why he thought Bill Belichick left the field so quickly after the loss.

“It really looked so easy, and it was so beautiful.”
David Letterman on the TD pass to Plax, to which Eli responded:

“A spiral, that’s rare for me.” “He made an unbelievable catch and saved the game.”
Manning on David Tyree’s grab.

“That play took a few years off my life.”
Michael Strahan on the Manning to Tyree play.

“One last drive, one touchdown and you will be a world champion.”
Strahan, on what he said to the offensive line before the game-winning drive.

“This season was not for anybody else. It was for the guys in that locker room, and for those coaches and for the Giants and the fans.”
Strahan

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.”
Mike Tyson, quoted by Strahan, who then said:

“And today, we wanted to punch them in the face and make them scramble a little bit.” “I felt like I got hit by a train.”
Pat’s Tom Brady, at the AT&T Pro Am Golf Championship

“I didn’t give him [Coach Coughlin] a chance to decide. I just ran onto the field before he saw me. I wasn’t coming off. He would have had to pull me off the field. I had spent enough time in that damned cold.”
Kicker Lawrence Tynes, on what led up to the winning FG in the NFC title game

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

QUOTES: COACHES/MGT.
“His heart was with the Giants.”
Defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo’s agent on Spags staying with the G-Men.

“This just in from the commissioner’s office – all games should be played on the road next year.”
Steve Tisch, Giants co-owner

“Holy cow there’s still 35 seconds left here.”
Tom Coughlin, after the go-ahead TD was scored by Plaxico.

“Other than family, the greatest feeling in the world is when all of a sudden you realize you’re the world champion.”
Coughlin, talking to the team after the victory

“I just want you to know that if I had to go into battle, I wouldn’t change a person in here.”
Coach Spags, at half time down 17-0 to the Redskins in the 3rd game

“That parade and that show of loyalty and response to our championship season was just something that we'll remember for the rest of our lives.''
Giants coach Tom Coughlin said at a City Hall ceremony that followed the procession.

“Never challenge an underdog to a fight because you’re going to lose.”
Steve Tisch at the celebration at Giants stadium.

“I could not believe that that many people would come out. To see them all dressed in blue, and to see the reaction of our players, to see how much they enjoyed it, that was the best part. There’s no place like home.”
Giants co-owner John Mara at the parade.

“The road signified, to us, the coming together of team.”
Coughlin

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

QUOTES: MEDIA
“It was a coming out party for…an offensive line that didn’t miss a game and seldom missed a block, for a defensive line that spread terror and uncertainty through the NFL’s offenses and quarterbacks.”
Dave Klein in eGiants email newsletter

“Thankfully, Coach “Genius” had a complete brain fade and passed up the points.”
Analyst Scott L. in eGiants, commenting on Belichick’s decision to go four 4th and 13 instead of attempting a 48 yard field goal, ultimately the difference in the final score.

“Strands of paper and toilet tissue stuck like icicles from window sills, flagpoles and street lights. Confetti turned the Canyon of Heroes into a deafening snow globe. Thousands of cameras flashed, and confetti and disbelief filled the air. It [Giant’s defense] buzzed Brady from all angles.”
John Branch, NY Times, 2/4/2008 and 2/6/08)

“The Greatest Football Story Ever Told concluded Sunday night.”
Mike Eisen, Giants.com

“Right to the dollar remainder tables.”
Boston Globe staffer, commenting on the book “The Perfect 19-0 Season of the New England Patriots” that won’t see the light of day.

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

QUOTES: FANS
“Yesterday I got up on the floor of the Senate and introduced a resolution praising the Giants. It passed 100-0. Ted Kennedy had to vote for it. John Kerry had to vote for it. Every senator had to vote for it, because now the Giants are not just New York’s team, they are America’s team.”
Giants fan and U.S. Senator Charles Schumer at the City Hall rally.

“The Willinsky’s were able to watch the game on Austrian TV from 12:30 to 4:30 am. I don’t think any of my neighbors are speaking to us because of all the yelling in the middle of the night.”
Michael Willinsky, living in Switzerland, in eGiants

“I’m like a little kid again and this is Christmas morning.”
Jerry D., in eGiants

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

FOR THE RECORD BOOK
About 97.5 million people watched SB42. Only one show in the history of TV (the final episode of Mash in 1983) had more viewers (106MM) About 54 million watched the NFC Championship game, making it the most-watched TV event (not including Super Bowls) since the Seinfeld finale in 1998. The Giants had 11 rookies on their active Super Bowl roster, the most for a team since New England had 11, eleven years ago. Another “11” record: we won 11 consecutive road games, something no team has ever done. Ticket prices (face) were $6, $10 and $12 for Super Bowl I. They were $700 and $900 for SB42. The Giants were the 9th wild card team to reach the big game, and only the third team to get there by winning three road games.

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

DID YOU KNOW?
On “the play,” referee Mike Carey almost blew the whistle for an “in the grasp” sack which would have most likely resulted in the Pats winning. “I anticipated a sack,” he said. “Rarely do you see a quarterback escape when he’s got that much weight…and being dragged by two or three guys.” Thanks for not blowing the whistle, Mike. The Giants defense limited the Patriots to two TD’s, their lowest output in 25 games. The Giants are only the 2nd team in SB history to win after trailing in the final minute of the 4th quarter. Jeff Feagles is the oldest player ever to play in a Super Bowl (over 41 years old). And we’re glad he’s coming back for more! We sacked Tom Brady 5 times and knocked him down 18 times. He had been sacked only 21 times during the entire regular season. Plaxico was hurt in a freak accident in the shower early in the week (twisted knee) which remained a closely guarded secret. Amani went to the other receivers telling them to “pick up the slack.” Boy did they ever! Many Giants fans traveled thousands of miles to see the big game, but how about 8,000 miles in Delhi, India? Long-time fan Mitch Grossman was there on business (scheduled long before SB42 was a glimmer in any of our eyes), and watched the game at 4:45am Monday. Modern technology allowed him to text his kids at college, so they enjoyed the game by being in constant communication. Only thing Mitch missed were the Super Bowl commercials…instead, he saw WWE and cricket match ads, blank screens or extra replays. Well, I’m sure the victory made up for the lack of commercials, which Mitch can see online anyhow.

