New York was so confident that they were going to prove the evil media and all the other doubters wrong last week that they unofficially adopted the anthem "We're not gonna take it." The silly act spread far enough that it blared from the Giants Stadium speakers as the club ran out of the tunnel.
What a joke. A total, absolute joke. There is no way any other team in the league talks as tough as the Giants do, and delivers so very little on an annual basis. Enough so that it might just cost Tom Coughlin his job. For one, he sure doesn't seem like the man for this job. Like the Knicks across the river, this roster resembles a unit that could only be improved by blowing it up and starting from scratch.
Last Sunday marked the official passing of the New York torch. The Jets, with half the talent and a so-called inferior coach, notched their seventh victory while the Giants, now the city's official laughingstock, dropped to 6-6. Yours truly fell into that trap as well. On a preseason television show, I ‘debated' New York Post columnist and buddy Steve Serby. The topic? Who's better, Giants or Jets? At the time it seemed laughable. The Giants were better in every single category you could think of. Except one: Heart.
The Jets just shut their mouths and go about their business. They're not looking to make excuses or elicit sympathy for their minor league roster or their bumps and bruises. The Giants talk about all the talent they have, how they might have the best defense in the league and how the powerful offense can't be stopped. And Coughlin of course drones on and on about the club's level of discipline and ability to stay healthy. Again, what a joke.
Sure Big Blue dealt with more than its fair share of injuries. But that's football. Perhaps some guys could have and should have returned from the shelf sooner, perhaps not. But the notion that anybody who could walk had better suit up against the Cowboys – especially in light of the Tennessee disaster – was tough to dispute.
You knew Michael Strahan probably did everything in his power to play, especially considering he was at the center of last week's vocal rebellion. Corey Webster? He missed the game with turf toe. Now that hurts a lot more than most people realize, but you can draw your own conclusions from that. Don't forget that Jason Bell played with a broken arm and Tiki Barber a broken thumb.
So, what exactly did the Giants have to say for themselves after the game? Was it really still the media's fault that they couldn't make a play when needed and dropped their fourth in a row? No, of course not. The tough-talking Giants basically reverted to using clichés.
"I think we'll be able to bounce back," said Eli Manning, one of the few who actually earned the right to sleep soundly after the game. "We don't have any time to get down on ourselves. We don't have a lot of time left. We have to start winning soon."
"We have to find a way to win," added Antonio Pierce, who was one of the main proponents of the extremely silly and short-lived Giants vs. the media campaign. "I think that's what we have to work on. Hopefully we can fix it soon because we don't have a lot of time."
"We can't get down on ourselves because we lost four games," Plaxico Burress said. "We have to keep fighting."
Seriously, everybody, this is what they all said; we're not making this stuff up.
Late last week Coughlin said his goal was to keep his team from being distracted by the media. How about worrying about them being distracted by the opponent, which easily goaded the Giants into countless foolish penalties and even more assignment and alignment errors.
So, what did the boss have to say after this gem? "We just have to regroup and focus on the next game."
Gee, that's heartfelt. How about being honest and admitting that you have a bunch of guys that talk and act so much better than they actually play and that you have absolutely no control over them – on or off the field?
And no this loss didn't cost the Giants the division. Even had they won, they likely wouldn't have been able to keep pace with Dallas during the final month of the season. But what it did do was ensure that at best the Giants are a one-and-done playoff team, if they're even that lucky.
Listen to what Dallas linebacker Bradie James had to say after the game.
"We have definitely gotten over the hump," he said. "This was a defining moment in our season. This is a great win. They say you win championships in the division on the road. Now we have this team behind us and we are worrying about who is next. We are number one and we want to stay lonely on top. We are looking forward to the next challenge."
He's as boastful as can be, and he has every right to be. Unlike the Giants, James waited until the Cowboys had accomplished something, such as all but wrapping up the NFC East, before he spoke. The Giants? They still prefer to speak first, and then make excuses afterward.
That's hardly what the fans are looking for. It's going to be obvious during the final two home games when more and more people choose to stay home as opposed to coming out to support a tough-talking, weak-playing club.
And with that we saved the best for last. "If we win out, we're 10-6," Shaun O'Hara said with a straight face.
Yeah, and if I had a million dollars…
Big Blew yet Again
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