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

BABIES, TODDLERS & KIDS
It’s just so important to bring up kids right and give them the right priorities in life, such as being a Giants fan and not jumping on other bandwagons. The moms and dads of these kids got it right!

Ari Mintz/Newsday

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

PETS
Everyone knows you can’t have a Super Bowl party without the pets, right? Not just any pets, Giants pets!

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

LOSERVILLE: FUN STUFF

Funny Parody of The Patriots Cheating Incident
http://www.break.com/index/patriots-parody-you-cheated.html

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

FOOD
What would this victory be without Giants food?

Giant Pez Dispenser

A bar called “Brady’s” in NYC renamed itself to “Manning’s” for the Super Bowl. Smart move; if it had not, they would have had no customers that day. Suggest making the change permanent guys. In a similar vein, The Grand Central Oyster Bar, also in NY, renamed New England Clam Chowder to “Giants Clam Chowder” for the week, with the Giants having “creamed” the Pats (not my pun).

The Popcorn Factory is among zillions of companies to offer special products in honor of our SB42 victory. A great tin, filled with great popcorn. Yum is the word.

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

eGIANTS
One of the great things about this season (as well as the others) is to have a fine email newsletter written by the grand-daddy of Giants media, Dave Klein, who has been covering the Giants since 1961, first as a beat writer for the Newark (NJ) Star Ledger, then in the pages of The Giants Newsweekly, and for the last 10 years via eGiants. He is one of four living writers to have covered every single Super Bowl.

Dave is a prolific writer, publishing an average of 400 issues per year (all year ‘round, not just during the season) and in this incredible year, all the “bonus” columns during the playoff and SB42 run were eagerly awaited. While there are plenty of talented writers covering the Giants, none has the experience and insights that Dave (davesklein@aol.com) does, and I’d venture to say that 100% of his subscribers await every issue, as evidenced by the tremendous amount of email he gets after games, win or lose. In fact, “Letters From The Ledge” became a popular column after each loss (fortunately only 6 this year) where fans vented. Those issues were surpassed in popularity by “Letters From The Joyous” of which there were 14 this year. Other popular columns are the “Game Tape Analysis” by Scott L. (Dave never uses last names) which are about the best I’ve ever seen, and “Stats You Won’t Find Elsewhere.” During the week, between games, eGiants is always welcome.

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

GIANTS ROAD CREW
For over 25 years, The Giants Road Crew has taken thousands of fans to hundreds of away Giants games, and I’ve had the privilege of being on the Road Crew jaunts almost every year, including this year’s playoff run and Super Bowl. Rose Albanese celebrates her 25th year running these trips, and she continues to provide the best value (air, hotel, transportation game tickets, party and more), attention to detail and making sure we all have a real fun time. While most fans make their way by themselves or in small groups, perhaps because they don’t know about the Road Crew, being on the road with a group of 50, 100 or more rabid Giants fans, many that you see over and over on these trips, is a great sense of family away from home. It’s fun taking over a hotel and attending a Road Crew party or sharing a couple of beers the night before the game. It’s fun meeting for breakfast and then boarding the bus to the game, sharing our optimism and other thoughts with each other. And if there happens to be a piano in the hotel lobby, which there often is, it’s fun (and some say painful!) to listen to me play “Here we go Giants, here we go” on the ivories. It’s fun to be with each other as we share the victories. And it’s fun getting ready for the game at the Road Crew tailgates held in the visitor’s parking lots. To join in the fun, go to GiantsRoadCrew.com or email Rose (GiantsRoadCrew@aol.com).

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS

LINKS
I hope the highlights web URLs at NFL.com are left up forever, so that we can look at them 1, 5, 10 or 20 years from now, and that our kids and grand-kids can enjoy them as well. Other links of interest: Official Giants Web Site • www.giants.com Giants Fan Clubs • • • • • • • Blogs • • • • • NYGmen http://www.nygmen.com/ Unofficial Blog of the NY Giants http://www.footballgiants.net/ Giant Football Blog http://www.giantfootballblog.com/ NY Giants Blog on Fanhouse http://sports.aol.com/fanhouse/nfl/new-york-giants/ UltimateNYG Blog http://ultimatenyg.blogspot.com South Jersey Wrecking Crew http://www.southjerseywreckingcrew.com/ Giants Fan Club of New England http://www.giantsfcne.com/index.htm Santa Monica/LA NY Giants Meetup Group http://nygiants.meetup.com/21/ Giants Fan Club Online http://www.1up.com/do/club?clubid=11472 Boston NY Giants Fan Club http://nygiants.meetup.com/24/ NY Football Giants Fan Club of New England http://www.giantsfcne.com/ NY Giants Fan Club on FanNation http://www.fannation.com/groups/show/12084

PUBLISHING INFORMATION
This is a free eBook (electronic book) published by Irv Brechner (ibrechner@aol.com). Credits for photographs and illustrations have been given where known. You may forward this book free to anyone you like. © 2008 by Irv Brechner. All Rights Reserved.

GUTS, GLORY & GIANTS FANS: BACK COVER

Thanks for the Memories!
To the management. To the scouts. To the coaches. To the players. We will treasure this year forever, thanks to you. And we look forward to more excitement in 2008, 2009 and beyond!

Giants Fans Everywhere